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David and Goliath: The battle between the start-up and the giant

Small start-up Altair Semiconductor nabs a nice deal with Google and HP at tech giant Qualcomm's expense
Altair chips (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Altair chips (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Here we go again… brilliant start-up wins contract against a major vendor. In this case Altair Semiconductor, which makes only 4G (LTE) chipsets for devices, beats San Diego giant, Qualcomm in a deal for Chromebooks produced by Google and HP.

Yes, this is a big deal. It would be a big deal for any company. And yes, it validates 4G and the importance of it. So, for Altair Semiconductors this is truly great news.

An Israeli start-up is giving telecom giant Qualcomm a run for its money, after winning a deal to install its communications chipset in new Chromebooks produced by Google and HP. The deal pushes Altair Semiconductor, which makes nothing but 4G (LTE) chipsets for devices, into a whole new league, said Eran Eshed, CEO of the Hod Hasharon-based company. “This is a really big deal for us, and for 4G in general.”

However, this is not the full story. Qualcomm makes far more than 4G chipsets. It owns patents for 2G, 3G, 4G, and a variety of other digital technologies. It used to be the scrappy kid on the block but it no longer is.

Qualcomm enables connected “everythings”.

janezweig.com and its virtual team member Alan Weinkrantz (also a Times of Israel and Start-Up Israel blogger) would rather say Qualcomm enables the “Internet of Experiences” for that is what Qualcomm does.

Qualcomm enables everything from cellphones, to smartphones, to tablets, to smart watches, to fitness gear, to smart charging for automobiles, to the smart home. It even enables smart teddy bears to wake up sleeping children in the morning. It enables Sesame Street characters to interact with your children.

So a loss for Qualcomm, it isn’t the demise of this company. Perhaps it is a wake-up call but Qualcomm will rise to the occasion. It will continue to enable the experiences of your life and my life. It will do so in ways we probably don’t even know or imagine.

And Altair Semiconductors might just be a very ripe acquisition target for Qualcomm or its competitors. And most probably is.

Read Start-Up Israel to keep your finger on the pulse of Israeli high-tech and innovation!

About the Author
Jane Zweig is an independent analyst and rainmaker who loves Israel. Jane's background hails from the high tech sector, where she worked consulting with Israeli start ups, large companies, financial institutions and the government sector. Jane is currently working with Middle East analysts and Israeli fashion designers to spread their message and products to the United States and the world. She also works with The Jewish Federation of Howard County, Maryland on its soon to be launched Israel speaker series as well as co chair of the 2015 Journey to Israel sponsored by the Federation. Jane lives in the great State of Maryland, which is neither here nor there, but she is very proud of where she lives and Maryland's ties to Israel..both personally and independently.
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