Samples of its TD-LTE modem chip set are “in the hands of multiple OEMs and operators,” according to Dai, and are currently “going through a certification process.” While declining to name customers or launch timing, she expects the company’s new TD-LTE modem solution to have “a snowball effect” for Marvell’s global market penetration beyond China.
According to Forward Concepts, Marvell was ranked third on the global smartphone baseband chip market in the first half of 2012, after Qualcomm and Intel.
(Source: Forward Concepts)
As RIM’s share began to dwindle, Marvell turned to China Mobile with its single-chip TD-SCDMA solution – combined modem and apps processor – based on a single ARM v5 core. Samsung launched three new Galaxy handsets for China Mobile’s network in August using the PXA920 processor family, according to Marvell. Other design wins include smartphones by ZTE, Huawei, Asus and Sony-Ericsson. “We’ve built our reputation by the quality of our modem – with no dropped connection” in the Chinese market, Dai added.
Several Chinese industry sources in recent months criticized Marvell for its late entry in the multicore apps processor market for smartphones and tablets. Especially in China, dual-core apps processors are becoming the norm, with some even touting a quad-core solution.
Marvell responded by announcing in August its PXA988 and PXA986, each a single-chip solution based on dual ARM Cortex A9 application processors combined with a modem. The PXA 988 addresses the TD-SCDMA market and the PXA986 is designed for the WCDMA market.
The two solutions have attracted multiple customers “both in global tablet and smartphone segments,” Dai noted, but declined to identify customers.
While the U.S. chip industry is focused on smartphones and tablets, Dai stressed the importance of Marvell’s foray into the smart TV market. Marvell announced a design win this week (Oct. 22) for a DTV SoC platform in Lenovo’s Android smart TVs for the Chinese market.
Lenovo’s smart TVs includes features like a company-branded movie channel, Lenovo TV apps marketplace, a three-layer interface for apps, voice control and motion control.
Dai said she does not see smart TV as a standalone market separate from smartphones. Rather, she sees this is a part of an overall smart device system Marvell hopes to offer. Marvell is now betting its building blocks can be reused in a range of such smart devices.