Home » smartphones » World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum

World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum

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Core information:

Updates: Spreadtrum selects CSR connectivity and Location for Smartphone reference designs [CSR press release, Feb 27, 2012]

CSR plc (LSE: CSR; NASDAQ: CSRE) today announced that Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD), a Chinese fabless semiconductor company, has chosen CSR plc to provide wireless connectivity and location technologies for the Spreadtrum® SC8805G TD-SCDMA and SC6810 EDGE/WIFI low cost smartphone reference designs in order to meet market demand in China and emerging markets for internet access, data transfer, and location. Specifically, CSR will provide its CSR6027™ Wi-Fi solution, the SiRFstarIV™ location platform and Bluetooth for the reference designs. This is an extension to CSR’s relationship with Spreadtrum on feature phone platforms on which CSR connectivity, location and Bluetooth technologies are already in volume shipment.

“Spreadtrum has been instrumental in helping Chinese manufacturers to capitalise on the smartphone revolution by offering low-cost, easy-to-integrate processors and reference designs that speed time-to-market for wireless communication products,” said Ahmet Alpdemir, senior vice president of CSR’s Mobile Business Group “We view this partnership as an excellent way to continue to expand our market presence in China and other emerging markets for cost effective smartphones.”

Part of CSR’s UniFi® product line, CSR6027/6030 is a WAPI-qualified version for the Chinese market of the CSR6026™ single-chip solution delivering Wi-Fi 802.11n support for mobile embedded devices such as smartphones. The product provides manufacturers with low-cost, high performance Wi-Fi support without compromising battery life or space. CSR6027 offers a PowerSave feature ensuring that mobile devices can achieve optimal battery life, and offers a very small system footprint and very low eBom (electronic bill of materials), enabling easy integration into mobile devices.

SiRFstarIV is the market-leading location platform, now deployed in hundreds of consumer products worldwide, offering high acquisition and tracking performance and accuracy, low battery consumption, and active jammer removal. These features will bring to consumers of SC8805G and SC6810-enabled devices the ability to get a position fix with optimal speed, in varying conditions such as under dense foliage or in urban canyons, with very low battery consumption.

About the SC8805G and SC6810

The SC8805G for TD-SCDMA and the SC6810 for EDGE/Wi-Fi both come with a hardware reference design and compliance-tested software, which will accelerate time to market. Both are based on an ARM-9 600MHz processor which supports Android 2.2, 2D graphics, camera support up to 5MP, MPEG4 decoder and encoder, an HVGA touch screen LCD display and a range of connectivity options including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth.

About CSR

CSR is a global provider of innovative silicon and software solutions for the location-aware, media-rich, cloud-connected world. Our platforms are optimised for the automotive navigation and infotainment, digital cameras and imaging, connected home infotainment and wireless audio markets. We provide solutions to complex problems in the audio-visual, connectivity and location technology domains across a broad range of markets, with a technology portfolio that includes GPS/GNSS systems, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, FM, NFC, aptX® and CVC™ audio codecs, JPEG, MPEG, H.264 imaging, IPS printing, microcontrollers, DSPs and broadband receivers. CSR’s technology solutions and market platforms enable its customers to deliver a superior user experience and are adopted by leaders in the auto, computer, home and mobile markets. More information can be found at www.csr.com. Keep up to date with CSR on our blog, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CSR_plc.

Spreadtrum Introduces 1GHz Low-Cost Smartphone Platform For TD-SCDMA & EDGE/WiFi [Spreadtrum press release, Jan 4, 2012]

Delivers 1GHz Smartphone Performance to US$100 Handsets

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today introduced a 1GHz Android smartphone platform for TD-SCDMA (SC8810) and EDGE/WiFi (SC6820) and announced that both products are now sampling with customers. With these two new solutions, Spreadtrum is redefining the performance standard for low-cost smartphones, enabling OEMs to deliver 1GHz performance at US$100 retail prices.

“Our 1GHz Android platform sets a new bar for low-cost smartphone performance,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO.  “The graphics and web browsing performance of the SC8810 and SC6820 compares favorably to one of the most popular smartphone models globally, delivering a high performance applications and gaming experience for consumers. This type of experience has previously been available only in mid- to high-end handset models and can now be delivered by OEMs in US$100 smartphone models.  This will reshape the definition of and consumer expectations for a low-cost handset.”

Spreadtrum’s 1GHz platform is the most highly integrated, lowest power smartphone platform for the TD-SCDMA market. The solution delivers the lowest chip count with a multimode single-chip RF transceiver supporting TD-SCDMA, EDGE, GPRS and GSM and integrates power management.  The platform’s Cortex A5 processor architecture delivers more than 40% lower power consumption compared to ARM11-based products and more than 70% lower power consumption than Cortex A9 products, delivering differentiated standby and talk time performance relative to other smartphone models.

Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon technology, the SC8810 and SC6820 baseband platforms are powered by a Cortex A5 1GHz processor and incorporate an advanced multimedia subsystem which includes a Mali GPU with 3D/2D graphics acceleration and supports high definition video playback, a 5 megapixel camera, a WVGA touch panel and connectivity features including Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS. The SC8810 supports TD-SCDMA with HSDPA at 2.8Mbps, HSUPA at 2.2Mbps as well as quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE with dual-mode auto handover, while the SC6820 supports quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM.  Both products combine silicon hardware with turnkey Android software that reduce both the design time and design resources required to deliver new handsets to market.

Spreadtrum’s expansion of its smartphone platform coincides with rapidly increasing demand in China for smartphone products.  Industry analysts expect the smartphone market in China to exceed 100 million units in 2012, leading global demand for smartphone products.

Spreadtrum Introduces Single-Chip MultiMode TD-LTE/TD-SCDMA/GSM Baseband Modem at CES 2012 [Jan 9, 2012]

Highly Integrated TD-LTE Platform Places Spreadtrum at Forefront of 4G Evolution in China

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company” ), a leading fabless semiconductor provider inChina with advanced technology in 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards, today introduced its first TD-LTE baseband modem, the SC9610. Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon, the SC9610 integrates multiple communication standards into a single-chip design, including multiband TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM. The SC9610, which now expands Spreadtrum’s product portfolio to 4G standards, is sampling with customers who are evaluating the chip for use in high end smartphone and datacard designs.

“Our single-chip multi-mode TD-LTE solution is a highly integrated platform specifically designed for the communication standards in use inChina,” said Dr.Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “We are launching our solution as China Mobile begins more extensive trials domestically. The depth of experience we bring in TD-SCDMA products, combined with our early leadership in China’s 4G network evolution, positionsSpreadtrumas a long-term leading provider of multimode baseband solutions.”

TD-LTE or “Time-Division Long-Term Evolution” is a 4G standard and the evolution path from 3G TD-SCDMA for China Mobile, China’s largest domestic operator with more than 640 million total subscribers and an expected 50 million 3G subscribers as of the end of 2011. China Mobile has begun trials and network investment in TD-LTE and will continue to do so until commercial licenses are granted by the China government, which has also required that TD-LTE handsets be backward compatible with TD-SCDMA. Spreadtrum’s leadership in the TD-SCDMA market and the maturity of its multimode technology for TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM ensures strong performance across both TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA communications standards while the single-chip multi-mode design enables a more seamless handover experience than multi-chip solutions.

Spreadtrum’s SC9610 supports multiple bands, achieves downlink speeds of 100 Mbps and uplink speeds of 50 Mbps and supports 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz channels and 2×2 MIMO. The SC9610 is currently progressing through field trials inChinain tandem with customer design-in activities.

