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Latest iPhone 2.0 beta reveals 3G chipset

post #1 of 89
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Hidden away in the latest test firmware for iPhone developers is the mention of the chipset that will likely power third-generation cellular Internet access in Apple's next generation of the device.

Discovered by the creators of the popular ZiPhone jailbreak and unlocking utility, a small, nondescript entry in the new firmware used to identify the phone's chipset refers to a device known as "SGOLD3."

Sleuthing reveals this to be an Infineon chipset, the SGOLD3H (PDF), which both supplies the baseband for cellular data on GSM phones and serves equally as a general application accelerator and an audiovisual processor.

The iPhone currently uses a predecessor of the chipset, the SGOLD2, to drive its communication link.

However, the new chipset is distinguished from this earlier hardware (also listed in the iPhone firmware) for its 3G cellular data access. Unlike the EDGE-only chipset from the current Apple handset, the new Infineon hardware not only adds 3G over HSDPA but runs up to the international standard's newer 7.2 megabit per second spec -- twice the speed of the 3.6-megabit access seen on most HSDPA networks.

It also supports WCDMA, a related 3G technology needed for countries such as Japan and Korea, where the GSM service used by Europe and North America is rare to non-existent. Analysts have already warned that Apple's planned expansion into Asia this year will demand 3G.

However, the chipset doesn't take full advantage of AT&T's planned 3G expansion this year. The exclusive home of the iPhone in the US is currently upgrading to HSUPA, an improvement over HSDPA that dramatically improves upload speeds. The Infineon chipset provides faster downloads than normal HSDPA but doesn't address upstream connections beyond what's already provided in the older 3G standard.

Still, the newly discovered hardware references all but confirm the dependence of a 3G iPhone launch on Apple's firmware overhaul, which is officially scheduled to debut sometime in June. It also corroborates past claims by analysts that predicted an Infineon chip at the heart of an iPhone upgrade due in mid-year.

The introduction of a 3G iPhone is considered essential not just to the delivery of the iPhone to more areas but also to deliver services over cellular networks that typically suffer over slower EDGE connections, such as large downloads from the upcoming App Store.

Infineon's processor also enables new options for video that aren't present in the SGOLD2, such as live recording and two-way video calls, though only unverified rumors have so far suggested that Apple will add a front camera and video chats to the iPhone's feature set.
post #2 of 89
I have nothing more to say than...
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post #3 of 89
Great job, Nancy Drew!

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post #4 of 89
Well, that's nice.
post #5 of 89
What a bunch of dingbats. WCDMA is underlying air interface of all GSM 3G protocols. So HSPA is implemented on UMTS which is implemented on WCDMA. Use Wikipedia a little before you post.

Anyway, this is just more confirmation of the June announce date, which is fairly bankable at this stage.

The question now is, what will be the hardware feature set? GPS is a given. 3Mpx camera but maybe they'll go for 5Mpx, video recording, second camera and video calls I suspect will get in there. Then there is the Flash, 16 or 32 I suspect. Other than that I think it'll be much the same.
post #6 of 89
So is the iPhone going to be playing catch up again in a year from now to get HSUPA? I take it this is a hardware thing and not a software upgrade?
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post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

So is the iPhone going to be playing catch up again in a year from now to get HSUPA? I take it this is a hardware thing and not a software upgrade?

i was going to say something facetious about ppl holding out for or whining about no HSUPA support, but am too late it seems...
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post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

So is the iPhone going to be playing catch up again in a year from now to get HSUPA? I take it this is a hardware thing and not a software upgrade?

Probably a hardware upgrade for two reasons. If Infineon had an upgrade path to HSUPA they would be trumpeting it, which they aren't, also because its a transmit upgrade (the download specs remain the same) which is much faster, I suspect the antenna and enclosure engineering will be much more challenging and require a redesign.
post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

So is the iPhone going to be playing catch up again in a year from now to get HSUPA? I take it this is a hardware thing and not a software upgrade?

