Qualcomm buys battery speed-charging specialist

Qualcomm has snatched up Summit Microelectronics, a power management specialist that the chip company hopes will help make for more battery-efficient Snapdragons. Summit's technology – programmable power integrated circuits – is currently found in a range of tablets, phones and ereaders, Qualcomm says, where they help the gadgets recharge faster.

Summit has a number of homegrown power management technologies, including FlexCharge for automatic power-source detection, and FlexCharge+ which adds automatic input voltage detection. That means devices can automatically adjust to whatever power supply they're connected to, whether it be an AC adapter or the bus-power from a USB 2.0/3.0 port.

There's also TurboCharge and TurboCharge+, which handle things like automatic voltage compensation and switching, as well as a range of safety technologies. Summit claims that its recent chips can reduce battery recharging time by 30- to 50-percent.

"The demand for more sophisticated battery management is critical in a world of increasingly smart devices with advanced computing capabilities, large high-resolution screens, and advanced modem technologies (e.g. 4G LTE)" Steve Mollenkopf, president and COO of Qualcomm said in a statement today about the deal. "This acquisition enhances the competitiveness of Qualcomm's chipset solutions and enables us to provide our customers with industry leading power management and charging performance."

Full details of the acquisition have not been revealed, but all employees of Summit have now joined Qualcomm's CDMA Technologies division.