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Smartphone SoC brings high-speed uplink to low-end phones

Feb 9, 2010 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Broadcom announced an ARM11-based SoC (system-on-chip) intended to provide low- and mid-range smartphones with HSUPA (high-speed uplink packet access networking). Providing data uploads at up to 5.8Mbps, the BCM21553 runs Android or Windows Mobile, includes a “high performance 3D graphics core,” and supports cameras up to eight megapixels, the company says.

Like Broadcom's 2007 BCM2153, the BCM21553 is said to have been produced using a 65nm process. Other similar traits are said to include the integration of a baseband modem with application, audio, and multimedia processing, as well as the provision of HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) data downloads at up to 7.2MBps. Yet again, the SoC includes an ARM11 core (clock speed as yet unspecified this time around), which is now designed to run either Android or Windows Mobile, according to the company.

But Broadcom has added more than just an extra digit to the SoC's name. It's said that the BCM21553 newly supports HSUPA (high speed uplink packet access), permitting data to be uploaded at up to 5.8Mbps. This fact will make phones built around the chip more suitable for consumers who want to take pictures or record video, and then share the content with others, the company says.

According to Broadcom, the BCM21553's baseband processor supports 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) release 6 and 7. Meanwhile, the company claims, its PRISM (programmable interference suppression module) technology mitigates interference from radio signals emanating from neighboring cells, providing better performance in high-interference environments.

Broadcom says the BCM21553 also integrates a "high-performance 3D graphics core," with full support for OpenGL ES 2.0. Supported display sizes range up to HVGA (480 x 320 pixels), with H.264 video being encoded at 30 frames per second, the company adds.

The above figures as well as the use of an ARM11 core suggest that the BCM21553 targets low- to mid-range smartphones rather than high-end devices. However, maintaining the SoC's focus on content creation for the masses, Broadcom says its chip will support camera resolutions of up to eight megapixels.

Also announced was the BCM2091, a "highly integrated" cellular transceiver designed to provide RF connectivity for the BCM21553. The transceiver supports multi-mode (EDGE/GPRS/GSM and WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA) and multi-band (850/900/1800/1900/2100MHz) applications, and may be configured to interface with single-chain or multi-chain, multi-mode power amplifiers, the company says.

Jim Tran, VP and GM of Broadcom's mobile communications line of business, stated, "With the introduction of our new BCM21553 HSUPA baseband processor and BCM2091 RF transceiver solutions, we are now enabling a new generation of increasingly affordable handsets that will offer the fastest cellular connectivity available, as well as the most popular smartphone features including wireless connectivity and diverse mobile applications."

Availability

According to Broadcom, the BCM21553 SoC and BCM2091 transceiver are both available now, though pricing was not specified. A "fully proven and tested reference design, including other Broadcom connectivity solutions (such as Bluetooth, WLAN, GPS and FM), will also be provided, the company says.

While Broadcom does not appear to have released block diagrams or detailed specifications publicly, more information on the BCM21553 and BCM2091 may be found on the company's website here and here, respectively.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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