(or not, the formatting is only broken via AJAX, refreshing the whole page proves it's good - bah! It's at times like this you regret not having an edit or delete button even if it only works for things you posted in the last few minutes)
Thanks Peter - that makes it very clear I think: ST-Ericsson is comparing what is nearly certainly a 45nm or 40nm product to the 65nm Qualcomm MDM8200 and 65nm Icera ICE8040. The former is notoriously power hungry, and the latter wasn't originally supposed to scale to 21Mbps but they did it anyway through higher voltages because there was a market opportunity (lower cost than Qualcomm and still slightly lower power).
But I'm still confused (and potentially impressed) about how they get to 50%. A very large part of the power consumption is the 3G power amplifier, which is not manufactured by the same vendors. A 50% reduction would imply a much larger reduction, perhaps 75% - which would be quite incredible, and makes me wonder why they wouldn't highlight that as well. Or maybe they are really not comparing like-for-like full-system power consumption, it's hard to be sure.
I might sound pessimistic above, but I'm actually impressed by the expected timeframe (1H11) for shipping smartphones. That means it has actually been sampling for quite some time, which makes it look better relative to its true 40nm competition. ST-Ericsson announced design wins for the M570 at Nokia some time ago; I'm starting to suspect it's actually the M5730 that got those design wins, not the M570. Curious marketing strategy if so, but good news for ST-E.
Now let's see how it holds up against another company making another major product announcement very shortly.
I did ask ST-Ericsson to provide the power consumption figure, to identify the competitor HSPA+ modem offerings (probably Qualcomm and Icera?) and also to state what process technology is used to implement the M5730 chip set.
The responses are in quotes. Let us know what you think or if you can shed light.
What is the power consumption of M5730 and what are the competing devices that ST-Ericsson has measured?
"21Mbps is today primarily launched through 5Volt USB dongles. ST-Ericsson measured commercially available USB dongles which we have bought in ordinary stores around in the world, devices using traditional OEM or operator brands. We have until this date found two competing chipsets which are sold as 21Mbps capable (Same chipsets are used in multiple products which we bought, one of them only sporadically reach 21Mbps and both competitor has a limitation in simultaneous 21Mbps down and 5.7Mbps uplink which M5730 manage all the time).
The USB standard regulates a maximum current consumption of 500mA. ST-Ericsson measurements shows that all available 21Mbps dongles today are either at the boarder or even above 500mA (why some of the USB dongles we bought even occupy two USB-slots). ST-Ericsson solution reduce this by 50% or more, the power consumption reduction is also applied for other voltage levels that are used in PCI mini card and smartphones."
What process technology is the M5730 implemented in? "We don´t disclose this type of information publically."
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.