End of updates

Competitive information:
Huawei’s IDEOS U8150 smartphone for US$86 in Kenya: 350,000 units sold in 8 months [Aug 17 – 23, 2011] and that is an Android 2.2 smartphone based on Qualcomm SoC
Blurring lines between smartphones and feature phones: the Muve Music Phone case from Cricket Communications [Dec 2, 2011] where the entry level, Qualcomm SoC based Android smartphone has an M.S.R.P. of $129.99 while on Amazon currently sold for $69.99
OPhone 2.5 and beyond from Borqs for China Mobile [Dec 5, 2011] in which the current entry-level Ophone 2.5 (Android 2.2 compatible) TD-SCDMA smartphones (based on Marvell’s PXA918/920 SoC) have street price of ~$140
First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21 – Nov 23, 2011] where other Marvell related information is shown as well the fact is well illustrated that Marvell continues to be the only provider of a single-chip TD smartphone solution, the first to work with SoC customers to deliver $100 TD smartphones.
High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011]
ASUS, China Mobile and Marvell join hands in the OPhone ecosystem effort for “Blue Ocean” dominance [March 8, 2011]

Third Quarter 2011 Spreadtrum Communications Inc Earnings Conference Call [Transcript, Nov 11, 2011]

In the fourth quarter, Spreadtrum will be introducing a low-cost TD-SCDMA smartphone solution. This solution will be based upon 40 nanometer single core processor, running Android 2.2, that can enable a PCBA cost of less than $30. We believe that this low-cost solution will help to grow total smartphone volume next year.

We expect the TD-SCDMA market to grow significantly in volumes in 2012 and 2013. The TD network is continuing to improve, and China Mobile phase five deployment is now addressing the blind spots in cities and delivering nationwide coverage as well. The government has indicated that they do not plan to issue a commercial license for LTE until 2014. In the meantime, China Mobile needs to offload the voice and data traffic from the congested 2.5G network to the TD-SCDMA network, which has a greater capacity.

Consumers now have access to a wider portfolio of feature phones and smartphones, with the price and performance of TD-SCDMA feature phones close to the EDGE handset.We believe that in 2012 the TD-SCDMA market will grow to around 90 million units, up from the estimated 50 million units this year. We expect that 60 million units will be delivered through the China Mobile central and local channels. Another 30 million units will sell through the open channels.

With the 40 nanometer platform, we are now — is more than 50% of market share of total shipments of TD-SCDMA market. I hope we can maintain a dominant position moving next year, because continue with the 40 nanometers products.

On top of that, like I said in my script, we have introduced low-end smartphone platforms, so by the end of the year, to the TD-SCDMA market as well. So, in other words, we will be providing more products, a better portfolio to the TD-SCDMA market, so, hopefully, that we will still maintaining the leading position in TD-SCDMA market.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

I think you’re introducing some smartphone solutions right now. If we just focus on the EDGE solution, this is something that a couple of competitors have done in the past, and it hasn’t done very well, historically, right — the EDGE smartphone. I think part of it was maybe cost was too high. It sounds like you’re addressing that.

Your PCBA cost is quite low, but something that other people complain about is also the performance just isn’t good enough with a low velocity processor — that the whole thing is just too laggy. You’re going to do it with a single chip approach. I’m sure you’ve talked to many customers about this.What kind of feedback are you getting from customers, and how do you think (inaudible)?

… local kings and the brand names, operators in the emerging market. They all asked me the same question. They said, Leo, can you provide us with adequate performance? Not the best — not even say good performance — adequate, right? However, with the EDGE (inaudible), right? And the EDGE / WiFi, obviously, Android based.

Basically, the idea is it’s not necessary to say, hey, let’s, like, take more — customer away from high-end smartphones. Rather, I think this is to convert some of the high-end feature phone people to, say, affordable smartphones.

To address your first part of the question, you say, hey, Leo, why the competitors have a similar solution, and they’re not as successful as we think. There — you said one reason is the cost is not low enough. Second, we also compare our performance, which is 40 nano, about 600 megahertz, and on the same — the Android 2.2, right, what we found was the better or improved performance on our chip.

On top of that, one of the main things, also, is the 40 nano brings down the current consumption — power consumption, right. That also helps a little bit. However, yes, this is the first introduction to the market. I think it has the usage. I said it my script also.

If you want to say use WCDMA based smartphones, right. So, in addition to more expensive baseband chips, on top of that, you have to pay also the IP royalty to others, and that which is like a 6% to 7% of handset price, that is very, very high. So — and in the emerging market, the WCDMA signals is not that great. Coverage is very poor, so it’s no point to use the WCDMA.

Rather, if you have one of the faster communication, use WiFi, and then, the rest of the day, just use EDGE. So it seems to be attractive product.The feedback from customers, by the way, on this one, is very positive.

… could talk about your [smartphone] targets …

What I said in my script, with low-end introduction, 600 megahertz, single core. However, I think, around Q1 next year, we will be introducing a one gigahertz TD-SCDMA smartphone chip to the market, and also, 900 to one gig EDGE/WiFi Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 platforms to the market. Yes.

I think the smartphone is very important to everyone, so we also kind of try to speed up the smartphone development. So, the first ones are 600 megahertz, like I said, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/WiFi to both market.

Qin Zhang- JP Morgan – Analyst

I just have a follow-up question on this. So, for instance, my understanding is that Marvell actually has over 50% market share in the TD smartphone segment in the fourth quarter. I just wonder, like, what is the target market share that you think Spreadtrum can get in the TD smartphone space?

Yes. In Q3, even early part of the Q4, obviously, we do not have a low-end smartphone solution.Yes, the other people who had a solution enjoyed the show there. However, I think, next year, when we introduce the low-end 600 megahertz — and we will be introducing one gig in — like, an Android 2.3 product to the market. I mean, the cost will be very competitive, and yes, the performance will be attractive to regular consumers — a better performance. That’s my point.

I think we definitely can take market share away from the competitors — to exactly what number, obviously, the higher the better for us. However — my — the general point, really, is with the smartphone solution, we definitely will be able compete better — I mean, next year — a better position to compete next year.

Qin Zhang- JP Morgan – Analyst

Got it. And my second question is also on — it’s also on the timeline of the Android product. So, I just wonder, like, let’s say, for the fourth quarter, when we launch the TD-SCDMA, as well as EDGE Android platforms, how many months do we have to wait until we see these products in the retail market?

I think you should be able to see that in Q1, hopefully, on the — unfortunately, Q1, there is China — Chinese New Year, right — a delay, somewhat, for the action. I think, generally, the — in Q1 and early Q2, there definitely will see the product introduced to the market, both for TD and for EDGE/WiFi. And then, also, that — we’re talking about the one we introduce by the end of this year, Android 2.2. And then, I think, around Q2 timeframe, yes, we should be introducing 2.3 to the market as well. So we are addressing smartphones segment next year.

Bill Lu – Morgan Stanley – Analyst

… your EDGE smartphone … I think you have mentioned that this solution is including WiFi. Is that your own WiFi, or are you buzzing somebody else’s WiFi?

… I do not have my WiFi solution yet. I think that we will work with a partner. …
[they have selected CSR6027™ Wi-Fi solution for that, which was announced by CSR just on Feb 27, 2012 on MWC, but the decision should have been much earlier]

Jessica Chang – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

Thanks. Hi, Leo and Shannon. Congrats on your good results again. I have a few questions. First, can you share with us how many TD smartphone customers have you been working with right now?

Five to six clients. … entering mass production … Q1 next year. … with the Android 2.2 platform.

Jessica Chang – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

And how about your — the EDGE/WiFi smartphone? How many clients do you have right now? 

I have more clients. Maybe eight to ten customers.Yes. I think the introduction to the market will be also in Q1 timeframe.

Jessica Chang – Deutsche Bank – Analyst

… you have so many new products and different platform, different geometry and clock space. Can you help us to maybe rank your growth driver for next year — maybe, like, your first three, by the (inaudible)?

Yes, we have quite a few products, which will be — introduced or will be introduced to the market. That’s why I spent so much money in R&D. Anyway, I think the first one will be smartphones introduced to the market, like, 600 megahertz, right — clock speed wise.

And then, the second quarter, or Q3, will be one gigahertz, or 900 megahertz, smartphones solution to the market.The second, also, in next year — I think, around summertime next year, most of — almost all of our products will be 40 nano based, which is very good.

Thirdly, also, the driving factor will be — in the summer, or Q3, will be first to hopefully introduce a WCDMA solution to the market. That is revenue I never had before. Okay? So, it would be nice to have some new additional revenue. In other words, the driving factors, from technology product point of view, are smartphones and 40 nano based and thirdly,Ws.

