Panasonic, et al. Consolidate 3G/4G Chips Into Single Chip for Intl. Phones
February 25, 2012 2:40 PM
comment(s) - last by
New chip can handle common 3G and 4G communications standards of Japan, China, and U.S.
The wireless communications hardware market is rapidly changing. Later this year Qualcomm, Inc. (
) will ship product
with on-die LTE modems
. And Intel Corp. (
) recently unveiled
an experimental version of its Atom CPU
, which succeeded in the even more daunting task of packing analog components for an on-die Wi-Fi modem.
However, if you want a true
3G/4G "international" phone
, optimized for all the different frequencies of different regional networks, you still need two more extra chip, in addition to your core system-on-a-chip (SoC). For a small phone like the iPhone those extra chips can be a dealbreaker.
But a coalition of top Japanese chipmakers -- NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (
), NEC Corporation (
), Panasonic Corp. (
) subsidiary Panasonic Mobile Communications Comp., Ltd., and Fujitsu Ltd. (
) -- have come together to consolidate all those chips into a single chip [
The new multi-modem combines circuitry from multiple chips into a single die
for international phones. [Image Source: NTT DoCoMo]
The new chip combines hardware and digital processing software to make a single single large-scale integration (LSI) package. It will likely be first seen in individual packaged chips, but could eventually be incorporated into licensees' SoC designs, as well.
The chip contains support for major alternative standards. For example, where the U.S. use frequency dependent duplexing long-term evolution (4G LTE), the chip also support's China's slightly different time dependent duplexing LTE (4G TD-LTE).
The chip also packs HSPA+ (a common advanced 3G technology on networks in the U.S. and abroad), W-CDMA (a 3G technology in Japan), and GSM (the world's most used 3G standard).
The chip isn't perfect. Noticably absent is support for WiMAX (an alternative 4G standard),
TD-CDMA (China, 3G)
, and CDMA2000 (U.S., 3G) -- among others. Still the new chip goes a long way towards consolidating the slew of chips in your average international phone, and guarantees that in most of the world's top makets (U.S., China, Japan, EU, etc.) that you'll have at least one or two compatible networks.
Looking ahead, while daunting interference and size challenges remain, it is very feasible that within the next five years expect the industry's top innovators to combine their analog and digital radio-processing equipment into a single on-die piece of silicon capable of handling virtually every Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, and beyond wireless communications standard. Such a super-chip will revolutionize the industry -- and global communications -- when it arrives. Until then, chips like this new multi-standards modem represent important baby steps towards that goal.
NTT DoCoMo, et al.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/26/2012 4:07:45 PM
" Noticably absent is support for WiMAX (an alternative 4G standard)"
WiMAX is dead. The best ideas in it have been taken up by LTE. Even the South Koreans have abandoned it. It made perfect sense for this chip not to have it.
"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
One Chip to Rule Them All: Intel Bakes Wi-Fi On-Die on "Rose Point" SOC
February 20, 2012, 11:42 AM
Qualcomm Unleashes Dual and Quad-core 2.5GHz Mobile ARM SoCs
February 14, 2011, 10:01 AM
Verizon Leak: 1.3 GHz Droid Pro, Android 3.0 Tablet, and LTE All Incoming
August 9, 2010, 2:05 PM
Motorola Scores Massive $310M USD China Cell Phone Contract
May 15, 2009, 9:06 AM
MSI's AMD Richland (A10)/Neptune (7/8xxxM) Gaming Notebooks Start at $1,299 USD
May 22, 2013, 3:15 PM
Apples Tries to Use Decade-Old Patents to Ban Samsung Galaxy S IV
May 22, 2013, 3:00 PM
Intel Shake-Up to Focus on Mobile, New Devices
May 22, 2013, 11:04 AM
Report: DISH CEO Makes Aggressive $2B USD Bid for LightSquared's Spectrum
May 20, 2013, 10:25 PM
Apple Releases Tim Cook's Testimony on Corporate Tax Laws
May 20, 2013, 7:40 PM
Apple's Tim Cook to Talk Profit Shifting, Taxes at U.S. Senate Hearing
May 20, 2013, 1:44 PM
Most Popular Articles
High School Student Creates Storage Device that Can Charge in 20 Seconds
May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM
Seawater Cooling Saves Data Center Big Bucks, Energy, Despite Jellyfish Issues
May 17, 2013, 3:23 PM
Newegg Legal Chief: "We don't Feed the Trolls"; Defeats Bell Lab Shell Comp.
May 17, 2013, 10:11 AM
Former Intel CEO Regrets Passing Up on iPhone Gravy Train
May 17, 2013, 11:46 AM
NASA Awards $125,000 Grant for 3D Printed Food on Long-Term Space Travels
May 21, 2013, 1:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Lumosity: Does it Work?
May 22, 2013, 8:20 PM
Quick Note: Sony "Teases" PS4 Ahead of Xbox Reveal in New Video
May 20, 2013, 12:33 PM
Nokia Introduces Instagram-Like App of Its Own to Help Lumia Sales
May 20, 2013, 7:10 AM
Parents of Pre-Teen Drivers Commonly Practice Distracted Driving Says Study
May 9, 2013, 7:16 AM
Apple's iOS 7 Running Into Internal Delays Due to Massive Overhaul
May 1, 2013, 4:26 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2013 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information