Marvell was first to introduce a single-chip LTE world modem
with support for multiple mobile standards late last year, and now Panasonic Mobile Communications, NTT DoCoMo, NEC and Fujitsu have developed intellectual property (hardware and software) for something similar of their own. Specifically, the quartet has gone further with the chip aspect. They've tested an "engineering sample" of a large-scale integration chip (pictured) for modems in mobile devices, and claim that it uses twenty percent less juice than larger two-chip designs. That consolidation, also makes it cheaper to produce. Past that, the chip has successfully provided "interconnectivity between the mobile networks of major vendors," getting it a step closer to production. The silicon lets modems play nice with FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE,
GSM, W-CDMA and HSPA+, specifically, and LTE-Advanced
support is in the cards for the future. Although Panasonic, DoCoMo, NEC and Fujitsu are the main partners, other "major players" are said to be on board for a "joint venture," with the goal of commercializing it in countries outside of (and including) Japan. The word's mum on when we can expect the chip to make it past the sampling phase, but in the meantime, hit up the press release after the break for more knowledge.
DOCOMO, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Fujitsu Jointly Develop LSI Intellectual Property for Multi-standard Modem
TOKYO, JAPAN, February 24, 2012 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC., NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. and Fujitsu Limited announced today that they have jointly developed the software and hardware intellectual property for a single large-scale integration (LSI) chip that will enable small, energy-efficient modems to support the GSM, W-CDMA, HSPA+ and LTE mobile standards. Performance evaluation of the LSI engineering sample chip was completed previously, and as of today, all testing required to confirm interconnectivity to the mobile networks of major vendors has also been completed.
The development means that modems in future mobile devices will require just one chip, rather than two chips required in many conventional cases, in order to operate on multiple mobile standards. The single chip reduces power consumption by about 20% during both communication and stand-by, as well as decreases the production cost for mobile devices.
All mobile broadband standards supported by the chip meet 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications. The LTE standard supports FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) mode adopted by DOCOMO and TDD (Time Division Duplexing) mode expected to be adopted for LTE networks in China and other markets, which will help to further the development of advanced mobile devices by manufacturers worldwide.
The four partners, in addition to other major players in the mobile technology field, working through a joint venture currently being planned, aim to commercialize the chip in Japan and other countries as quickly as possible in response to market demands for smaller and more affordable mobile devices. The group additionally plans to pursue development of a multi-standard chip that is also compliant with the LTE-Advanced next-generation transmission standard.