Jay Srivatsa – Chardan Capital Markets – Analyst

Yes. Thanks for taking my question, Leo. There’s been a lot of questions on TD. Let me ask a question on WCDMA. As you look to next year to roll out your WCDMA solution, obviously, there’s a large incoming player there. How do you hope to be able to penetrate that market successfully with your solution?

The WCDMA position product — first of all, we’re going to use our 40 nano based platform to do the design, so that, not only the die size will be fairly small, right. Second, the current consumption will be fairly good, and also, in same time, to enhance the performance of WCDMA products. So — and also, with the — like, HSPA+ type of WCDMA, combined with the 2.5G platform of Spreadtrum’s, I think our products will be fairly competitive and attractive.

I know the WCDMA is a relatively mature — more mature market than TD. There’s more competitors out there. However, with a more advanced platform, and then, with the — with — so, with the turnkey solutions, and there’s some business models, and also, closeness to the handset makers that in China, and I think we are confident to compete in that area as well.

Jay Srivatsa – Chardan Capital Markets – Analyst

You’ve talked about Android quite a bit. Can you — and the other hardware development you’ve got coming. Can you talk a little bit on the software side? What is your plan to go after Windows Mobile or other operating systems, as you look ahead to some of the other products out there?

We have a plan also to engage with Windows. I think, maybe, not this year. Maybe — hopefully, we’ll start the next year.You can see the clear trend. Nokia and Microsoft, I think, want a more massive introduction to the market — the Windows — Window based — Windows 7, right? I think it started with 7. Maybe year after next year, it end up with 8.Who knows?

But, yes, I think that’s one of the things that we will catch up with. However, at the moment, for open market, the Android, free of charge — still a nicer thing to the customers.

Spreadtrum Introduces World’s Lowest Cost Android Smartphone Platform for TD-SCDMA and EDGE/WiFi, Reaffirms Q4 Guidance [Spreadtrum press releases, Dec 8, 2011]

Solutions Define New Entry Level for Smartphones, Increasing Affordability for China and Emerging Market Consumers

SHANGHAI, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced the commercial availability of two low-cost Android smartphone platforms, the SC8805G for TD-SCDMA and the SC6810 for EDGE/WiFi.  The two 40nm-based 600MHz solutions are based on a low power, cost efficient architecture that lower total phone cost to US$40-50, well below currently available smartphones and easily within reach of sub-$100 retail prices.  This entry point can accelerate the overall footprint for smartphones in China and emerging markets by appealing to consumers who might otherwise choose a high end feature phone and by expanding smartphone distribution beyond operator channels to the open market.

“The SC8805G and SC6810 mark Spreadtrum’s entry into the smartphone category [via Android],” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and chief executive officer.  “We have combined our expertise in 40nm baseband platforms [meaning SC88xx and SC68xx series of SoCs require an additional application processor chip as well] and highly integrated systems to deliver a low-cost solution in a new price segment that will make smartphone devices more accessible to consumers in China and emerging markets.”

Spreadtrum also reaffirmed previously-released Q4 revenue guidance of US$188 million – US$194 million and gross margin guidance of approximately 41%.  Dr. Li added, “Our smartphone solutions for TD and EDGE/WiFi are now commercially available and have started shipping. Demand in our 2G and 3G business lines remains healthy and we are on track to meet or exceed our Q4 revenue outlook.”

The SC8805G and the SC6810 are based on Spreadtrum’s turnkey platform, which consists of a hardware reference design and compliance-tested software suite that reduces the engineering requirement and accelerates time to market for handset manufacturers. The two solutions incorporate an ARM-9 600MHz processor, integrate power management and support Android 2.2, 2D graphics, camera support up to 5MP, MPEG4 decoder and encoder, an HVGA touch screen LCD display, as well as connectivity and broadcast functions including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM and mobile TV.

The SC8805G targets China’s growing demand for low-cost smartphones, supporting China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA standard. China Mobile estimates that next year more than 30 million TD-SCDMA smart phones will be sold to consumers, most in the low-cost segment. The SC6810 is designed for emerging markets, where 3G rollouts are still in development and EDGE/WiFi provides consumers interested in a smartphone experience with the best coverage available.

The two platforms have been designed into models by more than a dozen handset manufacturers, with the first models expected to ship this month. Designs with Spreadtrum’s SC8805G have passed China Mobile’s qualification testing, paving the way for product launch.

About Spreadtrum Communications

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that develops baseband and RF processor solutions for the wireless communications market.  Spreadtrum combines its semiconductor design expertise with its software development capabilities to deliver highly integrated baseband processors with multimedia functionality and power management.  Spreadtrum has developed solutions based on an open development platform, enabling its customers to develop customized wireless products that are feature-rich to meet their cost and time-to-market requirements. For more information, visit www.spreadtrum.com.

Earlier comprehensive information about Spreadtrum: Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [Nov 15, 2010]


Hisense N52 is a feature phone (with CMMB etc.) as New Postcom N332 and T-Smart Q1 are.
Also in the follow-up: Marvell’s single chip TD-SCDMA solutions beaten (again) by two-chip solutions of Chinese vendors [July 11, 2011]

Currently available, related products:

3G Series Baseband Chips:
SC8800D : TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS Multimedia Baseband Chip with ARM926EJ-S® core, clock speeds up to 100MHz
SC8800S : HSDPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip with ARM926EJ-S® core, speeds up to 200MHz: can be used to develop the solutions of Feature phone and Smart phone; and it also can be applied for the PC data card solutions.
SC8800G : TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip with ARM926EJ-S® core, clock speeds up to 400MHz:
>>> the world’s first 40nm low power TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA dual mode communication baseband processor
>>> can be applied to develop the solutions of Feature phone and Smart phone at extremely low cost.

2G Series Baseband Chips (all with ARM7TDMI® at either 78/80/104/192/200MHz) : SC6600D / SC6600H / SC6600I / SC6600L6 / SC6600L7 / SC6600R / SC6800D / SC6800H / SC6610/SC6620

Previous products:

SC8800H : HSDPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip with ARM926EJ-S® core, speeds up to 200MHz: for enabling handset manufacturers and operators to offer powerful 3G applications.

Comparison of H, S and G baseband chips of the SC8800:

Spreadtrum Baseband Chips SC8800H-S-G -- Dec-2011

In more detail from SPRD Annual and Transition Report on EDGARonline [April 6, 2011]

The SC8800 series of baseband semiconductors was first commercially released in October 2005 and is designed for value multimedia and mid-range multimedia wireless terminals that support TD-SCDMA/HSPA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE. The SC8800 baseband semiconductors support dual mode functionality, which enables wireless terminals to support 2G, 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G and 3.5G technologies, and incorporate integrated power management. The SC8800 series supports up to 2.8Mbps HSDPA and 2.2Mbps HSUPA features. Additionally, the SC8800 series supports a digital still camera with a resolution of up to 5 mega-pixels. The SC8800 series incorporates multimedia functionality, which includes streaming video, video telephony, digital audio playback that supports MP3 and other music formats such as AAC and AAC+ and MPEG4 digital video playback, and 64-channel polyphonic ringtone playback.