Maybe I'm missing something. Doesn't the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet state, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof and designed for an easy upgrade to higher HSDPA data rates, HSUPA and also Rx-diversity."
post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post

Maybe I'm missing something. Doesn't the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet state, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof and designed for an easy upgrade to higher HSDPA data rates, HSUPA and also Rx-diversity."

That looks pretty evident. Nice find!
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post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post

Maybe I'm missing something. Doesn't the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet state, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof and designed for an easy upgrade to higher HSDPA data rates, HSUPA and also Rx-diversity."

Yes, but that probably involves a co-processor. The SGOLD2 (I checked it out) was technically upgradeable to WCDMA, but only through an extra chip.

As for WCDMA, I don't think it's quite the same thing as HSDPA. You may need one to have the other, but usually the calling sits on the WCDMA part of the connection.
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commodus View Post

Yes, but that probably involves a co-processor. The SGOLD2 (I checked it out) was technically upgradeable to WCDMA, but only through an extra chip.

The S-GOLD2 spec sheet specifically stated, "3G upgradeable with WCDMA coprocessor"

On the other hand, the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet states, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof" which usually means firmware and software can facilitate the upgrade.

However the S-GOLD3H spec sheet also says, "Feature upgrade flexibility through optional companion/multimedia chips via standardized interface."

So we can only hope... Though most of my use is on the downlink side.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post

The S-GOLD2 spec sheet specifically stated, "3G upgradeable with WCDMA coprocessor"

On the other hand, the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet states, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof" which usually means firmware and software can facilitate the upgrade.

That's the way I read it anyway.

Of all tech companies, Apple would certainly like one phone to rule them all, so if it's the same HW for Japan/Korea and everywhere else Apple will certainly use it. I read it that way too, but I am goin to wait for a more definitive answer before statin it as fact.

Would this also for HSDPA to WCDMA roaming and visa-versa or would this require a firmware flash to access to the other network, assuming it uses the same HW?
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post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post

The S-GOLD2 spec sheet specifically stated, "3G upgradeable with WCDMA coprocessor"

On the other hand, the Infineon S-GOLD3H spec sheet states, "Infineon's 3.5G physical layer architecture is future-proof" which usually means firmware and software can facilitate the upgrade.

However the S-GOLD3H spec sheet also says, "Feature upgrade flexibility through optional companion/multimedia chips via standardized interface."

So we can only hope... Though most of my use is on the downlink side.

No, I think they make it clear by referring to the physical layer, so it could be done, assuming the antenna was designed to do it. Of course HSUPA is available now all over the place, makes me wonder why the chip doesn't support it now.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

What a bunch of dingbats. WCDMA is underlying air interface of all GSM 3G protocols. So HSPA is implemented on UMTS which is implemented on WCDMA. Use Wikipedia a little before you post.

I was about to say the same thing.
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post #16 of 89
Did it say SGOLD3H or just SGOLD3??? SGOLD3 is EDGE:

http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8877...12b40d37c80d0c

It possibly is in a unannounced refresh that happens in the industry all the time. May be why iphones are hard to get right now.
post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commodus View Post

As for WCDMA, I don't think it's quite the same thing as HSDPA. You may need one to have the other, but usually the calling sits on the WCDMA part of the connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Of all tech companies, Apple would certainly like one phone to rule them all, so if it's the same HW for Japan/Korea and everywhere else Apple will certainly use it. ... Would this also for HSDPA to WCDMA roaming and visa-versa or would this require a firmware flash to access to the other network, assuming it uses the same HW?

HSDPA is a packet protocol.
WCDMA is a 3G air interface.

IIRC, HSDPA specifies WCDMA as a normative reference. In other words, you must have WCDMA in order to run HSDPA. They are not competing technologies. Japan does HSDPA, and of course WCDMA too. Korea, actually, primarily uses EVDO on top of CDMA2000. The author of this article is not knowledgeable in cellular.
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post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

HSDPA is a packet protocol.
WCDMA is a 3G air interface.

