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Qualcomm announces a 'world band' 4G LTE baseband chip

A countermove to software defined radio
Fri Feb 22 2013, 12:10
Qualcomm Snapdragon tablet screen

CHIP DESIGNER Qualcomm has announced a "world band" 4G LTE baseband chip that supports 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies between 700 and 2700MHz.

Earlier this week Nvidia announced the Tegra 4i, which includes an Icera software defined modem that provides device makers with increased flexibility over hardware basebands.

Now Qualcomm has responded with a "world band" baseband chip that supports 4G. According to the firm, the RF360 chip supports frequencies between 700MHz and 2700MHz with improved power consumption and an integrated power amplifier and antenna switch.

A number of countries have deployed 4G networks, however the frequency bands vary, and Ofcom's recent UK spectrum auction highlighted some of frequencies that will be used in the UK.

Qualcomm is hoping that its "world band" baseband chip will lead device makers to choose its chip rather than having to change the internals of their smartphones for different regions.

Alex Katouzian, SVP of product management at Qualcomm said, "The wide range of radio frequencies used to implement 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks globally presents an ongoing challenge for mobile device designers.

"Where 2G and 3G technologies each have been implemented on four to five different RF bands globally, the inclusion of LTE brings the total number of cellular bands to approximately 40.

"Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support."

Qualcomm said that OEMs will launch devices that use its RF360 baseband chip in the second half of this year. µ


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