Model Number   Date of Initial Commercial Release   • Target Wireless Handset

SC8800D   October 2005   • Value TD-SCDMA handsets
[but developed SC880A as “world’s first single chip dual-mode TD-SCDMA/GSM baseband chip” in Apr, 2004 – see below]

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, TD- SCDMA Downlink 384kbps
  • ARM926EJ core.
  • 16K I-Cache,16K D-Cache
  • AMR-NB/Midi/ ADPCM/AAC
  • Integrated with SDIO I/F
  • Integrated touch panel driver

SC8800S   September 2009   •  Multimedia handsets [like the Lenovo O1 smart phone which also has a 624 MHz Marvell PXA310 application processor] [but developed SC8800H Feb, 2007 – see below]

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, Edge class10 Quad-band; TD-SCDMA/ HSDPA 1.6Mbps Dual-band
  • ARM926EJ 160MHz
  • AMR-NB/Midi/ ADPCM/AAC/AAC+
  • MPEG4/H.263 QVGA Decoding 25fps
  • 2M YUV I/F, 5M JPEG I/F
  • Integrated touch panel driver

SC8800H   February 2010  • Videophone handsets [like the Hisense N51 or T-Smart Q1 feature phones] [but developed SC8800H Feb, 2007 – see below]

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, Edge class10 Quad-band; TD-SCDMA/ HSDPA 1.6MbpsDual-band
  • ARM926EJ 200MHz
  • MPEG4/H.263 QCIF Codec 15fps
  • 2M YUV I/F, 5M JPEG I/F
  • Integrated touch panel driver

SC8800G   December 2010   •  CMMB handsets [rather for high-end feature phones [like the Hisense T36 and T39] – see the below CEO statement in Oct’11]

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, Edge class10 Quad-band; TD-SCDMA/ HSDPA 2.8Mbps/HSUPA 2.2MbpsDual-band
  • ARM926EJ 400MHz
  • AMR-NB/Midi/ ADPCM/AAC/AAC+
  • MPEG4/H.263 CIF Decoding 30fps
  • H.264 QVGA Decoding 30fps
  • 2M YUV I/F, 5M JPEG I/F
  • Integrated touch panel driver

SC8801G   December 2010   •  Ultra Low-cost handsets [rather for low-end feature phones [like the Huawei T2011 or Hisense T30 TD, T11 and T51] – see the below CEO statement in Oct’11]

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, Edge class10 Quad-band; TD-SCDMA/ HSDPA 2.8MbpsDual-band
  • ARM926EJ 256MHz
  • AMR-NB/Midi/ ADPCM/AAC/AAC+
  • MPEG4/H.263 CIF Decoding 30fps
  • MPEG4/H.263 QCIF Codec 15fps
  • 2M YUV I/F
  • Integrated touch panel driver

SC8802G   December 2010   •  TD Modem

  • GSM/GPRS Class12, Edge class10 Quad-band; TD-SCDMA/ HSDPA 2.8Mbps/HSUPA 2.2MbpsDual-band
  • ARM926EJ 192MHz16K I-Cache,16K D-Cache
  • AMR-NB/Midi/ ADPCM

[SC8805G is for the Android smart phones – see the below CEO statement in Oct’11. ]

Related Milestones :

2001. Jul. Spreadtrum’s wholly-owned subsidiary established in Shanghai, China.
Apr. Spreadtrum incorporated in the Cayman Islands and its wholly owned subsidiary established in California, USA.

2004. Apr. Developed the SC8800A, the world’s first single chip dual-mode TD-SCDMA/GSM baseband chip.

2007. Feb. Successfully developed the SC8800Hchip, a TD-SCDMA Chip that supports HSDPA.

2008. Jan. Acquired US-based RF designcompany – Quorum Systems, Inc.

2009. Feb. Spreadtrum launched the world’s first single-chip RF transceiverto support TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM standards.

2011. Jan. Successfully launched the world’s first commercial 40nm TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA multi-mode baseband processor-SC8800G.

My own additions:

The ARM926EJ-S® core is faster than the ARM7TDMI® one. But keep in mind that:
– The entry level ZTE smartphones (one of the leaders on the entry market) are using the Qualcomm MSM7627 chip which has Dual cores: the main one being a higher performing ARM1136EJ-S at 600MHz, and the second core is a 400MHz ARM926EJ-S processor dedicated to modem duties. See: Blurring lines between smartphones and feature phones: the Muve Music Phone case from Cricket Communications [Dec 2, 2011]
– The same is true for the Marvell 918/920/920H single-chip based TD-SCDMA phones introduced by a number of vendors on the Chinese market (ASUS, Coolpad, Hisense, Huawei, Guangdong Mobile, Lenovo, Motorola, RIM, Samsung, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, Yulong and ZTE) with its on-chip dedicated, Marvell-designed ARM9 Modem core and an associated Modem DSP core as well.
– The DMIPS/MHz values of other ARM cores used today is even much higher (in addition to their higher max frequencies for current low power versions shown beneath the DMIPS/MHz values):

ARM7
ARM9
ARM11
Marvell PJ1 Sheeva
ARM Cortex A8
Marvell PJ4 Sheeva
Qualcomm Scorpion
ARM Cortex A9
0.94
1.1
1.25
1.46
2.0
2.5
2.1
2.41
200
600
1000
1000
1200
1200
1500
1500

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. Announces Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results [Spreadtrum press releases, Nov 11, 2011]

BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS:

Commenting on the results, Spreadtrum’s Chairman and CEO, Dr. Leo Li said, “We exceeded revenue guidance in 3Q 2011 as quarterly revenue grew in both our 3G and 2.5G product lines. In the TD-SCDMA market, we continued to gain market share with global and domestic handset manufacturers as a result of our breakthrough standby and talk time and high level of integration. Our basebands are powering the TD-SCDMA version of the Samsung Galaxy S II*, which launched in the third quarter and was well received by consumers. The overall TD-SCDMA market has continued to grow at a good pace given the combination of continuously improving network coverage and compelling portfolio of low-cost feature phones and smartphones that are now available to consumers. In the fourth quarter, we are on track to introduce our low-cost 40nm-based smartphone solutions for both TD-SCDMA and EDGE/WiFi, which we believe will drive further growth in both markets going into 2012. Through improvement in product mix, we have been able to mitigate ASP pressure in low-end feature phones. Looking ahead to 4Q 2011, with continuing growth vectors in both the TD-SCDMA and 2.5G markets, we expect revenue to be in the range of US$188 million – US$194 million with a gross margin of approximately 41%.”

Key business highlights include:

  • Expanded Beyond 50% Market Share in TD-SCDMA: Spreadtrum expanded its market footprint with more than 30 customers with 72 handset models, including both global and domestic tier-1 handset manufacturers, by the end of September 2011. In the third quarter, Spreadtrum achieved a dominant market share position in both the feature phone and fixed wireless handset markets and entered the smartphone market with the Samsung Galaxy S II* launch.
  • Increased Product Footprint at Samsung to Basebands: The TD-SCDMA version of the Samsung Galaxy S II launched in China in the third quarter and is powered by Spreadtrum’s RF and baseband solutions. This is Spreadtrum’s first entry in the TD-SCDMA smartphone market as well as its first shipping baseband design win with a global tier-1 OEM. The successful engagement with Samsung lays the foundation for Spreadrum to engage with other global tier-1 manufacturers.
  • Mitigated Price Pressure in 2.5G Markets with Improved Product Mix: With higher ASP products such as the ARM9-based SC6800H and TD product portfolio, Spreadtrum has been able to mitigate price pressure in the 2.5G feature phone market and maintain revenue growth and margin stability.
  • Completed Majority Acquisition of WCDMA Vendor MobilePeak: Spreadtrum completed the acquisition of a majority 85.6% ownership stake in MobilePeak, in preparation for delivery of WCDMA/HSPA+ solutions by mid-2012.

(*) Samsung Galaxy S II TD-SCDMA version (i9108) has a Samsung S5PV310 Exynos 4210 dual-core ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz application processor as well. Its street price currently is ¥ 3100 (US$ 489) vs. ¥ 3750 (US$ 592) list price.

Strategically important, other information regarding Spreadtrum:

Spreadtrum and Sohu.com Partner to Deliver an App Store for Feature Phones [Spreadtrum press releases, Nov 3, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company” ), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced a strategic partnership with Sohu.com Inc., China’s leading online media, search, gaming, community and mobile service group. Through this partnership, Sohu has developed a mobile app store for Spreadtrum’s WRE (“Windows Runtime Environment”) platform for feature phones. Sohu will also use the app store, which supports applications both from Sohu and other mobile developers, to deliver rich Internet applications and services to China consumers.

