Qualcomm to spend $92 million on establishing research and development center in Ireland

Report: Qualcomm partners with Asus to launch a gaming smartphone.
Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm will spend €78 million ($90 million) over four years to establish a state-of-the-art research and development complex in Cork, Ireland. The initiative is anticipated to bring hundreds of highly skilled new jobs to the area. Dublin is supporting the project through IDA Ireland, a semi-government foreign direct investment group.

The corporation’s resource expansion follows a series of moves suggesting it intends to expand beyond the consumer technology market.

Details on Qualcomm’s Irish R&D Center

The fabless chipmaker’s new facility will be based in a 49,500 square foot space in the Primrose Dock area. The complex will focus on developing new application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) for multiple domains. Qualcomm has a particular interest in creating new automotive, machine learning, automation, and computer-aided components.

The technology company’s Irish affiliate assumed control of the new center’s physical location in October. It is currently in the middle of a recruitment drive to staff the advanced R&D complex.

Ajay Bawale, VP of Engineering for Qualcomm Technologies, expressed excitement about his firm’s latest project. “Not only are the offices state-of-the-art, but they also have specially purposed and designed labs to enable continued ground-breaking security and validation work.”

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, is also enthusiastic about the initiative. He noted that the center would highlight the first-rate expertise of the region’s technology designers. In addition, he hopes Qualcomm will further increase its Irish footprint after the facility is fully operational.

What’s Next for Qualcomm

Currently, Qualcomm is best known for designing high-performance smartphone chipsets. However, the firm’s recent moves indicate it is in the midst of broadening its horizons.

In July, the corporation spent $97 million to secure a 0.15 percent stake in Jio Platforms. The chipmaker bought into the Indian digital services company to help it establish its home region’s 5G infrastructure. The investment represents a logical progression of its core business because of its extensive experience developing fifth-generation mobile data technology.

More ambitiously, Qualcomm revealed it partnered with ASE, Inc. and Chunghwa Telecom to established Taiwan’s first 5G-enabled automated facility in August. The company will provide hardware and software to support the water treatment plant’s artificial intelligence, automated guided vehicle, and augmented reality functions.

The corporation’s recent activities in India and Taiwan indicate it wants to become a more holistic solutions provider. That is not to say it is moving away from the handset sector; it is reportedly developing a new gaming smartphone with Asus. The firm is positioning itself as a commercial digital infrastructure vendor rather than just a consumer electronics supplier.

Given its areas of focus, Qualcomm’s new Irish R&D facility will help it further that goal. Within the decade, the company may evolve into a one-stop-shop for corporations and governments looking to digitalize their operations. Since MarketsandMarkets predicts the digital transformation market will be over $1 trillion by 2025, its pivot is a smart move.


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