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China: Entry-level dual core IPS WVGA (480×800) smartphones $65+ now, quad-core $70+ in June

China market: Qualcomm, Spreadtrum cutting quad-core processor prices [DIGITIMES, April 25, 2013]

Qualcomm and Spreadtrum Communications have both cut prices for their quad-core products to better compete against MediaTek, which controls half of the smartphone-chip market in China, according to industry sources.

Qualcomm recently quoted its quad-core solutions at less than US$10, slightly cheaper than MediaTek’s offerings, the sources indicated. Meanwhile, Spreadtrum has lowered its quad-core processor prices to similar levels. Both firms are trying to gain market share through aggressive pricing, the sources said.

Monthly shipments of MediaTek’s smartphone chips have topped 15 million units recently, and even approached the 20 million level, the sources revealed. The booming shipments already lifted MediaTek’s share of China’s smartphone-IC market to 50%, the sources said.

MediaTek’s quad-core solutions reportedly have attracted orders from Coolpad, Huawei, Lenovo and ZTE.

In other news, MediaTek has reported higher-than-expected sales for the first quarter of 2013. The firm has scheduled an investors meeting on May 6 to discuss its performance in the first quarter, and business outlook.

Remark: the inserted slides are from 1Q13 Investor Roadshow Presentation [Feb 26, 2013] from Spreadtrum

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And as $48 Mogu M0 “peoplephone”, i.e. an Android smartphone for everybody to hit the Chinese market on November 15 [Nov 9, 2012]
now Mogu S2 went on sale today [China Smartphones, April 22, 2013]

A leader in the production of super cheap smart phones, the Chinese company Mogu, today held a preliminary sales of its new budget smartphone Mogu S2. The official price of the unit is 399 yuan, or about $65. Today, the sale was put on a limited batch of 5000 smartphones at the price of 299 yuan ($48).

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Mogu S2 is running the 2-core processor with a clock speed of 1.2 Ghz, and used 4-inch screen with a resolution of WVGA [480×800] to display the information. In addition there is 512 MB RAM, 4GB of ROM and a 5-megapixel camera. A nice addition is its support for two SIM cards, modules, WIFI, Bluetooth, and GPS. The operating system is installed MOGO OS (Android 2.3 Gingerbread).

Additional key information from the company’s product page [MOGU蘑菇手机, April 20, 2013]: i.e. IPS display and the Spreadtrum SC8825 or SC6825 SoC

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We’ve seen the effect of the earlier SC6820 SoC leading to Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. This is how Spreadtrum presented this situtation recently:

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The two new SoCs are the same to the maximum as SC8825 has only the following additional functionality:

TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz

and prospects for that additional functionality (internal to China) were presented as exceptionally bright by the company: 

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Spreadtrum Announces Commercial Launch of Dual-Core Smartphone Chipsets for TD-SCDMA and EDGE [press release, April 2, 2013]

