Qualcomm chips allow for 6-megapixel cameras

The maker of hardware for mobile phones releases a line of processors that would allow for high-resolution camera capabilities and other advanced features.

Qualcomm on Wednesday unveiled a new line of chips with ultra-high-resolution camera features and said it was making inroads in advanced new markets.

In a volley of announcements coinciding with the company's spring Wall Street analyst briefing here, Qualcomm introduced the first of its 7000 series, a set of all-in-one chips that allow for 6-megapixel cameras and full-motion camcorder recording.

Six-megapixel image quality would make camera phones based on Qualcomm chips competitive with the most advanced digital cameras being sold in consumer markets worldwide.

Qualcomm, a supplier of the basic technology inside many of the mobile phones sold in United States and major Asian markets, said it was making progress winning over handset makers in markets that rely on Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, or W-CDMA.

W-CDMA is an emerging standard for third-generation wireless networks, and it's becoming widely available in Europe, Japan and other countries. It transmits not just voice calls but video and hefty e-mail attachments.

The company said that 21 W-CDMA wireless device makers have chosen Qualcomm's mobile chipsets and software, giving Qualcomm the broadest set of customers of any W-CDMA chipmaker, including major rival Texas Instruments.

Qualcomm also said it has added new W-CDMA handset makers, including Taiwan's BenQ, Japan's Mitsubishi, and Spain's Vitelcom Mobile, a privately held supplier.

These customers join previously announced major handset makers in China, Japan, South Korea and North America, including brands like Samsung, LG, Sanyo and Huawei.

Qualcomm also said it is optimistic it can win new business in Japan after NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile service provider, adopts the global W-CDMA standard sometime in the middle of 2005.

In addition, Qualcomm said it had signed up Yahoo Mobile to use Qualcomm's BREW software to create wireless services, including a BREW-version of Yahoo's popular Yahoo Messenger instant-messaging communications program.

Also Wednesday, the company increased its third-quarter earnings forecast. That announcement comes as worldwide shipments of cell phones are on the upswing.

Story Copyright  © 2004 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.

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