Spreadtrum’s WRE platform is middleware for feature phones that enables dynamic loading and updating of applications post-sale, providing the same experience to consumers as smartphone handsets. Sohu has leveraged Spreadtrum’s platform to deliver a complete app store solution, including its related server-side operations. Spreadtrum’s WRE platform with Sohu’s app store solution has been rolled out in volume by one of China’s top ten design houses and is now integrated into Spreadtrum’s standard feature phone platform solution.

“Sohu.com has more than ten years of experience in delivering applications to more than one hundred million users, and is a leading provider of online applications and games in China,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “By partnering with Sohu.com, we bring together their core competency in Internet services with our strength in feature phone platforms, bringing smartphone and app store capability to the highest volume phone segment in China and emerging markets. This expands Sohu’s and other application developers’ reach to a larger mobile user base and transforms the traditional definition of feature phones.”

Dr. Charles Zhang, Sohu.com Inc’s Chairman and CEO, said: “The strategic cooperation with Spreadtrum is far-reaching in impact to the mobile internet industry. As a global top five mobile phone chip supplier, Spreadtrum’s customers reach a large user base interested in the mobile Internet experience. By cooperating with Spreadtrum, we can provide a variety of mobile internet services to this group of users, including web, video, microblogging, search, maps and other applications.”

Spreadtrum’s WRE platform with Sohu.com’s app store is now shipping in volume with Spreadtrum’s SC6800H chip to one of China’s top ten design houses. Spreadtrum expects shipments to grow over the coming quarters.

About Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.

About Sohu.com, Inc.

Sohu.com Inc. is China’s premier online brand and indispensable to the daily life of millions of Chinese, providing a network of web properties and community based/web 2.0 products which offer the vast Sohu user community a broad array of choices regarding information, entertainment and communication. Sohu has built one of the most comprehensive matrices of Chinese language web properties and proprietary search engines, consisting of the mass portal and leading online media destination. Sohu corporate services consist of online brand advertising on its matrix of websites as well as bid listing and home page on its in-house developed search directory and engine. Sohu also offers wireless value-added services such as news, information, music, ringtone and picture content sent over mobile phones. Sohu’s online game subsidiary, Changyou.com and its subsidiaries currently operate over 10 online games that includes in-house developed MMORPGs, such as Tian Long Ba Bu, one of the most popular online games in China, and Duke of Mount Deer, as well as Web-based games such as DDTank. Sohu.com, established by Dr. Charles Zhang, one of China’s internet pioneers, is in its fifteenth year of operation.

Spreadtrum Introduces First TD-Dual-SIM Dual-Standby Solution for TD-SCDMA [Spreadtrum press releases, Oct 11, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced the introduction of the industry’s first dual-SIM dual-standby technology for TD-SCDMA mobile phones. Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA dual-SIM technology allows consumers to receive calls and texts, or browse data, on either number while the phone is turned on.

For consumers, dual-SIM TD-SCDMA provides flexibility in the choice of voice or data plan, allowing them to retain or use different China Mobile subscriptions for different purposes. Dual-SIM provides the added convenience of allowing for two “local” numbers, enabling users to place local-rated calls while traveling between provinces, without carrying two phones. And, it enables users to use phone and data functions from two different SIMs simultaneously, allowing users to optimize their voice or data usage to a preferred plan. Consumers are able to use the dual-SIM capability across both the 3G TD-SCDMA and the 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks and use SIMs from different carriers in the same phone.

Spreadtrum’s dual-SIM dual-standby feature is the latest in its series of innovations for the China TD-SCDMA market, following the introduction of its SC8800G seriesof basebands on an advanced 40nm platform whose low power consumption delivers breakthrough standby and talk time performance relative to other solutions available in the market. Spreadtrum currently commands greater than 50% market share of TD-SCDMA baseband shipments, and its wireless communications solutions are being used in fixed wireless, feature phone and smartphone handsets sold by both global and domestic tier-1 brands.

“Dual-SIM enabled by a single baseband is a technology innovation that Spreadtrum was the first to develop for the 2.5G market,” said Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and chief executive officer. “Now, by bringing dual-SIM to TD-SCDMA, we are simplifying the 3G handset purchase decision by allowing consumers to take on new subscriptions while retaining their existing plans. We believe this attractive feature will contribute to further growth in TD-SCDMA handset shipment volumes.”

Dual-SIM dual-standby will be available as an option on Spreadtrum’s SC88xx series of TD-SCDMA basebands as well as future products, beginning in 4Q11.

Spreadtrum Completes Majority Acquisition of WCDMA Provider MobilePeak [Spreadtrum press releases, Oct 3, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that it has completed a majority acquisition of WCDMA solutions provider MobilePeak Holdings, Ltd. (“MobilePeak”) on September 30, 2011.

The acquisition of MobilePeak allows Spreadtrum to enter the global 3G and LTE markets with WCDMA/HSPA+ technology. MobilePeak’s 3G technology combined with Spreadtrum’s advanced 40nm baseband platform will enable Spreadtrum to deliver low-cost, high-performance WCDMA solutions for the global market and serve as a foundation for the Company’s next-generation multi-mode 3G/4G solutions. MobilePeak’s technology supports 3GPP standards through Release 7, including a full-rate 384Kbps modem and HSPA+ technology up to Category 14 at 21Mbps maximum downlink speed and 11Mbps maximum uplink speed. Spreadtrum anticipates that its first WCDMA baseband platform introduction leveraging MobilePeak’s technology will be in the first half of 2012, targeting consumers in emerging markets as well as 3G subscribers on the China Unicom network.

Spreadtrum increased its equity ownership in MobilePeak to approximately 85% as a result of the acquisition. Spreadtrum expects to purchase the remaining outstanding shares by year end. Spreadtrum expects the total cash consideration for the ordinary shares, including shares purchased on September 30, 2011 and shares that remain to be purchased, to be approximately US$5 million. Spreadtrum may also pay additional cash and grant restricted share units to MobilePeak team members as they meet certain product development milestones.

Li Liyou: Spreadtrum push WCDMA Smartphone chips next year [Oct 17, 2011]
(updated from Leo Li, Spreadtrum, WCDMA, smart phone chip, LTE as well)

Spreadtrum, Chairman and CEO of Li Liyou revealed, Spreadtrum launch [of] WCDMA Smartphone chips [is] planned for 2012, and will push the TD+WCDMA dual-mode chips [as well]. At the same time, Spreadtrum will from 2012 [do] research and development [of] 28-nanometer LTEchip products.

Prior to [this,] Spreadtrum launches [of] chip products are [were] mainly concentrated in the area of GSM and TD.

It is understood that, since 2003, [as the] Spreadtrum TD chip [was] put into research and development, and in 2005 developed the industry’s first TD-chip, nearly half of the existing R & D efforts [were] in the development of TD-related products.

Currently, Spreadtrum series chips and solutions [are] including: SC8800G for high-end feature phones and SC8801G for low-end feature phones, as well as the Modem chip SC8802G and SC8805G for the Android smart phones. The SC8800G, launched by Spreadtrum in early 2011, was the world’s first 40 nanometer TD baseband chip, this chip will enhance the development of telecommunications technology capabilities to the forefront of the industry. It is reported that shipments of this 40 nm chip were more than 10 million.

Push the TD+WCDMA dual-mode chips

Leo Li introduced [that] in the domestic TD field Spreadtrum’s market share has reached about 50%, its chip product line has been adopted by international brand mobile phone manufacturers, for example, Samsung GALAXY S II has the TD Spreadtrum baseband chip SC8802G.

Continue to increase input of the field of TD, Spreadtrum also plans to enter the field of WCDMA. Li Liyou revealed that “next year will have WCDMA Smartphone chip shipments. ”

“I communicate with overseas operators found that the other party want to have more expensive to call WCDMA handsets.” Li Li, Yu explained that in addition to better use of data services in addition, 3G networks are often ignored, another a little – a very high efficiency of call, the network capacity is much higher than 2.5G networks.

Based on this demand, that Leo Li, TD + WCDMA chip solution Spreadtrum will also become the mainstream of future product launches. In fact, Spreadtrum has recently introduced the industry’s first TD dual card dual standby mobile phone program to meet the users a mobile phone and TD, GSM / WCDMA networks twenty-two switch.