SC8825 (TD-SCDMA) and SC6825 (EDGE) set new standard for dual-core smartphone chipset cost and performance with high level of integration, standout graphics performance and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology
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 announced the commercial availability of its dual-core 1.2GHz smartphone chipsets for TD-SCDMA (SC8825) and EDGE (SC6825), following the successful qualification of its platform by China Mobile.
“With our new dual-core chipsets, Spreadtrum has leveraged our expertise in system design to deliver the lowest-cost dual-core platform in combination with high end graphics performance for the TD-SCDMA and EDGE markets,” said Dr. Leo Li, chairman and CEO of Spreadtrum. “This combination of low-cost architecture, standout graphics performance, and best-in-class TD-SCDMA technology provides smartphone designers with unprecedented value in bringing high end features to low-cost devices.”
Spreadtrum’s SC8825, which supports dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSPA & EDGE/GPRS/GSM and the SC6825, which supports EDGE/GPRS/GSM, are based on a highly efficient multi-core architecture delivering the lowest cost platform available for dual-core TD-SCDMA and EDGE smartphone products. The single-chip chipsets integrate a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators for differentiated performance and user experience. Both chipsets are further paired with a single-chip mutimode RF transceiver for a high level of integration and are pin-to-pin compatible, enabling handset makers to leverage a common handset development effort for products shipping to China as well as to emerging markets.
In addition to their high level of integration and low-cost architecture, Spreadtrum’s chipsets further deliver standout graphics performance. The solutions’ powerful graphics processing capability enhances the user experience for games and other graphics-rich applications, and enables Spreadtrum to bring high end features such as the larger screen sizes more commonly found in premium smartphones to low-cost devices.
“The benchmark results we are achieving for our dual-core solution, measured by popular benchmark programs such as AnTuTu and GLBenchmark 2.5, significantly outperform other commercial dual-core products,” added Dr. Li. “This powerful processing capability provides our customers with an even more cost-effective and power-efficient way to deliver high end features in low-cost smartphones.”
Other features of Spreadtrum’s SC8825 and SC6825 chipsets include support for HD 1280×720 LCD display, H.264 720p video playback, up to 8 megapixel RGB camera and dual-SIM, dual-standby capability. The chipsets ship with turnkey Android and systems software, reducing the engineering time and resources required by handset makers to bring devices to market, with reference implementations available for both 4-layer and 6-layer PCB layouts.
The SC8825 and SC6825 are commercially available now. The chipsets have already been incorporated by leading China handset makers into smartphone models that are expected to ship commercially during 2Q 2013.
About Spreadtrum Communications, Inc.
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRD; “Spreadtrum”) is a fabless semiconductor company that develops mobile chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products, supporting 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards. Spreadtrum’s solutions combine its highly integrated, power-efficient chipsets with customizable software and reference designs in a complete turnkey platform, enabling customers to achieve faster design cycles with a lower development cost. Spreadtrum’s customers include global and China-based manufacturers developing mobile products for consumers in China and emerging markets around the world. For more information, visit www.spreadtrum.com.

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SC8825 TD-HSPA+/TD-SCDMA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

Spreadtrum’s SC8825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for dual-mode TD-SCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC8825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC8825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip tri-band TD-SCDMA/quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

SC8825 Baseband Chip Diagram

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SC8825 Key Features

Core Description

  • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 128bit FP data path

Communication Features

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
  • EGPRS Class 12
  • TD-SCDMA standards (3GPP R7), 2010~2025MHz / 1880~1920MHz/2300~2400MHz
  • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB
  • HSPA+ 4.2 Mbps,HSUPA 2.2 Mbps

Multimedia Support For

  • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
  • Decoder: MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
  • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
  • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
  • 3G-324M Video Telephony
  • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
  • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
  • Audio codec included

LCD Display Features

  • Support up to HD resolution
  • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
  • MIPI and RGB @60fps
  • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

Memory I/F Support For

  • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
  • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
  • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
  • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

Peripheral I/F Support For

  • HS USB 2.0
  • 4 x UART
  • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
  • 4 x I2C interfaces
  • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
  • 3 x SDIO interfaces
  • 1 x eMMC interfaces
  • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
  • 4 x PWM outputs
  • ETM port
  • More than 100 GPIO pins
  • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

Other Features

  • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
  • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

SC6825 GSM/GPRS/EDGE Baseband Chip [product site, April 2, 2013]

Spreadtrum’s SC6825 is a highly integrated mixed signal baseband processor for GSM/GPRS/EDGE applications. SC6825 integrates a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A5 core processor, a dual-core Mali 400 graphics processor and multimedia and hardware accelerators in a highly efficient system architecture that brings differentiated performance and user experience to low-cost smartphones. SC6825 is coupled with Spreadtrum’s single-chip quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM RF transceiver for small footprint, and ships with turnkey Android systems software for rapid time to market and efficiency in handset design.

