New Qualcomm chip sets add power, competition

The last few weeks have seen the age of "power phones" come a little bit closer. Last week, Nokia announced it would start producing more powerful CDMA chip sets in conjunction with Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics.

Then on Thursday, Qualcomm -- seen as the leader in the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) space -- made a four-part announcement that it, too, is releasing a more powerful set of chips that will become available next year.

"It's going to add a lot of heat in the game," said Tim Shelton, a senior analyst at Allied Business Intelligence in the US. "There is definitely a race to integrate components in the handset."

Shelton said the chip makers' goal is to consolidate as many jobs as possible on as few chips as possible inside the handsets. He pointed out that Qualcomm's announcement calls for a dual CPU on a single chip, which puts "two functions into one chip."

San Diego-based Qualcomm said the dual CPU will have one processor handling multimode modems and time-critical functions, with the second available as a general-purpose processor.

"We believe we can get a lower cost point and much lower power consumption," said Johan Lodenius, Qualcomm's senior vice president of marketing and product management. "The key things are cost and power."

That translates into a product that can serve as a central control point for all other appliances and devices in a person's life, Lodenius said. "Whatever it is, part PDA, part phone, part entertainment device, it's enabling you to carry all the data you need to carry and control the devices that you will encounter in your daily life, acting as a central hub for the consumer."

Lodenius said the chips were designed in part after consulting Qualcomm's customers looking for the convergence of digital photography and video, games and phones into single devices. In other words, the devices can handle broadcast quality images. "This market is going to really converge," he said.

But users of mobile devices probably won't begin to see such progress until 2005 or 2006.

Shelton said it is too early to tell how the competition between Nokia and Qualcomm will shake out. He said he has not seen anything in the early stages of these announcements that gives one design a definitive advantage over the other.

In the end it will be up to the handset manufacturers themselves, he said.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Sullivan

Computerworld
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?