Consistency is one this that has eluded global LTE rollout so far. With different countries deploying different radios and frequencies for LTE, you can pretty much forget LTE connectivity on an international tour. However, Qualcomm is planning to end your network woes with its RF360 chip.
So what does the RF360 chip exactly do? For starters, it supports every band and network technology you can think of. The RF360 will work across multiple frequencies on supporting all seven cellular modes, including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. Yes, you read it right, it supports TDD-LTE deployed by Indian carriers too. Qualcomm also claims to have reduced the RF front end footprint inside of a smartphone by up to 50 percent on this one, compared to the current generation of devices, meaning more compact and efficient smartphones in the future.
As nice as this news keep in mind that there might still be a few obstacles ahead. Carriers in USA and Canada are known to deploy restrictions to block connectivity options that would enable the device to run on another carrier. Anyways as far as India is concerned we might finally get to see some LTE devices in action by the end of this year. With Reliance and Airtel rolling out their LTE services in the country the timing couldn’t have been any better.
|SAN DIEGO – February 21, 2013 –
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., introduced the Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, a comprehensive, system-level solution that addresses cellular radio frequency band fragmentation and enables for the first time a single, global 4G LTE design for mobile devices. Band fragmentation is the biggest obstacle to designing today’s global LTE devices, with 40 cellular radio bands worldwide. The Qualcomm RF front end solution comprises a family of chips designed to mitigate this problem while improving RF performance and helping OEMs more easily develop multiband, multimode mobile devices supporting all seven cellular modes, including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. The RF front end solution includes the industry’s first envelope power tracker for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices, a dynamic antenna matching tuner, an integrated power amplifier-antenna switch, and an innovative 3D-RF packaging solution incorporating key front end components. The Qualcomm RF360 solution is designed to work seamlessly, reduce power consumption and improve radio performance while reducing the RF front end footprint inside of a smartphone by up to 50 percent compared to the current generation of devices. Additionally, the solution reduces design complexity and development costs, allowing OEM customers to develop new multiband, multimode LTE products faster and more efficiently. By combining the new RF front end chipsets with Qualcomm Snapdragon all-in-one mobile processors and Gobi™ LTE modems, Qualcomm Technologies can supply OEMs with a comprehensive, optimized, system-level LTE solution that is truly global.
As mobile broadband technologies evolve, OEMs need to support 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and LTE Advanced technologies in the same device in order to provide the best possible data and voice experience to consumers no matter where they are.
“The wide range of radio frequencies used to implement 2G, 3G and 4G LTE networks globally presents an ongoing challenge for mobile device designers. Where 2G and 3G technologies each have been implemented on four to five different RF bands globally, the inclusion of LTE brings the total number of cellular bands to approximately 40,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our new RF devices are tightly integrated and will allow us the flexibility and scalability to supply OEMs of all types, from those requiring only a region-specific LTE solution, to those needing LTE global roaming support.”
The Qualcomm RF360 front end solution also represents a significant technological advancement in overall radio performance and design, and it comprises the following components:
OEM products featuring the complete Qualcomm RF360 Solution are anticipated to be launched in the second half of 2013.
Qualcomm also announced today a new RF transceiver chip, the WTR1625L. The chip is the first in the industry to support carrier aggregation with a significant expansion in the number of active RF bands. The WTR1625L can accommodate all cellular modes and 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE frequency bands and band combinations that are either deployed or in commercial planning globally. Additionally, it has an integrated, high-performance GPS core that also supports GLONASS and Beidou systems. The WTR1625L is tightly integrated in a wafer scale package and optimized for efficiency, offering 20 percent power savings compared to previous generations. The new transceiver, along with the Qualcomm RF360 front end chips, is integral to Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s single-SKU World Mode LTE solution for mobile devices that are expected to launch in 2013.