The “Semiconductor Six” Prepare To Loosen Qualcomm’s Grip On The Mobile Market

Japanese mobile operator NTT DOCOMO announced its plans to join forces with the fab five — Samsung, Panasonic, Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Semiconductor and NEC — to put an end to Qualcomm’s long held reign of mobile processing chip domination. Together they plan on developing “feature-rich, small-size, low-power-consumption semiconductor products equipped with modem functionality,” focusing on LTE and LTE-Advanced mobile communication standards. As long as all parties agree on the details, this “Semiconductor Six” (as I’m calling them) should be established and ready to powerhouse the mobile industry by the mid-January.

DOCOMO plans to invest around 5.8 million dollars to establish a wholly owned subsidiary, called Communication Platform Planning Co., Ltd. The company will be headed by Mitsunobu Komori (executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer of DOCOMO), who will begin preparations for getting the newly formed venture off and running.

This is all great news for us consumers, as another player in the mobile chip race means more options, which ultimately leads to lower prices. While the actual impact of the “Semiconductor Six” upon Qualcomm’s share of the mobile market is yet to be seen, there are interesting times a coming, and I, for one, am looking forward to a good ol’ fashioned semiconductor cage match.