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Spreadtrum Nears RDA Merger

March 3, 2015

Author: Linley Gwennap

Since being taken private by Tsinghua Unigroup more than a year ago, Spreadtrum is no longer obligated to disclose financial results. On the other hand, it’s not prevented from doing so. In a recent interview, a Spreadtrum spokesperson disclosed that the company had revenue of about $1.2 billion in 2014, up roughly 20% from the previous year. Spreadtrum mostly serves the market’s low end, so this growth represents increasing opportunities for both low-cost smartphones and handsets (basic phones).

Tsinghua, which is majority owned by the Chinese government, also acquired RDA Microelectronics last year and is in the process of merging that company into Spreadtrum. This merger is now expected to close in 2Q15. The two companies together had revenue of about $1.5 billion in 2014. RDA also serves low-cost handsets and will expand Spreadtrum’s portfolio with analog and RF components. Leo Li continues to serve as CEO of Spreadtrum and is expected to helm the merged company.

Spreadtrum continues to focus on low-cost smartphones using products such as the SC6821, which targets $25 smartphones running the Firefox operating system. The company is also working with Samsung on its Tizen OS, which has so far received little interest from operators. The smartphone vendor recently launched its first Tizen phone, which uses Spreadtrum’s SC7727S, a dual-core processor. To boost its revenue, Spreadtrum is shifting more of its products to WCDMA, including the single-core SC7715 and quad-core SC7731. It also shipped its first LTE modem chip last summer and will soon ship its first smartphone processor with integrated LTE.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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