IIRC, HSDPA specifies WCDMA as a normative reference. In other words, you must have WCDMA in order to run HSDPA. They are not competing technologies. Japan does HSDPA, and of course WCDMA too. Korea, actually, primarily uses EVDO on top of CDMA2000. The author of this article is not knowledgeable in cellular.

Thanks for the clarification.
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post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sroussey View Post

Did it say SGOLD3H or just SGOLD3??? SGOLD3 is EDGE:

http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8877...12b40d37c80d0c

It possibly is in a unannounced refresh that happens in the industry all the time. May be why iphones are hard to get right now.

arh... damn ....

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post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

HSDPA is a packet protocol.
WCDMA is a 3G air interface.

IIRC, HSDPA specifies WCDMA as a normative reference. In other words, you must have WCDMA in order to run HSDPA. They are not competing technologies. Japan does HSDPA, and of course WCDMA too. Korea, actually, primarily uses EVDO on top of CDMA2000. The author of this article is not knowledgeable in cellular.

Korea has been testing WCDMA since 2002. While they still have CDMA, they are slowly converting everything to WCDMA and have 3G up and running through out most of the country. Korea uses the 2100 MHz band. At some point they were using 1900 up and 2100 down, but I believe they are on 2100 only now in order to make roaming easier for european business travelers.

http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_kr.shtml

If Apple takes advantage of this Infineon chip and supports all the WCDMA bands, then the iPhone could quite possibly be the only "true" world phone to work in the US, Europe and Asia.

That would be quite an accomplishment and one up Nokia and other handset makers.

iPhone 2.0 can't come fast enough.
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post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

...
The question now is, what will be the hardware feature set? GPS is a given. 3Mpx camera but maybe they'll go for 5Mpx, video recording, second camera and video calls I suspect will get in there. Then there is the Flash, 16 or 32 I suspect. Other than that I think it'll be much the same.

None of these are a given-just your speculation (or wishful thinking).
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post #22 of 89



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post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduardo View Post

None of these are a given-just your speculation (or wishful thinking).

Yes, it's speculation. Thanks for stating the bleeding obvious. You make forums sooo interesting. Please bless us with more of your genius insight.
post #24 of 89
We won't need HSUPA for another year anyway. I mean, we'll only ever upload a picture to facebook, it'll go fast enough for that. It's not like we use our phones to upload 5 gigs.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

The question now is, what will be the hardware feature set? GPS is a given.

What the hell makes you think GPS is a given? I haven't heard this mentioned anywhere. The only thing that seems to be a "given" at this point is that it will be 3G.

In many ways I doubt there will be GPS in the new phone because they already have invested time in this quasi GPS system they have going. GPS chips are huge power suckers, so I think GPS is probably one of the more unlikely features.

Likely features are things that would complement the 3G, like a front side camera, which is not all that unusual - most 3G phones have them.
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

What the hell makes you think GPS is a given? I haven't heard this mentioned anywhere. The only thing that seems to be a "given" at this point is that it will be 3G.

In many ways I doubt there will be GPS in the new phone because they already have invested time in this quasi GPS system they have going.

My thoughts exactly: <rhetorical> what was the point of Apple implementing location mapping based on WIFI hotspots and cell towers if six months later they intended to add GPS to the iPhone? </rhetorical>
post #27 of 89
I'm not saying it's impossible that they would add GPS. On second thoughts, the interface to this wifi/cell tower system could probably be easily swapped to use a GPS receiver instead and as such their software has had time for a bit of a beta test, and any GPS software going forward would remain backward compatible to this first system.

However, as far as I can see, there has simply been no talk of GPS from respected sources so I don't know how the original poster sees the feature as a 'given'.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

I'm not saying it's impossible that they would add GPS. On second thoughts, the interface to this wifi/cell tower system could probably be easily swapped to use a GPS receiver instead and as such their software has had time for a bit of a beta test, and any GPS software going forward would remain backward compatible to this first system.

However, as far as I can see, there has simply been no talk of GPS from respected sources so I don't know how the original poster sees the feature as a 'given'.

