Qualcomm's decisive lead hasn't stopped companies like MediaTek, Marvell and Spreadtrum from going after the LTE market as the "Qualcomm alternative."
Depending on the heritage of each competitor’s modem business,
the degree of support for legacy modems differ. For example,
Spreadtrum, a leading TD-SCDMA modem chip supplier, is still working on
its own WCDMA solution.
I asked Fujitsu if the new chip from
the mobile joint venture will support TD-SCDMA. She
responded, “No, not in the current generation chip we’ve just finished.”
She added, however: “being compatible with global standards is our
For any chip company looking for a TD-LTE design win with
China Mobile, support for TD-SCDMA is a must. China Mobile demands that
every TD-LTE solution must offer true multi-standard,
Once again, that’s precisly how Qualcomm
is goingto win the battle since it is p to offer a
TD-SCDMA/TD-LTE reference design.
As Will Strauss, president of
Forward Concepts, noted in his recent blog, “Qualcomm aims to be the
first with a TD-SCDMA/TD-LTE solution which fits like a glove with China
Mobile’s long-term plan. This will be the company’s third generation
Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD).”
Strauss said Qualcomm’s QRD
solution will be a Snapdragon S4 plus MSM8930 platform featuring
a dual-core processor based on its Krait architecture. It will support UMTS,
CDMA, TC-SCDMA, TD- and FDD-LTE, providing solutions that can help
all operators in China.
Around the first quarter of 2013, we’ll
see the LTE baseband race begin in earnest. It will be fought not with
power point presentations, but in the commercial, volume market.