Based on this market demand, Li Liyou believes that TD+WCDMA chip solution will become the mainstream of of future product launches. In fact, Spreadtrum has recently launched the industry’s first TD dual card dual standby mobile phone program, [which] can meet the userusing a cell phone and switch between TD and GSM/WCDMA networks.

Plan to research and develop 28-nm LTE chips

Leo Li introduced the [plans for] products in the future planning. Spreadtrum will invest more in the field of smart phones. In addition, Spreadtrum also plans to launch in 2012 baseband and radio frequency in one single chip, and in the future to support TD-LTE/FDD LTE / TD-SCDMA / GSM [in a] multi-mode single-chip.

“The current 40-nanometer chips may not be able to meet the LTE network computation, therefore, Spreadtrum will from 2012 commence product research and development of 28-nanometer chips to meet future demand for the use of LTE products.” Li Liyou believes that world’s first 40 nm TD baseband chip has made the launch of Spreadtrum technology to go beyond the traditional European and US companies, but research and development [of] 28-nanometer chips will remain a major challenge [for] Spreadtrum.

“LTE’s development will also have some time [to happen]. Before this the way to ease pressure on the GSM network is to promote TD-SCDMA network.“ Li Liyou stressed that ”China Mobile has more than 600 million users, [with] an average of about two years for a machine there is nearly 200 million of replacement, [so] the market potential is huge. ”

It is understood that Spreadtrum TD-chip products are currently used in custom machines [by] operators and open market, and custom machines accounted for one third of the total market. “I hope that operators will cancel subsidies for customizing machine, and use this money as phone bill, subsidies to purchase TD cell phone users, allowing consumers to select the end product.” Li Liyou believes that this approach would eliminate a number of mobile phones, to make the healthy development of the community channel, and thus accelerate the TD in the open market instead of GSM phones.

Spreadtrum Meets Milestone for China Mobile TD-SCDMA Grant [Spreadtrum press releases, Sept 30, 2011]

Shipment growth continues with more than 50% market share and technology leadership in TD-SCDMA, with 40nm single-chip with TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM, multi-media and power management features

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that in 3Q 2011 it has met the last major milestone of a TD-SCDMA research and development grant awarded by China Mobile to the Company in 2009. This marks successful completion of the project and will enable the Company to recognize more than US$8 million in research and development grantsas an offset to operating expenses in the third quarter of 2011, including subsidies recognized from both the China Mobile and other government projects. Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA customers include more than 30 global and domestic tier-1 manufacturers and design houses who have introduced more than 72 feature phone and smartphone models in 2011 using Spreadtrum’s baseband solutions.

Spreadtrum now commands more than 50% market share of TD-SCDMA shipment volumes. Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO commented, “We are the clear leader in the feature phone and fixed wireless segments of the TD-SCDMA market, which account for the majority of industry shipments so far this year. Our 40nm-based single-chips with TD-SCDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM, multi-media and power management features have enabled customers building handsets on our platform to achieve breakthrough standby and talk times, at a retail price point that is attractive to 3G handset buyers. We further expect to expand our footprint in the smartphone segment following the launch of our low-cost single-chip smartphone product.”

Dr. Li added, “In addition to today’s news and in response to recent shareholder inquiries, we would like to provide additional clarification on our corporate structure. Our primary operations in China are conducted through a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE), distinct from the variable interest entity (VIE) structures that are common in the China Internet sector and that have been the subject of recent press speculation with regards to possible PRC or US government review. There is no active investigation that we are aware of by either the China government or the US Department of Justice of our corporate structure or accounting practices, which adhere to conservative interpretation of US GAAP.”

Samsung Taps Spreadtrum as Baseband Supplier for High Performance TD-SCDMA Smartphone [Spreadtrum press releases, Sept 2, 2011]

Spreadtrum’s SC8802 Shipping in Newest Samsung GALAXY SII Smartphone for China Mobile Subscribers

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company” ), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that its newest TD-SCDMA baseband chip, the SC8802G, is shipping in Samsung’s top-of-the-line GALAXY S II smartphone targeting China Mobile subscribers.

Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon technology, the SC8802G is the newest chip in Spreadtrum’s SC88xxG series for the TD-SCDMA market. Spreadtrum’s advanced 40nm platform delivers groundbreaking levels of performance and integration while simultaneously reducing power consumption, delivering standby and talk times that are a first in TD-SCDMA 3G. Spreadtrum’s SC8802G enables TD-HSUPA, TD-SCDMA as well as GSM, GPRS and EDGE operation and supports TD-HSDPA at 2.8Mbps, TD-HSUPA at 2.2Mbps. In combination with Spreadtrum’s RF transceiver, the SR3200LS, which is also shipping in the Samsung GALAXY S II, the SC8802G achieves a small modem footprint of less than 530mm2 enabling slim, sleek designs.

“We are honored to be selected by Samsung as a TD-SCDMA baseband chip supplier,” said Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s president and CEO. “We are seeing accelerating growth in the TD-SCDMA market as handset features and performance and network coverage align with consumer preference and expectations. Handsets such as Samsung’s GALAXY S II will raise the bar in terms of what consumers can expect from a 3G experience.”

Spreadtrum Secures Leadership Position in TD-SCDMA Market [Spreadtrum press releases, Aug 23, 2011]

Spreadtrum Achieves More than 50% Market Share, Sets New Standard for Standby and Talk Times in TD-SCDMA

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that it has achieved a leadership position in China’s TD-SCDMA market. TD-SCDMA is the China 3G standard adopted by China’s largest telecom operator China Mobile. Spreadtrum’s low-cost, high performance baseband solutions based on its advanced 40nm platform have enabled the Company to secure design wins with both tier-1 OEM handset manufacturers and independent design houses serving this market, with significant growth in the first half of 2011 resulting from shipments in the feature phone segment.

“In the first half of 2011, Spreadtrum secured more than 50% market share of TD-SCDMA shipments,” said Kevin Wang, Director, China Research of analyst firm IHS iSuppli. Spreadtrum expects TD-SCDMA uptake to accelerate in the second half of 2011, bringing the overall market from 34 million units shipped in 2010 to more than 50 million units shipment this year.

“Our advanced 40nm platform enables us to deliver a superior 3G experience on handsets,” said Dr. Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum. “The low power consumption of our TD-SCDMA baseband solutions enables up to 15 hours talk time and 17 days standby time off of 1000mAh batteries.”

Spreadtrum further expects that shifts in China Mobile’s purchasing strategy will help drive faster growth. As more phone models have become available, China Mobile’s purchasing has shifted from central procurement tenders, in which the head office negotiates for certain models and volumes, to purchasing through local distribution channels. “Local purchasing enables regions to order handset models that are best matched to local consumer preferences, price points and styles,” added Dr. Li. “The ability of consumers to purchase 3G handsets with an attractive user experience, feature set and design, at close to EDGE handset prices, is accelerating market uptake of TD-SCDMA handsets.”

Spreadtrum Acquires Telegent Systems [Spreadtrum press releases, July 19, 2011]

Acquisition expands patent and product portfolio with advanced mobile TV technology

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Telegent Systems, Inc. (“Telegent”), a provider of semiconductor and software solutions for the reception of live, broadcast television on mobile phones. Spreadtrum does not expect significant impact to either its cash position or operating expenses as a result of the transaction.

“Broadcast mobile TV is a popular feature with consumers in emerging markets, which is a target market segment for Spreadtrum and one in which we are experiencing rapid growth,” said Dr. Leo Li, president and chief executive officer of Spreadtrum. “The acquisition of Telegent enhances the value proposition we can deliver to the supply chain serving this market segment from handset manufacturer to end market brand and accelerates our international footprint.”

