Pixelworks Partners with Qualcomm Technologies

- March 18th, 2019

Pixelworks is hoping that the partnership with Qualcomm is the beginning of “what will be a mutually rewarding long-term partnership.”

Pixelworks (NASDAQ:PXLW) announced on Monday (March 18) that it has signed an agreement with Qualcomm Technologies for optimizing its display calibration software for use on Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon mobile platforms.

The software vendor agreement between the two companies paves the way for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to implement Pixelworks’ display calibration software on smartphones and tablets powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 mobile platform.

“More and more OEMs are recognizing that the foundation of visual quality is built upon color accuracy and that display quality, particularly a unified and consistent color style, is a key reinforcer of brand image,” Anthony Gioeli, Pixelworks’ executive vice president and general manager of video devices, said in the release.

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Through the agreement, Pixelworks and Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, will closely work to support OEMs as they implement the solution from Pixelworks on the Snapdragon 855 platform.

In the release, Pixelworks said the agreement is a “win-win” situation for Qualcomm, OEMs and customers. The solution from Pixelworks is said to offer OEMs consistent color accuracy with tone-mapping support, meaning that consumers will be presented with a device that offers a better visual display.

“We are pleased to be helping Pixelworks optimize its high-efficiency display calibration solution for Snapdragon mobile platforms,” Manvinder Singh, vice president of product management, said in the release. “This will enable OEMs to offer an enhanced viewing experience with superior color accuracy on the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform.”

Peter Carson, vice president for marketing and mobile at Pixelworks, said in an email statement to the Investing News Network (INN) that the agreement with Qualcomm extends its business model to include both display processors and software.

“The software option makes our technology more readily accessible to new OEM customers and allows them to launch and start climbing the learning curve quickly,” Carson told INN. “We believe this is the beginning of what will be a mutually rewarding long-term partnership with other potential applications of our technology.”

Carson said that the company is working with several OEMs and that it anticipates the first set of devices featuring Pixelworks’ solution and the Snapdragon mobile platform will be launched in the second half of 2019.

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“End users will realize the full beauty of HDR videos and photos through a more immersive, authentic and color-accurate display on their smartphones and tablets,” he said. “The ability of Soft Iris to preserve visual quality in all ambient lighting conditions by adapting the display appearance will encourage users to watch an even greater share of video on their mobile devices than they already do.”

Carson said that the agreement with Qualcomm could potentially lead to enabling Pixelworks’ solution on additional Snapdragon platforms in the future.

Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, which builds on its previous flagship platform, the Snapdragon 845, as its flagship platform in December 2018. Developed with the 7 nanometer process, the 855 mobile platform is said to support 5G and offer better artificial intelligence features.

With regards to OEMs, Carson said that the company’s solution integrated on the Snapdragon platform gives more choices and flexibility on implementing its product.

“Either a fully featured Iris processor or a select set of software features through the new Soft Iris offering, which includes best-in-class HDR, high-efficiency color calibration and auto-adaptive display,” he said.

Carson said that OEMs will also get additional benefits from using its solution as compared to other products.

“Differentiation based on superior and consistent color accuracy and overall display quality makes the visual experience much more sticky with end users,” he said.

In a separate release, Pixelworks announced that Xiaomi’s (HKEX:1810,OTC Pink:XIACF) Black Shark 2 smartphone features Pixelworks’ Iris visual processor, which is tipped to be the “most immersive mobile gaming experience” on a smartphone.

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Notably, Black Shark 2 features the Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and an AMOLED display with Pixelworks’ Iris processor for an enhanced gaming experience.

“With industry-leading visual processing creating a cinematic movie experience and a screen that automatically adapts to changing lighting conditions, the Black Shark 2 has set a new bar for mobile performance,” Peter Wu, CEO at Black Shark, said in the release.

The Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone was unveiled on Monday in Beijing, China, with the phone available for purchase beginning March 22, 2019.

Todd DeBonis, president and CEO at Pixelworks, said in the release that the perks of the display technology on Black Shark 2 smartphones extend beyond gaming into everything visual content-related, including watching movies or sports.

“This new gaming phone is the perfect platform to highlight Pixelworks innovations using a dedicated visual processor optimized for best-in-class HDR, smooth, blur-free motion and now the capability to dynamically optimize the visual experience for mobile gamers on the go,” DeBonis, said in the release.

Following the announcement, shares of Pixelworks were up 8.42 percent to close the trading session on Monday at US$4.12. The stock had a trading volume of over 385,000, opened at US$4.06 and touched a day high US$4.18.

Pixelworks has a “buy” ranking on TradingView with 17 verticals in favor, nine in neutral and two against. The stock has a “moderate buy” ranking on TipRanks with an analyst target price of US$6, which represents a 45.63 percent upside from the current price.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bala Yogesh, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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