[China] Spreadtrum buys 3G modem firm, finds CTO (Peter Clarke)


LONDON – Spreadtrum Communications Inc., China's leading fabless chip company, has announced that it has acquired 48.4% of MobilePeak Holdings Ltd., a fabless chip company that designs UMTS/HSPA+ modem chipsets from bases in San Diego, California and Shanghai, China.


 Spreadtrum (Shanghai, China) is providing a loan to help MobilePeak to pay off debts and is acquiring 48.4 percent of MobilePeak for an aggregate amount of $32.6 million in cash. Spreadtrum said it intends to purchase all of MobilePeak's issued and outstanding shares, and expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter of 2011. However, the company did not indicate the size of the loan or at how much it has valued 48.4 percent of MobilePeak.


 On completion of the deal Qiuzhen (Joe) Zou, founder, chairman and president of MobilePeak will become chief technology officer of Spreadtrum, the company said.


 "We are very pleased and excited to welcome the MobilePeak team. The synergies between the two companies and the opportunities created by this transaction are clear," said Sreadtrum's chairman, president and CEO, Leo Li, in a statement. "With MobilePeak's complete UMTS/HSPA+ solution, we will broaden our portfolio of worldwide wireless handset technologies, and make inroads into the WCDMA feature phone, smart phone and tablet markets."


 "Utilizing our advanced 40-nm technology, mature GSM/GPRS/EDGE and TD-SCDMA platforms, and working closely with MobilePeak's Shanghai and San Diego teams, we will be well equipped to expand our international market shares. These capabilities are also a solid foundation for developing the next generation multi-mode FDD-LTE/WCDMA and TDD-LTE/TD-SCDMA technologies over the next two years."


 "Since MobilePeak's inception in 2005, our team has developed world-class baseband chipsets with support for 3GPP Standard through Release 7, including HSPA+ technology up to Category 14 with 21-Mbps maximum downlink speed and 11-Mbps maximum uplink speed," said MobilePeak's Zou, in the same statement.


 "MobilePeak has more than 100 patents granted or pending worldwide, and its solutions have passed GCF tests and top-tier handset makers' strict in-house tests. We are confident to roll out the first 40-nm HSPA+ solution platform for feature phones and smart phones by 2012," said Zou.


 Zou founded MobilePeak in 2005 and served as CTO until 2010 when he assumed the position of president. From 1993 to 2003, Zou held various positions with Qualcomm Inc. rising to the position of vice president of engineering in 2000. Zou led various semiconductor design projects, including multiple generations of CDMA baseband chipsets. Zou received a BSEE from Southeast University in Nanjing, China in 1992, followed by an MSEE from Stanford University in 1993.


Source: EETimes