Telegent’s technology portfolio delivers more than 70 patents granted or pending and a product line consisting of analog mobile TV ICs, hybrid analog/digital mobile TV ICs, mobile TV internal antenna technology, TV player software, and entertainment services software that enables the delivery of applications and advertising to handsets post-sale. Telegent’s newly introduced product line, the TLG12xx series, introduces new innovations to the mobile TV market, including integrated internal antenna technology and a single-chip analog mobile TV receiver with the lowest power consumption and the lowest external bill of materials. Following the acquisition, Spreadtrum will explore integration opportunities with the basebandthat deliver further performance and cost benefits.

In connection with the acquisition, approximately twenty hardware and software engineers from Telegent’s Shanghai office will join Spreadtrum. The transaction has been approved by the Spreadtrum and Telegent boards of directors and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Telegent stockholders.

Questions and answers regarding Spreadtrum’s acquisition of Telegent can be found at: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9MTAwMTk3fENoaWxkSUQ9LTF8VHlwZT0z&t=1

About Telegent Systems, Inc.

Telegent Systems is a fabless semiconductor company that enables the reception of live, free-to-air analog and digital broadcast television in mobile handsets and other portable consumer devices. Telegent’s television-on-a-chip solutions solve the long-standing technical challenges that have precluded mobile reception of analog broadcast TV, enabling manufacturers and operators to benefit from the convergence of broadcast TV with mobile and portable devices. Telegent’s products are the most widely sold broadcast television solutions for mobile handsets in the world. For more information, visit www.telegent.com.

Spreadtrum Announces High Performance Multimedia Mobile Phone Solution [Spreadtrum press releases, July 19, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced the introduction of a high performance multimedia mobile phone solution based on ARM9 CPU processor, the SC6800H. This product, which features enhanced application and multimedia processing capabilities, is designed to meet customers’ growing demand for video, photo, music, games and other entertainment requirements within the mid-end multimedia mobile phone market.

The SC6800H is more than twice as fast as ARM7 based chips, and its ARM9EJ-S processor core with multimedia and GPU engine provides an enhanced user experience in mid-end feature phone. The solution supports JAVA, Internet access, GPS navigation, mobile stocks, MSN/QQ and many other popular applications in addition to a High-definition video player, and a 5 megapixel camera. It enables HVGA screen resolution with a fashionable user interface, such as the 3D UI and Flash UI, further improving the user experience. In terms of communication, the SC6800H integrates multi-SIM card engine and controller, which enable Dual-SIM standby, Triple-SIM standby and Quad-SIM standby solutions in a set of baseband and RF chipset. Furthermore, the SC6800H provides interfaces for a number of mainstream peripheral components such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and analog TV.

Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s President and CEO said, “In line with our commitment to delivering innovative technology in order to help customers differentiate their products, the SC6800H provides handset manufacturers a powerful and stable mobile phone solution that we believe will be an attractive and essential platform for the emerging mobile business. Along with our other pipeline products that offer enhanced multimedia features, the SC6800H is accelerating the growth of feature phone market, enabling our customers to launch more products with unique features to capitalize on increasing demand for mobile handset business, mobile internet applications, and mobile games/entertaining business.”

Spreadtrum and TSMC Achieve 3G TD-SCDMA Baseband Processor Milestone [Spreadtrum press releases, Jan 27, 2011]

First 40nm baseband chip to support China’s 3G standard

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) and TSMC (TWSE: 2330, NYSE: TSM) today unveiled their achievement on the first commercialized 40nm Time Division – Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) basebandprocessor. First time silicon success for this baseband processor was achieved by the two companies jointly optimizing design, process and manufacturing. The chip is in initial production at Fab 12, one of TSMC’s GIGAFAB(TM) facilities in Taiwan.

The new processor supports TD-SCDMA and other telecommunication 3.75G to 2G specifications including High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), Enhanced Data GSM Environment (EDGE), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM). It also features up to a 2.8Mbps bandwidth that is more than one hundred times faster than the 2G standard.

The baseband processor leverages TSMC’s 40nm low power (40LP) process technology to extend battery lifetime in mobile telecommunication. The 40LPprocess also supports other leakage-sensitive applications such as application processor, portable consumer and wireless connectivity devices.

Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s President and CEO said, “40nm process technology is a critical element to Spreadtrum’s next-generation product portfolio. The success of the world’s first commercialized 40nm baseband processor demonstrates our design and time-to-production ability to deliver the cutting-edge technology in the 3G communication industry. TSMC is the clear foundry leader in 40nm process technology. With its excellent technical advantages and strategic support for Spreadtrum since 2003, TSMC ensures the quality and performance of our chips, which allows us to provide stable and superior products to our customers.”

“Spreadtrum is to be commended for bringing to production the first 40nm 3G baseband chip to meet China’s TD-SCDMA specification,” said Jason Chen, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. “The achievement of this milestone underscores TSMC’s ongoing role as the foundation for logic IC innovation, including that of China’s IC design companies.”

Spreadtrum Announces the World’s First Commercial 40nm Low Power TD-HSPA /TD-SCDMA Multi-mode Communication Baseband Processor [Spreadtrum press releases, Jan 18, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRD; “Spreadtrum” or the “Company”), a leading fabless semiconductor provider in China with advanced technology in both 2G and 3G wireless communications standards, today announced the world’s first 40nm low power TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA multi-mode communication baseband processor, the SC8800G. The new product was announced during a technology forum jointly held by Spreadtrum, China Semiconductor Industry Association, Qingdao Hisense Communication Co., Ltd., HuaweiDevice Co., Ltd. and Shenyang New Postcom Equipment Co., Ltd. at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China. At the forum, Spreadtrum successfully demonstrated its latest commercial mobile handsets based on the SC8800G.

Designed with 40nm CMOS silicon technology, the SC8800G achieves groundbreaking levels of performance and integration while simultaneously reducing power consumption, lowering overall costs and meeting the need for next generation communication experience. Spreadtrum SC8800G enables TD-HSUPA, TD-SCDMA, GSM, GPRS and EDGE operation and supports TD-HSDPA at 2.8Mbps, TD-HSUPA at 2.2Mbps. This product will enable the price of TD-SCDMA mobile terminals to be close to that of 2.5G products. At the same time, it will offer a reliable platform for various 3G services and will play an integral role in driving the development of TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE and 4G technology. The TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA multi-mode mobile phones developed based on SC8800G have already passed the network access testing of Telecommunication Bureau of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the market entry testingof China Mobile, meeting all commercial standards.

SC8800G achieves great speed advancement while significantly reducing power consumption. The chip is an ideal solution for customers to develop competitive low power consumption mobile handsets. Furthermore, this world’s first commercial 40nm low power TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA multi-mode communication baseband processor will contribute to the development of Intelligent City, Internet of Things, Mobile Internet and the integration of telecommunications networks, cable TV networks and Computer network in China.

Dr. Leo Li, Spreadtrum’s President and CEO said, “As the inventor of the world’s first commercial 40nm low power TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA multi-mode communication baseband processor, we are proud of our cutting-edge technology in 3G communication standards, our design capability in advanced technology and our world-class engineering team. The commercial TD-HSPA/TD-SCDMA mobile phones developed based on the SC8800G are representative of the progression from ‘made in China’ to ‘invented in China’. China’s IC design companies are presented with tremendous opportunities as the country undergoes a major upgrade in industry and economy development. Spreadtrum is dedicated to the continuous technology innovation in order to capitalize on these opportunities and play an instrumental role in the growth of China’s IC industry.”

Spreadtrum and Hisense Jointly Launched the World’s First Affordable TD-SCDMA Phone Supporting CMMB Digital TV [Spreadtrum press releases, Jan 10, 2011]

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company that develops baseband and RF processor solutions for the wireless communications market (hereinafter referred to as “Spreadtrum”, Nasdaq Stock code: SPRD), and Qingdao Hisense Communication Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of a world leading provider of flat panel TVs, household appliances and mobile communications (hereinafter referred to as “Hisense Communication”), jointly launched the world’s first TD-SCDMA feature phoneHisense N51 — with retail price below 1000 RMB. Hisense N51 is the only affordable TD-SCDMA mobile phone that supports CMMB digital TV among all existing 3G phones that are available through China Mobile’s “TD-SCDMA Terminal Special Incentive Fund Project” program. With the increasing demand for affordable 3G phones in the Chinese market, the launch of Hisense N51 will greatly accelerate the adoption of the TD-SCDMA platform and further enrich TD-SCDMA terminal products and services.

