Broadcom announces quad-core HSPA+ chipset destined for budget Android phones

Broadcom is no stranger to the budget-friendly lineup for carriers and OEMs around the globe -- especially in emerging markets -- but quad-core chipsets are just gaining traction in this arena. Granted, companies like MediaTek have already begun cranking out low-cost four-core Cortex-A7 SoCs for markets like China and India, but a little friendly competition doesn't hurt anyone, right? This is the case with the BCM23550, a 1.2GHz A7 quad-core processor capable of HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps down and 5Mbps up and is optimized to run on Android 4.2 devices. The new piece of silicon also supports HD Voice and 12MP cameras with H.264 1080p video capture and playback, and offers the usual litany of connectivity options such as NFC, Bluetooth, 5G WiFi, RFID and GPS. It even features dual HD (720p) display support which is compatible with Miracast. Lastly, it's also pin-to-pin compatible with Broadcom's dual-core BCM21664T, which means manufacturers already using that particular chipset can reduce the amount of time spent on R&D and handset design. If you're curious, expect the chips to begin production in early Q3, right around the corner.

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Broadcom Introduces New Quad-Core HSPA+ Processor

First Quad-Core Platform with 5G WiFi, NFC, GPS and Indoor Positioning

IRVINE, Calif. – June 13, 2013

News Highlights:

· Quad ARM Cortex A7 processor provides superior computing power for an immersive user experience at an affordable price point

· VideoCore® multimedia supports "dual HD" with simultaneous high-definition output to smartphones and Miracast-enabled large screens such as TVs

· Turnkey solution integrates cellular baseband, touchscreen controller, PMU, RFIC and Broadcom's connectivity technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and advanced indoor positioning capabilities

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced a quad-core HSPA+ processor designed for high-performance, entry-level smartphones. The BCM23550 is the company's newest smartphone platform optimized for the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system (OS). For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.

According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the first quarter of 2013 marked the first time that smartphones comprised more than half of all phones shipped globally.1 This growth is driven by mass market consumers who demand affordable devices that deliver increased functionality and a level of performance that was previously available only in higher-end superphones. The BCM23550, and its turnkey design, are powered by a quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz, VideoCore multimedia and an integrated HSPA+ cellular baseband that provides enhanced, power-efficient features for entry-level smartphones.

"Broadcom's new quad-core solution allows OEMs to deliver the multi-tasking, graphics-rich capabilities required in today's smartphones, while still appealing to consumers seeking superior performance at affordable prices," said Rafael Sotomayor, Broadcom Vice President, Product Marketing, Mobile Platform Solutions. "By combining the performance benefits of a quad-core solution with high-end features like 5G WiFi, globally certified NFC technology, and advanced indoor positioning technology, the platform offers device manufacturers a flexible and cost-effective path to address the affordable smartphone segment."

The BCM23550 supports "dual HD," allowing users to simultaneously share high-definition content from a small handheld screen to a larger, Miracast-enabled display. It includes leading VideoCore technology for fluid, responsive graphics and incorporates power management techniques to optimize battery life and reduce power consumption without compromising the user experience. The platform provides an integrated Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports up to 12-megapixel sensors with advanced imaging capabilities such as blink and smile detection, face tracking, red eye reduction, fast shot to shot (burst capture), zero shutter lag, and best picture selection. With contactless terminals proliferating worldwide, the BCM23550 platform also integrates NFC with native support for simplified connectivity and mobile payments systems like QuickTap from China UnionPay.

The new quad-core solution is coupled with Broadcom's connectivity suite, which includes Broadcom's leading 5G WiFi technology, multi-constellation GNSS support, and advanced indoor location capabilities to enable ubiquitous positioning both indoors and outdoors. Together, the BCM23550 offers a complete, integrated turnkey solution that enables OEMs to expedite production of full-featured, high-performance 3G smartphones while lowering development costs. Additionally, it is pin-to-pin compatible with BCM21664T, a dual-core HSPA+ platform, allowing handset manufacturers to leverage existing designs and accelerate time to market.

"Since the primary use of mobile phones has evolved from making calls to serving as pocket-sized computers, users have grown to expect fast computing power. Premium features, such as Broadcom's quad-core platform, offer a compelling user experience and will further spur the adoption of entry-level smartphones," said Les Santiago, IDC Research Director, Wireless Semiconductors.

Key Features:

· Quad 1.2GHz A7 CPU with ARM® NEON™ technology

· 21 Mbps (Megabits per second) of HSPA+ downstream connectivity, 5.8 Mbps of upstream connectivity

· Dual HD display support with 720p LCD and external HD panel via Wi-Fi Miracast-capable displays

· High-performance graphics based on VideoCore IV multimedia technology, for enhanced 3D gaming and other graphics-rich applications

· Integrated image signal processor (ISP) with support up to 12 megapixels

· High quality H.264 full HD (1080p30) camcorder and video playback

· Power management techniques that increase efficiency of cellular RF chip and optimize performance based on workload demands

· HD voice support for high-quality voice calls with advanced dual-mic noise cancellation technology

· GPS/GLONASS, WLAN , MEMS, and Cell ID for the best indoor/outdoor location

· NFC solution supports all major NFC specifications including NFC Forum, EMVCo, and the China UnionPay QuickTap mobile wallet

· Industry-leading, lowest power 3G/2G dual SIM-dual standby to enable global markets

· Compliant with ARM TrustZone® and GlobalPlatform for system-level security


The BCM23550 is currently sampling with production expected in the third quarter of 2013.