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.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Sullivan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?