SC6825 Baseband Chip Diagram

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SC6825 Key Features

Core Description

  • ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core, clock speeds up to 1.2GHz
  • 32KB I-Cache, 32KB D-Cache
  • 256KB L2 Cache
  • 128bit FP data path

Communication Features

  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, GSM850/EGSM900/DCS1800/PCS1900
  • EGPRS Class 12
  • HR, FR, EFR, AMR-NB

Multimedia Support For

  • Mali 400 GPU MP2, 40MTri/s, 700Mpix/s, OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0
  • Decoder:MPEG4/H.263 720p@30fps; H.264 720p@30fps ; VP8 720p@30fps
  • Encoder:H.263/H.264/MPEG4 D1@30fps
  • Video Streaming: MPEG4/H.263/H.264 720p@30fps
  • 3G-324M Video Telephony
  • 8 MP Camera Sub-system JPEG decoder/encoder
  • Support MP3/AAC/AAC+/MIDI/AMR-NB/WAV format
  • Audio codec included

LCD Display Features

  • Support up to HD resolution
  • Built-in LCD Controller,touch panel controller
  • MIPI and RGB @60fps
  • Support OSD / Rotation / Scaling

Memory I/F Support For

  • NAND flash(8bit and 16 bit devices)
  • HW ECC, multi-bit ECC
  • 2G byte SDR/LPDDR1/LPDDR2 (16bit and 32bit devices)
  • eMMC(4.4.1) boot

Peripheral I/F Support For

  • HS USB 2.0
  • 4 x UART
  • 3 x SPI interface , 3-wire SPI,4-wire SPI, synchronous SPI
  • 4 x I2C interfaces
  • 2 x I2S and PCM interface
  • 3 x SDIO interfaces
  • 1 x eMMC interfaces
  • 2 x SIM/USIM interfaces
  • 4 x PWM outputs
  • ETM port
  • More than 100 GPIO pins
  • 8*8 keyboard interfaces

Other Features

  • Operating ambient temperature range: -45 to +95 degrees centigrade
  • 12.1mm×12.1mm 517-ball, 0.4mm ball pitch

Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012

Allwinner in mainland China moved first to quad-core Cortex-A7 with the A31 SoC introduced with the launch of the first two tablet products, Onda V972 and V812, on December 5, 2012 (and delivered from December 24, 2012 on in mainland China). That prompted a direction only reaction that Qualcomm quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p coming for the high-volume global market and China [Dec 9, 2012]), with sampling just planned for Q2’13 and only now publishing a completely redesigned 2013 roadmap according to Qualcomm moving ahead of Allwinner et al. in CPU and GPU while trying to catch up with Allwinner in Ultra HD [Jan 12 – Feb 20, 2013]. The #2 SoC vendor MediaTek from Taiwan had already plans to move to Cortex-A7 so was able to react much more quickly with MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [Dec 12, 2012]. Such a delivery first happened with Micromax A116 in India (from February 14, 2013 on) which targeted the delivery of Samsung Galaxy Grand (from January 21, 2013 on) based on a very much ‘2012 vintage’ SoC from Broadcom still using a dual core Cortex-A9 driven CPU.

So here we have an interesting possibility of comparing a ‘2013 vintage’ (quad-core Cortex-A7 at 28nm etc.) phablet solution with a ‘2012 vintage’ (dual core Cortex-A9 at 40nm LP etc.) one. In addition from a vendor (MediaTek) trying to agressively conquer the global market after the Greater China one by going against the global #1 heavyweight Samsung. Such an analysis would, no doubt, reveal quite interesting facts not only about the current state of the market but about the future market as well.

First here is an overall comparison video from India:
Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand – Gaming, Benchmarks, Camera, Performance, Display [intellectdigest YouTube channel, Feb 16, 2013]

See also: ‘Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand’ at http://www.intellectdigest.in/micromax-canvas-hd-a-116-price-and-review-583/

Next there is a detailed specification comparison is in the table somewhat below.

Before that, however, note that to do such a comparison one needs to invest more than one day of time which shows quite well that in the consumer computing space customers will hardly be able to recognize the really deciding differentiators(in the same way as this happens with consumer products in general). I am particularly dismayed by the fact that even from such a table one will hardly recognize the most important differentiator that from power consumption point of view the Galaxy Grand is ways better that the Micromax A116 (440 hours of standby time vs. 174 hours, and 10 hours 10 minutes of talk time vs. 5 hours).

