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Baseband processor cuts cost for 4G handsets

Posted: 18 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:baseband? processor? 4G handset?

With the need to reduce cost, real estate, and time-to-market for 4G multimode smart phones, Sandbridge Technologies has introduced its SB3500 flexible baseband processor. The SB3500 eases the 4G implementation in handsets entirely in software, which leads to cost and real estate savings by 15 percent to 20 percent. The baseband processor works in any radio protocol for a multimode, multifunction mobile platform such as LTE, HSPA, 3G, WiMAX, Wi-Fi, DVB-H, GPS and all multimedia formats.

The 3011, the first generation of its reprogrammable baseband chip, was released two years ago, but gained less than stellar market appeal. What the experience taught the company was letting both operators and handset OEMs recognize that the technology met performance characteristics, achieved real-time at commercial power levels, and passed the muster of testing. The marketplace, however, asked for a 4G capable version and now Sandbridge SB3500 chip is ready.

To address 4G, some of the setbacks to overcome included the bit rates that go up dramatically, from 2Mbit/s or 3Mbit/s over cellular, now to 50Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s, driving error corrections into a wide new range of performance needs. This, along with the other challenges, led to design changes and enhancements to the instruction set.

The SB3500 gives third-party application developers with a common platform based entirely on the C programming language, hastening the development and rapid distribution of new features and functions.

The software-based design of the SB3500 alters the landscape of the mobile industry by increasing the cost-efficient development and distribution of faster, more flexible ultramobile devices with the capacity for virtually unlimited communications protocols and multimedia applications. For consumers, it means that high value smart phones can be made available at mass-market pricing. The chip is currently available.

- Carolyn Mathas
EE Times

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