It’s hard to miss the two-story patent wall in Qualcomm Inc.’s headquarters lobby. Qualcomm has 130,000 patents issued or pending. The bulk of the corporation’s earnings come from other companies paying Qualcomm for permission to use its intellectual property.

It’s hard to miss the two-story patent wall in Qualcomm Inc.’s headquarters lobby. Qualcomm has 130,000 patents issued or pending. The bulk of the corporation’s earnings come from other companies paying Qualcomm for permission to use its intellectual property. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

— Intel Corp. is coming after Qualcomm Inc. — years after, you might say — in the battle for mobile technology dominance.

QUALCOMM

CEO: Steve Mollenkopf

Revenue: $22.3 billion in fiscal 2017; $23.6 billion in fiscal 2016

Net income: $2.5 billion in fiscal 2017; $5.7 billion in fiscal 2016

No. of local employees: 13,000

Headquarters: Sorrento Mesa

Year founded: 1985

Stock symbol and exchange: QCOM on Nasdaq

Company description: Semiconductor company and wireless technology developer

INTEL CORP.

CEO: Brian Krzanich

Revenue: $62.8 billion in 2017, up from $59.4 billion in 2016

Net income: $9.6 billion in 2017, down from $10.3 billion in 2016

Number of local employees: Not reported. It employs about 53,000 people in the United States. Notably, Intel is currently advertising to fill a number of engineer openings in the San Diego area as part of its intention to create a “complete modem team” focused on mobile communications protocol HSDPA and the mobile device high-speed communications standard LTE.

Headquarters: Santa Clara

Year founded: 1968

Stock symbol (and exchange): INTC (NASDAQ)

Company description: Maker of semiconductor chip, supplier to computing and communications industries. It provides chips, boards, systems and software for computers, servers and networking and communications products.

After falling behind Qualcomm in cellphone microchip design, the Santa Clara-based semiconductor giant crowed last month it will give the San Diego company “formidable and very meritorious” competition in the next-generation wireless technology known as 5G.

“On the modem and technology side, we’re going to be investing and executing on a level where we think we can give Qualcomm an extremely competitive environment,” Venkata (“Murthy”) Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and a former Qualcomm executive, told technology website TechCrunch.

Intel is positioned to be a significant player as 5G spreads during the next two years, having signed recent deals with laptop manufacturers and a pair of Chinese wireless technology companies. But analysts say it’s unlikely the personal computing powerhouse will be able to seize the upper hand on wireless handsets, at least in the near term: Qualcomm is simply too far ahead.

Multipronged Competiton

There’s some indication Intel may be taking the fight to Qualcomm’s backyard.

As of last week, Intel was advertising online to fill a number of engineer openings as part of its intention to create a “complete modem team” in the San Diego market focused on mobile communications protocol HSDPA and the mobile device high-speed communications standard LTE. A company spokeswoman dismissed the umbrella job posting as outdated and declined to comment on it.

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