How's the positioning thing working on 3G? Is it the same as with gsm or does it give a more precise result? I remember from the birth of 3g that the 3g base towers typically needed to be spread out in a much tighter grid. Maybe it's just a false memory, but if true maybe it would help nailing your position with greater accuracy??
post #29 of 89
Wow.. Newsflash.. the new iPhone will have 3G.

This is pretty freakin obvious and I'm sick of hearing AI report on it like it's big news. When Jobs introduced iPhone 1.0 he even said they were going to make 3G iPhones. Big freakin' deal. Of course the next big release will be 3G.

Much more news and discussion worthy topics would include information about specific third party applications and Apple's own improvements to the iPhone OS, GPS functionality, etc.

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post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sroussey View Post

Did it say SGOLD3H or just SGOLD3??? SGOLD3 is EDGE:

http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8877...12b40d37c80d0c

It possibly is in a unannounced refresh that happens in the industry all the time. May be why iphones are hard to get right now.

Damn eh.
So this could be an upgraded GSM phone (perhaps cheaper/lighter/whatever), rather than 3G.
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sroussey View Post

Did it say SGOLD3H or just SGOLD3??? SGOLD3 is EDGE:

http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/PMB8877...12b40d37c80d0c

It possibly is in a unannounced refresh that happens in the industry all the time. May be why iphones are hard to get right now.


To everyone going on about the 3G iPhone, you really should pay attention to the quoted comment above.

The SGOLD3 chipset is NOT 3G capable.

The SGOLD3H is 3G capable but that is NOT the chipset referenced in the SDK according this article.

Thus, there is NO OFFICIAL confirmation of a 3G iPhone.
post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

To everyone going on about the 3G iPhone, you really should pay attention to the quoted comment above.

The SGOLD3 chipset is NOT 3G capable.

The SGOLD3H is 3G capable but that is NOT the chipset referenced in the SDK according this article.

Thus, there is NO OFFICIAL confirmation of a 3G iPhone.

It doesn't matter. Jobs said originally they were going to make a 3G iPhone, his comments since have indicated they're working on a 3G iPhone, and from a common sense standpoint, they HAVE to be working on a 3G iPhone. THERE WILL BE A 3G iPHONE. Whether AppleInsider has discovered some amazing evidence of 3G from the "Cupertino, California based company" is irrelevant.

The next big iPhone release will quite obviously be 3G, whether this "article" indicates 3G or not doesn't change this.
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post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

What the hell makes you think GPS is a given? I haven't heard this mentioned anywhere. The only thing that seems to be a "given" at this point is that it will be 3G.

In many ways I doubt there will be GPS in the new phone because they already have invested time in this quasi GPS system they have going. GPS chips are huge power suckers, so I think GPS is probably one of the more unlikely features.

Likely features are things that would complement the 3G, like a front side camera, which is not all that unusual - most 3G phones have them.

I'm not talking about rumours, I just think GPS is a no brainier. With its rising popularity and the iPhones big screen it's a good idea. And if they want to have a premium model, this is the sort of function people want.

The 'quasi GPS' they've invested so much time in is almost trivial. There is free software that does the same thing, it just uses signal strength from multiple towers to determine a very rough position. It nothing like GSP, you can't navigate, get the street you're on or anything like normal GPS.

GPS can be turned off and on as needed, so power is not a problem, at least in terms of having it as a feature.

The front camera thing is vastly overrated. Few people make video calls. Maybe if they are not charged for (doubtful) it might capture people's imagination.
post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton View Post

My thoughts exactly: <rhetorical> what was the point of Apple implementing location mapping based on WIFI hotspots and cell towers if six months later they intended to add GPS to the iPhone? </rhetorical>

Because its easy and makes their phone seem a bit better compared to the GPS enabled competition. It'sa stopgap measure, not a solution.
post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

How's the positioning thing working on 3G? Is it the same as with gsm or does it give a more precise result? I remember from the birth of 3g that the 3g base towers typically needed to be spread out in a much tighter grid. Maybe it's just a false memory, but if true maybe it would help nailing your position with greater accuracy??