Then the display quality difference discussed first in the above video is far less than one would conclude from the below table (TFT LCD at 800×480 resolution on Grand and IPS at 1280×720 on Micromax A116) as evidenced by the excerpted video image included below (taken az [1:15] with A116 on the left and Grand on the right, for both the brightness set to maximum for the comparison). One of the reasons for that is the mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology from Samsung going back to 2003 with TVs. In fact MediaTek just now came up with a kind of similar technology of its own (see in the end of Section 1) called MiraVision. Immediately after that (in the whole Section 2) I included all available material about both the mDNIe and its “parent from TVs”, DNIe in order to make possible to understand the maturity of Samsung solution vs. the MediaTek one. And there are definitely other “tricks” (additional layers etc.) which are also essential for making the Grand screen a true masterpice of display engineering.

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Click on the image below or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!image
            Click on the image above or this link in order to go to a clickable version of the table!

Finally, in addition to the already mentioned first two sections of the detailed analysis there is a Section 3 in the end devoted to the Broadcom SoC technology used in the Samsung Galaxy Grand

More information for this introductory part:
Micromax Canvas HD A116 [Micromax microsite, Feb 13, 2013]
MediaTek High Performance Quad Core Solution Empowers Micromax A116 Canvas HD [MediaTek press release, Jan 22, 2013]
Micromax Canvas HD demo Video [micromaxtube YouTube channel, Feb 19, 2013]

Micromax launches Canvas HD to strengthen phablet leadership [Micromax press release, Jan 21, 2013]

… it is the ideal phone for the young generation who is always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smart phones on the go!

Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax said, “At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop  great technological experiences for our consumers. Today’s launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality.” He further added, “We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5” phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today.”
Speaking at the occasion,  Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager  – Business Development at MediaTek, said, “In less than 2 years of launching our first smartphone chipset, MediaTek’s shipments in this category have grown more than ten times, with 110 million units in 2012. As the world’s first commercialized quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, the MT6589 is an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire. Micromax shares our core philosophy of pushing the bar on innovation and bringing it within the reach of the masses. We are delighted that India’s leading youth mobile brand has chosen MediaTek to power its top-end mobile smartphones.”

About Micromax [the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the world]:
Micromax started as an IT software company in the year 2000 working on embedded platforms. In 2008, it entered mobile handset business and by 2010 it became one of the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company by offering unique affordable innovations. … The brand’s product portfolio embraces more than 60 models today, ranging from feature rich, dual – SIM phones, 3G Android smartphones, tablets, LED televisions and data cards. The company has many firsts to its credit when it comes to the mobile handset market including the 30-day battery backup, dual SIM phones, QWERTY keypads, dual reception mode handsets, universal remote control mobile phones etc. Micromax has presence in more than 500 districts through 100,000 retail outlets in India. The company has global business presence spread across Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan and Brazil.

Samsung Galaxy Grand (i9082) full review hands on video [mobiscrub YouTube channel, Feb 4, 2013]

[2:06] The display of the Grand is a 5 inch Super Clear LCD with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. When compared to the Super AMOLED screen in the Galaxy Note II or the S III, the screen does look less saturated, however, color rendition is great & looks very natural. Wide viewing angles & good outdoor visibility lets you watch movies & read content easily. [2:42]
The Galaxy Grand camera is an 8 MP sensor with autofocus & LED Flash. The camera also features BIS (Backside Illumination Sensor) which basically takes great shots even in low light condition. The shutter speed of the Galaxy Grand camera is quite nice as well but not as fast as the Note II or the S III.
Much of the smart features in the Galaxy Grand resemble to those found in the S III & Note II such as: Multi window, Smart Rotation, Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct call & pop up play. Obviously there is no S Pen included with the Galaxy Grand, that differentiates from the smartphone beast, the Note II.

Samsung GALAXY Grand [Samsung Mobile Press announcement, Dec 18, 2012]
Samsung Unveiled GALAXY Grand [Samsung Tomorrow Global, Dec 18, 2012]
Galaxy Grand GT-i9082 [Samsung India microsite, Jan 22, 2013]
Samsung Galaxy Grand Redefines Smartphone Experience for All [Samsung India press release, Jan 22, 2013]

Even though it supports a massive 5.0″ screen with WVGA TFT display powered with mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]technology, the device is incredibly slim and comes with an ergonomic design which makes is comfortable to hold. The vivid display provides an expansive viewing experience rendering messaging, multimedia and Web content in brilliant color and clarity.

