Latest iPhone 2.0 beta reveals 3G chipset

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I have nothing more to say than...

    [CENTER]WOOT![/CENTER]
  • Reply 2 of 88
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 28,797member
    Great job, Nancy Drew!
  • Reply 3 of 88
    Well, that's nice.
  • Reply 4 of 88
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 88
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 865member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 88
    sennensennen Posts: 1,460member
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 88
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 88
    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."
  • Reply 9 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 88
    commoduscommodus Posts: 270member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 88
    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 :openreq('http://www.tranzistoare.ro/datasheets/208/464709_DS.pdf')" target="_blank">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.
  • Reply 12 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post


    The :openreq('http://www.tranzistoare.ro/datasheets/208/464709_DS.pdf')" target="_blank">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?
  • Reply 13 of 88
    merdheadmerdhead Posts: 587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PalmerDeville View Post


    The :openreq('http://www.tranzistoare.ro/datasheets/208/464709_DS.pdf')" target="_blank">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.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 88
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 88
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 88
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 88
    ksecksec Posts: 1,482member
    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 ....
  • Reply 19 of 88
    trowatrowa Posts: 176member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 88
    eduardoeduardo Posts: 181member
    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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