Hisense N51 was jointly developed by Spreadtrum and Hisense in a highly collaborative technical partnership. Executive Vice President of Hisense Communication, Ms. Wenlin Yang, said: “Hisense and Spreadtrum share a long history of co-operation. Partnering with Spreadtrum, we successfully won the bid of ‘thousand-yuan 3G mobile phones’ project of China Mobile’s ‘TD-SCDMA Terminal Special Incentive Fund Project.’ Through our six-month joint effortsand Spreadtrum’s very competitive TD-SCDMA and CMMB solutions, the Hisense N51 was introduced. The excellent localized technical support and quick customer service response from Spreadtrum’s team have not only greatly shortened the time to launch Hisense N51, but also ensured that Hisense TD-SCDMA products will be competitive in the 3G phone market. Hisense has always been at the forefront of the TD-SCDMA industry. At present, China Mobile has completed the construction of a national network, by investing huge resources to support the end-products, especially affordable G3 handsets. Compounded with its huge customer base and mature terminal operating experience, I believe, in 2010, China’s TD users will show explosive growth and our partnership with Spreadtrum will move further in the next level.”

President and CEO of Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., Dr. Leo Li, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Hisense to develop affordable TD-SCDMA products targeting China’s 3G market. Hisense has an extensive research and development experience and leading technology, as well as a close partnership with Spreadtrum. Spreadtrum provides highly integrated TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE baseband chip SC8800H and RF chip QS3200, which effectively reduce the cost of development and manufacturing of Hisense Communication products. Therefore, Hisense Communication is able to introduce cost-effective handsets such as N51 by targeting the Chinese 3G market quickly to meet the needs of consumers. Spreadtrum CMMB mobile TV chip SC6600Vprovides Hisense N51 with vast application space. Particularly, Hisense N51 is currently the world’s only 1000 RMB level TD-SCDMA phone that supports CMMB.”

Chief Scientist of Spreadtrum Communications, Inc., Dr. Xiaojian Dong, also remarked: “Spreadtrum has maintained a close cooperative partnership with mobile terminal manufacturers during the implementation process of China Mobile’s ‘TD-SCDMA Terminal Special Incentive Fund Project.’ Under the guidance of China Mobile, we jointly overcame difficulties and achieved our goals. Hisense N51 has successfully passed China Mobile’s testing, which marked Spreadtrum’s great leap forward in phone platform, TD-SCDMA/GSM wireless performance and 2/3G mutual operation and stability. The outstanding results fully confirmed that the performance and maturity of Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA solutions is at the forefront of its industry.

About Hisense N51:

Hisense N51 uses Spreadtrum’s highly integrated SC8800H-baseband, QS3200-RF and SC6600V-CMMB chips to support TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE and mobile TV functionality. Hisense N51 is based on a slim design with a thickness of only 13.3mm and comes with a 2.4-inch screen and a 2 million pixel (HD) camera. Furthermore, Hisense N51 supports TD-SCDMA/HSDPA high-speed data services, TD-SCDMA/GSM dual-mode, WWW/WAP browser for fast Internet access, and has built-in Fetion, music player, cell phone securities, mobile maps, MMS, DM, and PIM, etc. Hisense N51 has a maximum downlink speed of up to 1.6Mbps and uplink speed of up to 384Kbps. For the function of CMMB mobile digital TV, Hisense N51 can receive and send TV broadcasting and communications signals simultaneously without mutual interference and provides maximum TV viewing experience with TD-SCDMA mobile digital TV service.

About CMMB:

For more information on China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting, please visit http://www.cmmb.org.cn .

Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA Chip Adopted in the World’s First 3G OPhone Lenovo O1 [Spreadtrum press releases, Dec 14, 2009]

Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Lenovo Mobile”) launched the world’s first TD-SCDMA standard-based OPhone smart phones – Lenovo O1, with immediate sales in all local markets in mainland China. The phone is based on Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as “Spreadtrum”, Nasdaq: SPRD) TD-SCDMA solution, and supports China Mobile OPhone OS smart phone operating system.

Spreadtrum and Lenovo Mobile, in a highly collaborative technical partnership, jointly developed Lenovo O1. This new handset runs on the China Mobile led developed Intelligent Terminal software platform – the OPhone platform. Lenovo 01 uses Spreadtrum’s TD-SCDMA/HSDPA / GSM / GPRS / EDGE baseband chip SC8800S and radio frequency (“RF”) chip QS3200. It is currently the first 3G OPhone-based smart phone that supports TD-SCDMA, combining China Mobile’s integrated applications, openness, comprehensive entertainment, business applications and other major features for the mobile Internet. Lenovo O1 is a leading example of successful partnerships among key corporations targeting China’s TD-SCDMA market.

As the world’s first TD-SCDMA OPhone-based smart phone, Lenovo O1 adopted Spreadtrum TD-SCDMA chip technology to support GSM / GPRS / EDGE / HSDPAand meets the demand for convergence of video, interactive e-mail and web browsing among others. The introduction of TD-SCDMA OPhone-based smart phones, represented by Lenovo O1, should greatly push forward the development cycle for China’s TD-SCDMA devices.

Regarding Lenovo O1, Spreadtrum President and CEO, Dr. Leo Li said: “The newly introduced Lenovo O1 is an integration of advanced technology and in-depth research work and an outstanding achievement of the intensive cooperation between Lenovo Mobile and China Mobile. Spreadtrum provides highly integrated TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE baseband chips SC8800S and RF chip QS3200, which fully meets the functional and business needs of the operators, while effectively reducing product development and manufacturing costs. Leveraging Lenovo Mobile’s excellent technology platform, O1 products possess an outstanding industrial design with an attractive look and feel at a far smaller thickness than other current available smart phone products. We believe that Lenovo O1 has undoubtedly opened the highly potential Chinese 3G market for future and further developments. The personalization and openness features of OPhone will set the standards for mainstream development of future mobile phones.”

Lenovo Mobile president and CEO Yan Lv, said: “We are very happy to work with Spreadtrum. Lenovo O1 is the result of complete independent research and development by Chinese companies. Spreadtrum provides Lenovo O1 a very competitive TD-SCDMA solution in both baseband and RF, with highly integrated features at an outstanding cost structure. Additionally, the localized services of Spreadtrum team greatly shortened the time for Lenovo O1 to enter the market. Leveraging Lenovo Mobile’s core business product development and methodology, O1 seamlessly integrates features of PC and cell phone. Its introduction will propel the China Telecommunication Industry towards the new 3G mobile Internet era. We also believe that, fully utilizing the 3G wireless Internet network, Lenovo O1, after its entrance into the market, will deliver enhanced mobile Internet user experience to end consumers.”

About OPhone OS:

OPhone OS uses Linux as its system kernel and Google Android as its reference. It is compatible with Google Android platform, integrating flexible and efficient Java application framework. OpenGL ES, SGL and other advanced 3D/2D graphics processing system has been applied in its design, as well as powerful multimedia systems based on PacketVideo’s and the open-source Webkit browser engine. OPhone OS fully draws on good user experience of mainstream operating system, providing a complete set of telephony solutions and a variety of mobile data operation solutions.

About Lenovo Mobile:

Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “Lenovo Mobile”), established in 2002, is a well known player in the Chinese mobile phone industry that specializes in the R&D, production and marketing of mobile phones. Lenovo Mobile is dedicated to provide “Stylish, Simple Innovative & High Quality” products value-added service which will satisfy the personalized needs and enhance the joy of mobile communication. Relying on its independent R&D and powerful sales channels, Lenovo Mobile has become a fundamental influence in the Chinese handset industry. For more information, please visit www.lenovomobile.com


3 Comments

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  2. […] launched the — I think [in] Q4 of the — excuse me, 600 megahertz type of Android [see: World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtru… [in this Experiencing the Cloud blog, Dec 11, 2011 – Feb 27, 2012]]. One thing we didn’t […]

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