Welcome to the BCM21892. It may sound like every other piece of Broadcom silicon we've covered, but it actually represents an important move from a company that is eager to start pecking at Qualcomm's lunch. First and foremost, this is a 4G modem for flagship phones rather than any budget fare, with support for LTE-Advanced and data speeds of up to 150Mb/s. To deliver that kind of performance, carriers either need 20MHz of contiguous bandwidth -- a rarity these days -- or they need carrier aggregation technology, which allows a modem to exploit separate chunks of bandwidth simultaneously. The BCM21892 boasts that spec too, not to mention compatibility with most of the popular network standards in use around the world, from the TD and FD types of LTE right down to HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/GSM. Finally, through a combination of small transistors (28nm) and clever algorithms, the chip is claimed to reduce power consumption by 25 percent compared to rival devices, and also to take up less space -- potentially leaving more room for other goodies (Broadcom suggests NFC). The chip is still only at the the sampling stage, however, so the folks at Qualcomm shouldn't have too much to worry about until at least 2014.
Broadcom Introduces Industry's Smallest 4G LTE-Advanced Modem for Smartphone and Tablet Market
New Solution with Integrated Radio and Support for All 3GPP Standards – including TD-SCDMA – Enables Global Roaming and Carrier Aggregation
IRVINE, Calif. – February 12, 2013
-- 28nm 4G LTE modem with integrated radio and cellular baseband reduces board area by approximately 35 percent
-- Solution supports all 3GPP standards technologies including 4G LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/GSM
-- Integrated IMS/VoLTE capability allows operators to deploy HD voice and other advanced features
-- Carrier aggregation enables operators to combine frequency bands and deliver peak 4G LTE speeds
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today introduced the industry's smallest 4G LTE-Advanced modem. Designed for the 4G LTE market, Broadcom's multi-mode, multi-band solution – the BCM21892 – delivers the features, power and performance capabilities for the development of next generation 4G LTE smartphones and tablets. Broadcom will showcase its 4G LTE innovations at the upcoming Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, February 25-28. For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.
Compliant with all 3GPP specifications, the BCM21892 combines a full-featured cellular baseband with a world-band radio in a footprint that is approximately 35 percent smaller than current industry solutions. Advanced power management techniques save up to 25 percent of the power typically consumed during data transmissions to the network. The new modem also supports LTE Category 4 speeds of 150Mbps1, operates in any 3GPP network and performs seamless hand-offs between the various 4G LTE, 3G and 2G interface technologies.
"Broadcom's new 4G LTE modem combined with our Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC technologies gives OEMs all the communications technologies needed to build advanced devices that will offer consumers the features, speed and functionality they demand in their next smartphone purchase," said Robert A. Rango, Broadcom
1 LTE Category 4 speeds of 150Mbps in 20MHz of spectrum or through carrier aggregation of multiple smaller spectrum bands Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Wireless Group. "Broadcom's 4G LTE modem will also help carriers drive new 4G LTE features, such as carrier aggregation, into commercial networks."
According to Peter Cooney, ABI Research, "4G LTE coverage is clearly seen as a competitive differentiator by carriers to meet consumer demand for better performance, and as network rollouts accelerate worldwide, manufacturers are responding with products for these markets. Based on its success in executing and integrating baseband processors, Broadcom is well positioned to deliver the latest mobile broadband technologies for these next generation devices."
To support operators' evolution to 4G LTE networks, the BCM21892 features the following:
-- A baseband with support for all current 3GPP standards technologies including LTE FDD and TDD, LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/GSM.
-- An integrated world-band radio that can support virtually any designated 3GPP LTE frequency band and combination, a critical capability as operators prepare their networks for 4G LTE roaming. The radio also deploys advanced power management techniques that can save up to 25 percent of the power typically used when sending data to the network.
-- A Voice over LTE (VoLTE) solution that enables high-definition voice calls over a mobile broadband connection – a key requirement of operators as they transition from legacy networks. Broadcom's VoLTE service consumes approximately 40 percent less power than a comparable WCDMA voice call.
-- Enhanced interoperability with Broadcom's wireless coexistence technology, which minimizes the possibility of radio interference between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 4G LTE, and enables carriers to provide a richer Wi-Fi offload experience.
-- Ability to interface with a broad range of stand-alone applications processors, allowing OEMs to design the 4G LTE solution into a wide variety of mobile devices.
BCM21892 is now sampling to early access customers, with anticipated production in 2014.
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Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a FORTUNE 500® company, is a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom® products seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments. With the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and embedded software solutions, Broadcom is changing the world by Connecting everything®. For more information, go to www.broadcom.com.