MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--Chinese fabless semiconductor firm Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. has released two new low-cost, 600MHz Android smartphone platforms, made on a 40-nm process, aimed at ultra-cheap smartphones in the $40-50 range.
The SC8805G for TD-SCDMA and the SC6810 for EDGE/WiFi both come with a hardware reference design and compliance-tested software, which Spreadtrum says will accelerate time to market. Both are based on an ARM-9 600MHz processor which supports Android 2.2, 2D graphics, camera support up to 5MP, MPEG4 decoder and encoder, an HVGA touch screen LCD display and a range of connectivity options including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM and mobile TV.
Designs built using the platforms have already passed through China Mobile testing according to the firm, meaning the cheap smartphones should start appearing on shelves soon from over a dozen handset manufacturers, some even set to be released this month (December).
China Mobile has said it expects to sell over 30 million TD-SCDMA smart phones next year, most of which it predicts will come from the low-cost segment.
Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrumís president and chief executive officer said the firm had combined its expertise in 40-nm baseband platforms and highly integrated systems to push down the costs as much as possible, in order to make smartphone devices more accessible to consumers in China and emerging markets.
The SC6810 is designed for markets where 3G rollouts are still in development and EDGE/WiFi continues to offer the best coverage available. Spreadtrum noted that the ability to switch easily between a mobile network and Wi-Fi also put users more in control of their data usage.
Li said demand in both Spreadtrumís 2G and 3G business lines remained strong, and that reducing platform price would further accelerate the overall footprint for smartphones in China and emerging markets.
Android has acted as a huge boon to device manufacturers looking to enter the Chinese market with a cheap device, though previously the lowest end smartphones tended more towards the $100 price range.