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Qualcomm gearing up to produce 4G LTE chips for Apple's next iPhone

post #1 of 19
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Chipmakers are preparing for production of Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, including Qualcomm, which is said to be providing high-speed 4G long-term evolution chips produced using a 28-nanometer process.

Qualcomm is expected to build its 4G LTE chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, supply chain sources shared with DigiTimes. Qualcomm will need about 10,000 28-nanometer 12-inch wafers, representing one-third of the 28-nanometer capacity at TSMC, just to produce 4G chips for the next iPhone, the report said.

Also relying on TSMC's 28-nanometer process for the next iPhone will be Broadcom, which is expected to provide Wi-Fi chips to Apple. And OmniVision is also said to be looking to get in on TSMC's 12-inch fabrication process.

The report noted that TSMC's "tight production capacity" for its 28-nanometer process will also have customers Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Altera, Xilinx and others. It's expected that it will be difficult for TSMC to meet market demand for the 28-nanometer process until it can produce 50,000 units a month around the fourth quarter of 2012.

With supply constraints in mind, STMicroelectronics is said to be ramping up output of MEMS devices for Apple's next iPhone. Similarly, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments are reportedly stockpiling inventory of analog integrated circuits to meet Apple's demand.

Barclays


In March it was said that Apple was in the process of reviewing potential components for the company's next-generation LTE 4G iPhone. Among the parts Apple was expected to utilize by Barclays was Qualcomm's "MDM9615" LTE chip, which supports both voice and data connections on high-speed 4G networks.

Analysts at Barclays also said at the end of May that Apple had "locked down" suppliers of important radio chips for the sixth-generation iPhone. Companies said to have been selected by Apple included Skyworks, Avago Technologies, and TriQuint.
post #2 of 19
Let's stop calling this the 6th generation phone, shall we? At All Things D, Tim Cook was asked about that. He indicated quite strongly that the 3G series was the same generation, as are the 4 series. This is the 6th phone, but perhaps only the 3rd or 4th generation.
post #3 of 19
I hope this isn't a radically new Qualcomm chip that requires many months of new drivers before it's working properly across the majority of devices. The reason I returned my 4S was specifically because of the Qualcomm baseband processor issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Let's stop calling this the 6th generation phone, shall we? At All Things D, Tim Cook was asked about that. He indicated quite strongly that the 3G series was the same generation, as are the 4 series. This is the 6th phone, but perhaps only the 3rd or 4th generation.

It's the 6th generation by all realistic accounts. You can't look at some of the HW and say it's not the 6th generation device simply because not all of the HW radically changes YoY. By that logic we could be calling the iPhone 3G to the 4S the 3rd gen. because it has 3G cellular tech. The non-Retina MBPs are the next generation of non-Retina MBPs because they have the new Intel chipset and USB 3.0. It's quick simple.

generation |ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən|
noun
• a single stage in the development of a type of product:

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post #4 of 19

First off, while this 'rumor' is probably obvious, enough with the DIGITIMES!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
It's the 6th generation by all realistic accounts. You can't look at some of the HW and say it's not the 6th generation device simply because not all of the HW radically changes YoY. By that logic we could be calling the iPhone 3G to the 4S the 3rd gen. because it has 3G cellular tech. The non-Retina MBPs are the next generation of non-Retina MBPs because they have the new Intel chipset and USB 3.0. It's quick simple.
generation |ˌʤɛnəˈreɪʃən|
noun
• a single stage in the development of a type of product:

 

Agreed. It's the 6th phone. However I doubt any of it matters as it will probably follow the iPad convention and just be the new iPhone or less likely iPhone LTE, with no number attached at all.

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post #5 of 19

TD-SCDMA means China Mobile (finally) gets to market the iPhone directly and in a significant way.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Qualcomm will need about 10,000 28-nanometer 12-inch wafers, representing one-third of the 28-nanometer capacity at TSMC, just to produce 4G chips for the next iPhone, the report said.

Per month, perhaps?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by niji View Post

TD-SCDMA means China Mobile (finally) gets to market the iPhone directly and in a significant way.

For stockholder's sake I hope they ink a deal with China Mobile.

PS: Doesn't the current iPhone baseband also support TS-SCDMA, just not the other HW needed?

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post #8 of 19
The illustration indicates a lot of bands, but anyone with insight here who could explain whether it's world 4G LTE or locked to north American frequencies?
post #9 of 19

Current iPhones do not support TD-SCDMA.

 

Only China developed its own standard TD-SCDMA, presumably to avert patent royalty payments to Qualcomm and others.

 

However, it is is moot. Since the evolution of TD-SCDMA is actually TD-LTE, which this chip also supports. 

Currently China Mobile has trials well along in 7 cities for TD-LTE, and has announced plans for coastal city rollout of TD-LTE in 2013.

