Broadcom has just announced that it has successfully developed a brand new processor that is capable of integrating all key 3G cellular and mobile technologies not on a single device, but onto a single chip instead. It is said that this new chip will operate at ridiculously low power, hence enabling cellphone manufacturers to construct new 3G handsets that will be more compact than those available in the market today, endowed with extremely long battery lives. Not only that, this new 3G chip will be extremely cheap , costing a fraction of today’s price, which means 3G handsets no longer need to be in the domain of the well-heeled as even entry level handsets by then would be able to incorporate this chip at very little cost to the end user.
This new 3G “Phone on a Chip” will provide support for the quartet of next-generation cellular technologies used throughout the world: HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), and EDGE (enhanced data for GSM evolution). In addition, it will also be able to transmit and receive FM radio on a car stereo should you want to tune in to some stations for a change (considering how the iPod and other portable media players are the main source of music for most people these days). Just when you thought that was good enough, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to note that Santa dropped by earlier this year, since this 3G chip will also feature Bluetooth connectivity as well as processing capability for a 5 megapixel camera.
Broadcom proudly declares that it is currently at least a year ahead of its competitors (Texas Instruments and Qualcomm) where integrating so much functionality onto a single chip is concerned, and claims that this chip is currently available to a select group of Broadcom customers. It would definitely be interesting to see the impact of such a chip make its way to the market. I, for one, can’t wait.