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Samsung GT-i9082 Galaxy Grand [Duos]

Micromax Canvas HD A116 Detailed In Depth Video Review And Comparison With Galaxy Grand [Intellect Digest, Feb 17, 2013]
List of Top 5 Phablets under Rs 20k – Feb 2013 [My PhoneFactor.in, Feb 20, 2013]
Micromax A116 Canvas HD performance review vs. other quad-core phones [Thinkdigit, Feb 15, 2013]


Section 1   MT6589
Quad-Core Cortex-A7 1GHz+CPU Smartphone Platform [MediaTek product page, Dec 27, 2012]

Overview

The world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market
The Coolest quad core solution- MT6589 is the world’s first commercialized quad-core SoC (AP+BB) available for mid to high end smartphone and tablets market, the MT6589 integrates a power-efficient Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem. The MT6589 is delivered in advanced 28nm process technology, creating a universal platform that delivers powerful performance at a very competitive price.

Features

Innovative, Advanced Dual-SIM solution
    • Dual-SIM and Dual-Active functionality frees users to seamlessly make and receive calls on two SIM cards at the same time.
      High-end Multimedia Capabilities
        • 13MP camera with integrated ISP, 1080p playback and recording at 30fps, and enhanced image processing for DTV-grade image quality
        • Full HD (1920×1080) [1080p] LCD support for razor sharp visuals
          Best-in-class MediaTek Technology
            • Integrated leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, providing 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM radio

            MT6589 – The Coolest Quad-Core SoC Platform – Thermal Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, Dec 28, 2012]

            MediaTek MT6589 -The World’s First Commercialized Quad-Core Cortex-A7 SoC Available for Mid to High End Smartphone and Tablets Market.

            See also:
            MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [MediaTek press release, Dec 11, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, announced the launch of the MT6589, the world’s first commercialized quad-core System on a Chip (SoC), available for mid to high-end Android smartphones and tablets worldwide. The new quad-core SoC integrates MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem, a power-efficient quad-core Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and is delivered in 28nm process technology. As a leader in Dual-SIM technology, the MT6589 is also the world’s first HSPA+ smartphone platform supporting Dual-SIM, Dual-Active functionality to address increasing multi-SIM demand around the world. The integration of these compelling features makes the MT6589 a universal platform that delivers premium multimedia capabilities with extremely low power consumption for an outstanding user experience. It also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way, for any market worldwide.
            The MT6589 also supports Miracast™ technology for multi-screen content sharing and pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM.
            The MediaTek MT6589 is currently being incorporated into smart devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q1 2013.

            Lenovo S3000 uses MediaTek quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 [Charbax YouTube channel, Feb 26, 2013]

            Lenovo announces the Android tablet market has overtaken the iPad market, with 53% worldwide market share for Android and 43% for iPad. Lenovo is the biggest tablet brand in China, with a tight relation to MediaTek, here’s Lenovo’s latest quad-core 7″ 1024×600 IPS tablet.

            MediaTek Powers Lenovo’s Premium Multimedia IdeaTab S6000 Tablet [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

            This year, at Mobile World Congress, MediaTek’s quad core SoC will be powering three new Android tablets launched by Lenovo, led by the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000. Built on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, the S6000 is a sleek (8.6mm) and light (560g), 10” tablet which leverages quad-core processing to deliver performance, connectivity, and clarity.
            Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek. “Our aim is to democratize the smartphone market by enabling the smart ecosystem to make high performance products at affordable prices for the mainstream market.  This in turn will be the catalyst for the smart age as customers will demand greater device integration to share and view their entertainment and information seamlessly across multiple screens – requiring a sophisticated smart ecosystem that only MediaTek’s SoC total solutions can drive.”

