SAN JOSE, Calif. – Renesas Mobile Corp. announced it aims to ship before the end of the year an integrated LTE applications processor. The MP5232 is a single chip that supports both LTE and HSPA+, competing with a roughly similar chip Qualcomm said it aims to ship in June.
The MP5232 supports multi-mode FDD and TDD-LTE Category 4 links as well as 3G nets including Edge. It also includes two 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex 9 cores and an Imagination SGX543MP2 graphics core.
Engineers have brought up Android 4.0 and some graphics routines on first silicon of the chip that Renesas got from the fab four weeks ago. It expects to have samples available before April and production before the end of the year.
The company did not provide details on the cost, size or power consumption of the MP5232. It is based in part on an existing integrated LTE baseband, the SP2531 now used in some 4G data cards.
The Renesas chip will compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8960, also known as S4 or Krait. The Qualcomm device also includes an integrated LTE baseband with support for TDD and FDD versions including China’s TD-SCDMA standard and more than four active 4G and 3G spectrum bands.
Qualcomm designed the dual ARM cores in its part which it claims are feature-compatible to the Cortex A15 and provide a fully out-of-order architecture, issuing three instructions per cycle. The company said the Snapdragon S4 will be in production in June at CPU core speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 GHz.
Earlier this year, a Renesas executive said the company aims to provide lower cost alternatives to Qualcomm. The MP5232 could enable 4G smartphones that cost as little as $150, the company said.
Renesas's corporate parent is one of three Japanese chip companies forming a new SoC joint venture. The mobile unit is one of nearly a dozen companies competing in the hotly contested space of smartphone processors.
“We are seeing a number of US$600+ LTE super phone devices being launched in the market, but the industry needs a wider penetration of LTE devices for the business case for LTE to pay off,” said Jean-Marie Rolland, chief technology officer for Renesas Mobile, speaking in a press statement.
"It becomes increasingly challenging adding LTE to an already packed mobile devices that are required to support different legacy modes and bands,” said Malik Saadi, a principal analyst with market watcher Informa Telecoms Media, also speaking in the press statement.
The acquisition of the Modem Design Team (~1000 people) of Nokia by Renesas Electronics in CY2010 was well publicized. Before that, there were reports of LTE modem development at Renesas Technology. With ST-E, Qualcomm, Renesas all announced the integrated LTE/HSPA+ modem, it would be interesting to see when MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Marvell, Boardcom, MStar, Via, Nvidia are going to go to production with their similar development.
Renesas is no novice to modem technology development. Even before Renesas acquired Nokia's modem team, Renesas had been already working with Nokia to develop their LTE modem chips. There is a long history there.
Read the back story here:
"Renesas Mobile Corp. announced what appears to be one of the first integrated multimode LTE baseband processors for mobile devices. The MP5232 is a single chip that supports both LTE and HSPA+, aimed at enabling $150-300 devices."
According to the press release, this is not only a baseband chip, but instead a SoC solution with integrated application processor (dual-core A9 @1.5 GHz), graphics accelerator etc.
"The reference designs presumably include the company’s 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM-based applications processor."
According to above, indeed it does, it's built in.
The press release was less than clear, but the way I read it the new baseband is part of a "platform" (i.e. system reference design) that can be paired with an existing apps processor.
I have sent questions to Renesas but received no reply yet.
Indeed article above is not having correct information. RMC announced integrated multi mode modem almost one year ago. This platform is having APE integrated with multi mode modem. Details are there on website as well:
Ok, fair enough, might be that I misunderstood this the other way around.
In that case, the picture in the press release (http://renesasmobile.com/news-events/news/news-20120215-LTE-Triple-Mode-Platform-Optimised-For-Full-Featured-High-Volume-Smartphones.html) really would be misleading, as it implies the both the baseband and application processor with graphics accelerator etc. are all included within a single "communications processor".
Let's see if this gets clarified.