Semiconductor company Sandbridge Technologies has taken the wraps off its latest 4G mobile baseband chip design, which it claims is capable of operating any required radio protocol.
The SB3500 is a 65nm reprogrammable software-based processor, which can be adapted to any current and emerging 4G wireless network standard, including Long Term Evolution (LTE), High Speed Packet Access, 3G WiMax, Wi-Fi, Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld, GPS and all multimedia formats.
"The SB3500 is an 'industry first' that positions Sandbridge as a dominant force in the emerging LTE market," said Tanuj Raja, vice president of business development at Sandbridge.
"With its capacity for performing on LTE and legacy cellular systems, the SB3500 is effectively a future-proof baseband platform that is transformational for the entire mobile communications value chain."
Sandbridge said that the new chip is not only flexible, but meets critical power consumption specifications making it cost efficient as well as speeding up time to market for manufacturers.
The biggest advantage is that, being software-based, the SB3500 can easily be reprogrammed to adhere to new standards and exploit new developments. It also means that a single chip can be used in a variety of devices with different third-party applications installed to cater to each unit's user focus.
"An all too familiar impediment to the introduction of a new wireless technology is the lack of devices and their underlying chipsets," said Michael Thelander, chief executive at mobile research consultancy Signals Research Group.
Thelander believes that chips like the SB3500 help address this challenge by giving major handset manufacturers the flexibility to make the most of their internal software R&D efforts.
The SB3500 is now shipping to cellphone manufacturers throughout the world and should be embedded in new devices in the coming months.
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