            How MediaTek helps lower mobile device power consumption? [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

            MediaTek is continuously making technological breakthrough with each new generation of smartphone solution. Through high levels of hardware and software integration and the efforts of system optimization, the CPU power saving for MT6589 allows for up to 11 extra hours of operation with a typical battery. Watch the video to learn more…

            MiraVision makes Full-HD support for mobile devices a reality to everyone [MediaTek press release, Feb 25, 2013]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the availability of “MiraVision,” the world’s most comprehensive suite of display picture quality technology, for its smartphone and tablet platforms.
            The joint hardware and software suite of display picture quality technology – MiraVision – aims to strengthen Mediatek’s leading position in the smart age, where consumers can expect the same, high quality of the visual experience across various display resolutions. Leveraging MediaTek’s leading display picture quality technology developed in digital TV (DTV), MiraVision is designed to deliver seamless full high-definition display picture quality on mobile devices. It empowers handset and tablets makers to provide the best visual quality on the mobile platform with reduced time to market, simplified product development and differentiation for consumers everywhere.
            MiraVision is equipped with specific features that enable users to enjoy DTV-grade display picture quality on their mobile devices. With MiraVision, contents will be displayed more vivid and saturated with more details, providing a far richer and more colorful viewing experience previously only available on a high-end DTV. Furthermore, specifically tailored for mobile devices, the all-important power efficiency has been addressed and boosted through the Ambient-Light Adaptive Luma (AAL) technology, which intelligently adjusts the panel backlight in response to the ambient light intensity and the displayed contents to simultaneously optimize battery life and viewing experience. The combination of enhanced sharpness, richer color and adaptive Luma technology means true seamless quality across multiple devices is closer than ever before.
            “The future is more than just TVs or smartphones alone,” commented Jeffrey Ju, GM of Smartphone Business Unit of MediaTek, “our focus is on innovative solutions that enhance the chip, driving speed to market at premium performance up for our customers while ensuring the seamless cross-screen experience across the array of devices through which users are consuming entertainment and information. We are proud to be the one who can truly integrate technologies of DTV and mobile phones/tablets in the smart age, making the premium cross-screen experience real to everyone in every market.”

            This background technology from MediaTek is also available to the MT6589 as evidenced by [2:00 – 3:00] time fragment of this recorded video (at [0:56] it is explicitly said: “Miravision engine which has been included in the new MT6589 quad-core SoC”):
            MiraVision: world’s leading digital TV-grade picture-quality engine for mobile devices [mediateklab YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

            With advanced algorithms, the Miravision picture-quality engine can calculate the optimal level of backlighting for any given environment, while also ensuring that the backlighting is optimized by the content. This kind of flexible optimization for backlighting and pixel intensity gives the user a level of screen brightness that is most comfortable and pleasing for the eyes.


            Section 2
            Samsung mDNIe [mobile Digital Natural Image engine]

            Into the New Wave – the Samsung Wave S8500 [samsungwave YouTube channel, Feb 14, 2010]

            Samsung Wave S8500 is the first mobile handset to be released on Samsung’s new, open mobile platform, Samsung bada. … Display: 3.3 WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED with mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine) technology. DNIe technology is proven display technology which was incorporated to Samsung’s LCD TV and LED TVs lineups. It boosts an even sharper and crisper viewing experience for photos, videos, and e-books than the Super AMOLED by itself.

            Mobile Digital Natural Image Engine – mDNIe [Read a tech, June 12, 2010]

            Samsung Wave display features Samsung’s mDNIe – mobile Digital Natural Image engine technology, borrowed from Samsung’s latest LCD TV and LED TV products, says the company. The mDNIe technology is said to offer better viewing angles and “super fast response.” The Wave’s display is also touted for its tempered glass and anti-smudge surface.

            From http://tvtonight.televisionshop.info/samsung-hl-s5087w-50-inch-1080p-dlp-hdtv-on-sale/

            The Samsung Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) Video Enhancer refines all analog NTSC and wideband video inputs for an overall improvement in picture quality. DNIe improves contrast, white level, picture detail and incorporates digital noise reduction to improve lower quality video inputs. The 3-line digital comb filter constantly analyzes the three dimensions of picture height, picture width, and picture changes-over-time to dramatically reduce edge image artifacts while improving transition detail. Samsung’s Cinema Smooth 3:2 pull-down film mode corrects for the artificial frames created when films are converted to DVDs. The result is a clearer image without the subtle motion artifacts caused by 24-to-30 frames per second video conversion.

            Samsung’s DNIe™

            Samsung’s DNIe™ technology offers digital perfection in naturally presented, crystal-clear images that uncover even the most minute detail.


