Qualcomm gets cash injection to develop audio tech in the UK

Qualcomm logo displayed on a smartphone screen
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Qualcomm has revealed it'll spend almost £500,000 of its investment from Invest NI to develop its range of aptX audio products at its Belfast Science Park HQ.

The technology designed to improve the audio quality of wireless headphones, speakers, soundbars and smartphones is now present in millions of consumer devices and now Qualcomm wants to address the rapidly changing market by making sure its technology can stay ahead of the trends.

“We have a strong and passionate team of audio engineers and technologists in Ireland and the UK," Anthony Murray, senior vice president and general manager (voice and music) for Qualcomm Technologies, said.

"This R&D support from Invest NI will help us to further develop exciting next generation technology for wireless audio and ensure our next generation aptX technology helps to lead the way to new levels of sound quality in wireless audio.”

Qualcomm has had a research centre in Belfast since it acquired Cambridge Silicon Radio for $2.5 billion three years ago, so it comes as no surprise that it wants to keep a significant part of its business in the city.

“I'm delighted that Qualcomm Technologies International has chosen Northern Ireland to further develop this ground-breaking technology," Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said.

“We are helping Qualcomm continue to drive important technology innovation for wireless audio devices from right here in Northern Ireland. The audio industry is changing fast and our support is also helping the company take advantage of our highly skilled workforce and local tech ecosystem.”

Qualcomm recently rejected a $105 billion takeover bid by Broadcom, which, if the deal had gone ahead, would have created the world's biggest chip maker.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.