SAO PAULO – Qualcomm and Universal Scientific Industrial today signed an agreement to form a joint venture for the design, development and fabrication of modules and components for smartphones and IoT devices in Brazil.

The joint venture, which remains subject to various closing conditions, formalizes a non-binding memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties in March 2017 with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MIDC) and Investe Sao Paulo, representing the Sao Paulo State government. The agreement to form the JV is a result of ongoing collaboration among Qualcomm, USI and the government entities who have been working together to lay the foundation and foster the growth of the semiconductor industry in Brazil, as well as set the conditions for the possible creation of this joint venture.

The JV will produce system-in-package modules powered by Qualcomm chipsets and the modules include, in a single component, the RF and digital components for smartphones and IoT devices. These products are designed to help dramatically simplify the device engineering and manufacturing processes, and should also provide cost and development time savings to OEMs and IoT device manufacturers.

The JV is likely to be set up in the state of Sao Paulo and is expected to start manufacturing in 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.

USI, a subsidiary of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, is one of the 15 largest EMS companies in the world, according to the CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Top 50.

“USI has been at the forefront of miniaturization technology for more than 15 years. Our track record and experience make us an ideal collaborator for the manufacturing of highly integrated multi-component modules used in smartphones and IoT devices,” said C. Y. Wei, president of USI. “Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America with a significant growth potential for integrated modules. USI will be utilizing the technological competence of its parent company, ASE, to help build up the semiconductor cluster in Brazil and Latin America. We are excited to be a part of this joint venture that could help boost local employment in the next five years,” he added.

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