It'll be the same. They don't need to build more towers because they're using the same frequencies (and not 2100Mhz).
post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Of all tech companies, Apple would certainly like one phone to rule them all, so if it's the same HW for Japan/Korea and everywhere else Apple will certainly use it. I read it that way too, but I am goin to wait for a more definitive answer before statin it as fact.

Would this also for HSDPA to WCDMA roaming and visa-versa or would this require a firmware flash to access to the other network, assuming it uses the same HW?

Well, first of all, the author of this article screwed up some information. I hate when they do that because now there will be hundreds of confused people who will now have the wrong conception of things in their head...
Anyways, to make it short, W-CDMA is just the modulating technology that UMTS (3G) usually runs on. HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) and HSUPA (high-speed uplink packet access) are two (3.5G) technologies that enhance UMTS.
Usually, If you are in an area covered by UMTS, then HSDPA will most likely be there as well. It doesn't matter though, because it all cascades down to the lowest common denominator... So if HSDPA (3.5G) is not available in a certain coverage area, then it will step down to regular UMTS (3G) for data connection.. If UMTS is not available, then it will step down to EDGE (2.75G), then to GPRS(2G)..
ahh hell, I better make a chart. one sec...

(15 minutes later) ok I just finished this.. If anyone finds any errors, let me know please... I make no guarantee this is completely accurate...





Quote:
Originally Posted by yvo84 View Post

We won't need HSUPA for another year anyway. I mean, we'll only ever upload a picture to facebook, it'll go fast enough for that. It's not like we use our phones to upload 5 gigs.

? First of all, HSUPA not only increases raw throughput, it also vastly reduces the latency of the connection on the uplink side compared to using just HSDPA and UMTS. Thing helps real-time applications such as VOIP, online gaming, video conferencing, etc. Second, the big jump in upload speed that HSUPA gives will be necessary for good quality video conferencing.
post #37 of 89
iPhone for me come june then!
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post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

ahh hell, I better make a chart. one sec...

Very nice chart! Cleared a big deal of the terminology for me and I guess most people here!
post #39 of 89
What's with the 3.9G? I think fractional generations are pretty stupid (what's the generation between your mother and your grandmother?), but it's pretty clear that new air interfaces mark generations and LTE uses a different one to UMTS, hence it's 4G. What exactly are you waiting for in 4G?

Also, people should take maximum speeds with a grain of salt. For instance 14.4Mbps is a pipe dream. That's the aggregate bandwidth of a single cell. So to get that on a phone you'd have to be close to the tower, unobstructed and alone in the cell.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by merdhead View Post

What's with the 3.9G? I think fractional generations are pretty stupid (what's the generation between your mother and your grandmother?), but it's pretty clear that new air interfaces mark generations and LTE uses a different one to UMTS, hence it's 4G. What exactly are you waiting for in 4G?

Also, people should take maximum speeds with a grain of salt. For instance 14.4Mbps is a pipe dream. That's the aggregate bandwidth of a single cell. So to get that on a phone you'd have to be close to the tower, unobstructed and alone in the cell.

4G is LTE (Long Term Evolution). 4G requires new hardware and software upgrades on the towers. At least for the US (Verizon and AT&T), 4G will run on the 700 MHz band. This will allow deeper penetration into buildings and areas where the 800 MHz band couldn't reach.

Speeds can go from 326 Mbit/s dl and 86 Mbit/s. It offers increased spectrum flexibility in allowing faster rollouts from WCDMA and can hold more users per cell.

While theoretical speed is always taken with a grain of salt, it is possible to get very close to those speeds. The problem with the US and Europe is that WCDMA is not implemented properly. Have you ever been to Korea or Japan? They currently have 3G and 3.5G. The speeds are phenomenal. It is not a pipe dream if you set the network up correctly.

LTE can be faster than your home cable/DSL line. If you can afford the unlimited data charges. Who knows what Verizon or AT&T will charge for LTE. But at least you can save up for it. LTE in the US won't arrive until 2010 the earliest.
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