This chip gives China Mobile the ability in this year 2012 to take advantage of an iPhone that may use this chip, on its already in place TD-SCDMA network, and as it builds out TD-LTE next year. 

 

TD-LTE is the path for China Mobile (China), Bharti (india), Softbank (Japan), and Clear (USA). All using unpaired spectrum which is cheaper than the spectrum needed for FD-LTE (which is being supported by ATT, Verison, Sprint (USA) and docomo (Japan), and most of the other places in the world).


Edited by niji - 6/15/12 at 7:23am
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Let's stop calling this the 6th generation phone, shall we? At All Things D, Tim Cook was asked about that. He indicated quite strongly that the 3G series was the same generation, as are the 4 series. This is the 6th phone, but perhaps only the 3rd or 4th generation.

It's the 6th generation. Hardware update = generation.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #11 of 19

Does anyone know if these Qualcomm wonders will work with all variants of the various telcos version of LTE or will the USA still enjoy a fragmented cell carrier architecture?  You know, Verizon CDMA, Sprint CDMA, ATT GSM, T-Mobile GSM but with AWS and no spectrum that allows for iPhone.

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post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


It's the 6th generation. Hardware update = generation.

 

Iphone 1,1

Iphone 3G 1,2

Iphone 3Gs 2,1

Iphone 4 3,1

Iphone 4 CDMA 3,3

Iphone 4S 4,1

The new Iphone 5,1

 

Apple thinks its Iphone 5,1  (the next version) 

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Iphone 1,1
Iphone 3G 1,2
Iphone 3Gs 2,1
Iphone 4 3,1
Iphone 4 CDMA 3,3
Iphone 4S 4,1
The new Iphone 5,1

Apple thinks its Iphone 5,1  (the next version) 

Meaning it's the 6th generation. Period. Apple couldn't care less about model identifiers in the real world. Apple obviously doesn't think anything of model identifiers, otherwise the iPhone 4 would have been "iPhone 3".

Come on.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #14 of 19
You really need to get over this!! It is Apples product and thus they get to identify the generations.

As to iPhone 5.1, what are you guys going to do if it is marketed along side an updated iPhone4s? If as rumors are suggesting that this coming device is larger, it might represent what Apple sees as a generation one device. Doesn't really matter though because people put to much emotion into this discussion that means nothing.

In the end you don't get to define the generation of the product, Apple has done that for us. I might add they have apparently done so in a more rational manner than many on his board.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Meaning it's the 6th generation. Period. Apple couldn't care less about model identifiers in the real world. Apple obviously doesn't think anything of model identifiers, otherwise the iPhone 4 would have been "iPhone 3".
Come on.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by softeky View Post

Quote:
Qualcomm will need about 10,000 28-nanometer 12-inch wafers, representing one-third of the 28-nanometer capacity at TSMC, just to produce 4G chips for the next iPhone, the report said.
Per month, perhaps?

 

Any idea of the number of chips per wafer produced and the expected yield percentage?

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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

The illustration indicates a lot of bands, but anyone with insight here who could explain whether it's world 4G LTE or locked to north American frequencies?

 

Yes, this is very important.

 

Saying "LTE Support" doesn't mean much as most carriers are using incompatible frequencies for their LTE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-UTRA#Frequency_bands_and_channel_bandwidths

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

Yes, this is very important.

Saying "LTE Support" doesn't mean much as most carriers are using incompatible frequencies for their LTE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-UTRA#Frequency_bands_and_channel_bandwidths

And saying "locked to North American frequencies" isn't accurate even though I do know what palegolas means. It all boils down to how many LTE operating bands the chosen baseband can support at once.

We know the iPhone 4 was the 2nd phone to ship with a penta-band support and it included 5 bands even though only 4 bands were ever used. Whilst LTE does help solidify the world's '4G' mobile technologies more than the '3G' of UMTS and CDMA2000 based networks there is a much greater issue with operating bands. Wikipedia lists an amazingly high number, 43, operating bands for E-UTRA, the new air interface used for LTE. About half of them are used and I'd say about 10 are needed to satisfy near everyone that would complain on these forums. I am skeptical that even 5 could be added in a 2012 smartphone, much less 10. Also note that the US needs at least 3 operating bands for LTE.


PS: In case anyone is wondering the 5th operating band HW was not for T-Mobile USA but looks like it would have been compatible with Japan's largest carrier, NTT docomo, which is still a major holdout.

PPS: I'm using the industry term operating band over frequency band as differences in uplink and downlink frequencies and variations within a band can result in a different operating band designation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Any idea of the number of chips per wafer produced and the expected yield percentage?
I've researched this all day and have an answer for you...




At least one and less than infinity. I hope this helps.

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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I've researched this all day and have an answer for you...

At least one and less than infinity. I hope this helps.

Hehe Classic!

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post #19 of 19
Is this the same LTE chipset that's used on the North American versions of HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III?
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