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Qualcomm To Launch Korean R&D Lab

The research and development center will focus on developing next-generation mobile communication technologies.
Qualcomm has announced plans to invest in a research and development center in Korea, strengthening its ties to the Korean industrial, governmental, and academic community that embraced and supported the company's CDMA technology in its early days of development, when the wireless technology's success was in doubt.

Announced this week, the R&D center will "expand research collaborations with Korean organizations and focus on advances in next-generation mobile communication technology," Qualcomm said in a statement. "Korea was among the first to adopt and successfully commercialize CDMA technology."

The new facility will be overseen by Dr. Te-Won Lee, currently a senior director with Qualcomm's corporate R&D organization and an authority in audio processing and multimedia technologies.

Korea was an early supporter of Qualcomm's CDMA technology during the early days of the technology's development when it was overtaken in the marketplace by GSM, which captured most of the world's mobile phone users. CDMA and W-CDMA, also pioneered by Qualcomm, have gone on to find widespread success and deployment in most of the world's countries.

Also this week, Qualcomm said it will invest in Korea's Pulsus Technologies, a developer of digital pulse modulation amplifier technology chips that transform audio signals, allowing them to be digitally amplified. Qualcomm's investment in Pulsus is part of its partnership with the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency and Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy. Previously, Qualcomm had announced its intention to invest in Korean venture companies and Pulsus is the first investment under that framework.

In 1997 Qualcomm had established facilities in Seoul to develop CDMA technologies for the CDMA2000 and W-CDMA handset markets.

"Qualcomm's Korean partners have made remarkable achievements in the global wireless industry and we are honored to have been a part of this important success," said Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, in announcing the establishment of the new R&D operation.