Qualcomm has joined its rival Intel in jumping aboard the open source bandwagon. The San Diego-based chipmaker today unveiled the Qualcomm Innovation Center, a subsidiary created to “optimize open source software with Qualcomm technology.” The QuIC, as Qualcomm has dubbed it, will be headed by Rob Chandhok, who serves as senior vice president of software strategies for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.
“Open source and community-driven software development is becoming increasingly important to the wireless industry,” Chandhok said in a prepared statement. “To fulfill this commitment and to provide focus to this effort, Qualcomm has transferred experienced software engineers to QuIC. These engineers will focus on such important open source initiatives as Linux and Webkit, and on open source operating systems such as Symbian, Android and Chrome.”
Qualcomm gained traction in the feature-phone space with its own BREW platform for application development, but working with other platforms is nothing new for the company: Earlier this year it released Java Platform Standard Edition 6 on its Snapdragon ARM-based architecture, and it’s targeting carriers with a cross-platform app store. And while Apple’s proprietary iPhone OS has taken the mobile industry by storm, open source operating systems such as Android, Chrome and Moblin are gaining traction (GigaOM Pro, sub. required) among developers on both handsets and netbooks. Indeed, Intel has partnered with Nokia in an effort to build its open source business in mobile. So as Qualcomm steps up its fight with its rival, the company is sagely placing a wager on the open source market.