Chips will support all 7 major transmissions standards, any frequency between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz

Earlier this month Broadcom Corp. (BRCMfired a volley at smartphone semiconductor rival Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), announcing sampling of the BCM21892, a 28 nm advanced LTE (150 Mbps and voice-over-LTE (voLTE)) modem chip.

Now Qualcomm is firing back, unveiling an alternative solution dubbed RF360.  Unlike the Broadcom design, Qualcomm's solutions involve multiple chips (which it sounds like will be incorporated into a single package).  However, they offer unique capabilities that Broadcom's solution will not, plus they will be available sooner.

Shipping in the second half of 2013, the new Qualcomm chipset will support all seven major wireless modes used worldwide -- LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE.  

The chipset incorporates a dynamic antenna tuner, which allows the solution to operate anywhere between 700 MHz and 2700 MHz.  It also allows the antenna to adjust to "physical signal impediments" (e.g. buildings).  There's also a special power tracker chip, which helps cut power use in 3G and 4G modes by up to 30 percent.  And there's an antenna switching/CMOS power amplifier (PA) to allow seamless transitions between 2G, 3G, and 4G signals.

Qualcomm Snapdragon on Nokia
The new signal processing chips complement Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 4 CPU.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Qualcomm is encouraging OEMs to pair the new chipset with its flagship Snapdragon system-on-a-chip design.  That might seem a little redundant, given the on-die LTE modem in Snapdragon 4 chips, but the chipset provides many other perks, and also allows handsets to target a much broader set of global LTE options.

The chipmaker also announced a RF transceiver solution -- the WTR1625L -- which incorporates on-die support for various positioning services, including GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Source: Qualcomm

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