Chip manufacturer Qualcomm is making a notable headcount reduction that was revealed in a regulatory filing in its home state of California.

According to CNBC, the San Diego, California-based company will be laying off about 1,258 roles in California, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department.

Qualcomm had 51,000 staff worldwide as of September 2022, so the 1,258 positions being laid off represents 2.5 percent of its workforce.

Image credit: Qualcomm

Job losses

The job cuts will take place in California, namely at its offices in Santa Clara and San Diego.

CNBC reported that the semiconductor manufacturer had notified California on Wednesday that it would be eliminating roughly 1,064 of its San Diego employees, and 194 of its Santa Clara employees.

The job cuts will take effect around 13 December in both places, the filing reportedly said. Impacted roles include engineers, legal counsel and human resources.

Neither location will have any facility closures, the filings said.

When CNBC contacted Qualcomm for comment, the company highlighted its last quarterly earnings report, in which the firm noted that it was expecting workplace reductions and related restructuring charges.

In an August call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala had warned that the company would be taking proactive measures to cut costs as the company faces shrinking revenue.

“Given our commitment to operating discipline, we will proactively implement additional cost actions,” Palkhiwala said on the August call. “Until we see sustained signs of improving fundamentals, our operating framework does not assume an immediate recovery.”

Apple relationship

The restructuring and job reductions comes a month after Apple unexpectedly extended an agreement to use modem chips from Qualcomm in its iPhones for three more years until 2026.

Qualcomm of course is known for making its own central processing chips for mobile devices including iPhones and iPads, based on technology from Cambridge-based tech firm ARM Holdings.

ARM and Apple recently extended their partnership through 2040 “and beyond”.

Apple is Qualcomm’s largest customer, accounting for nearly 25 percent of its revenues, and friction between the two firms in recent years has created doubts around the chip maker’s future prospects.

Apple had sued Qualcomm in 2017, saying its licensing fees were onerous, and began developing its own modem chips the following year.

The two companies became entangled in a wide range of intellectual property disputes up to 2019, when they abruptly settled their differences and agreed a new licensing deal.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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