            Motion Optimizer: The visual data are automatically broken down into signal and noise and adjusted through a combined spatial/temporal process to eliminate noise and blurring without the slightest damage to the original signal. This guarantees the viewer a picture of astounding sharpness, whether the scene is still or moving.


            Contrast Enhancer: DNIe has done away with the unwanted side-effects that conventional contrast enhancement can produce, such as noise boost-up and flicker by developing an algorithm that recognizes over 1 million criteria for applying contrast. Its detail contrast enhancement technology can automatically analyze up to 70,000 local images within a frame, treating the viewer to a picture rich in contrast even in the tiniest details.


            Color optimizer: For each scene the color optimizer calculates the saturation of red, green, and blue in the input signal and adjusts it to the shades that the human eye accepts as natural. Even a conventional process like white tone enhancement produces more striking results when when used with DNIe. The end result is a palette of vivid hues and pure white tones to satisfy the most discerning viewers eye.


            Detail enhancer: Many viewers complain of the unnatural effect that conventional uniform detail enhancement produces by relying on artificial amplification of the input signal. In contrast, DNIe automatically analyzes the portion to be amplified, detecting and re-processing any noise or defect to bring the viewer a startlingly sharp and lifelike image.

            Samsung DNIe ‘Pixel’ [sangafilms YouTube channel, Dec 5, 2007]

            “Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe.” Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV [Samsung press release, April 2003]

            – Digital TVs with new DNIe technology are being put on the world market. DNIe technology can be applied to all digital TV typesLCD, PDP, projection or CRT.
            – The cleanest and most natural images are produced under all viewing conditions.
            – Samsung, which leads the world market in color TVs, TFT-LCDs, and color monitors, aims to do the same with digital TVs.
            Samsung Electronics has developed the Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) that greatly improves the clarity and detail of images reproduced by color TVs. The company expects its technology breakthrough to elevate the Samsung brand the top of the rapidly growing world digital TV market.
            On April 29, Samsung Electronics held a briefing on the new DNIe technology and digital TV business strategy. On display were PDP, LCD, projection and cathode ray tube (CRT) models supported by DNIe, which offers far greater image detail than conventional digital TVs. Samsung Electronics began its research project to improve picture quality back in 1996 and implemented it in stages. The first prototype digital TV with DNIe was ready last December. The technology can be used with all types of digital TVs to re-create natural colors that truly please. Last year, Samsung sold more color TVs than any other manufacturer, and now the company is ready to do the same in the digital TV market.
            DNIe technology optimizes the moving picture image and color, while the contrast ratio and fine details are amplified. These four processes automatically and precisely capture broadcast signals in all formats, from analog to high definition. This high clarity, high detail image technology provides the best possible picture quality under all conditions.
            Last December, Samsung Electronics completed development of the four processes. The next four months were applying the new technology to CRT TVs (29”-32”), DLP projection TVs (43” to 61”), CRT projection TVs (43” to 52”) PDP TVs (42” to 63”) and LCD TVs (32” to 40”) and commercializing the new products.
            Significance of New DNIe Technology
            Samsung Electronics’ high clarity, high detail image technology is the product of a determined effort to improve picture quality. This approach is far more than a simple picture improvement based on analog signal reception. Rather, the new technology produces complete image quality; any signal input comes out cleaner and more natural.
            DNIe can completely eliminate blurring from movement or image prolongation. A deep contrast can also be achieved. What is more, the finest detail appears sharp, while the vivid natural color is most pleasing to the eye.
            The Samsung Electronics briefing clearly demonstrated the superiority of the company’s latest technology over conventional technology. The company has received 85 foreign and domestic patents related to DNIe, including a basic technology patent for contrast reproduction.

            DNIe Technology in a Nutshell

            Samsung’s unique DNIe technology encompasses four functions that analyze all signal input, from analog to high definition, in stages. The volume of noise in the signal is detected and the signal level is classified according into analog, SD or HD and then optimized accordingly.
            Motion Optimizer: Processes Noise More Completely than Ever Before
            This noise processing technology integrates temporal and spatial concepts to ensure clear images even when the motion is very fast.
            Contrast Enhancer: For a Deeper Contrast
            This technology employs a contrast ratio of one million or more and a new algorithm that can reproduce the optimal contrast to provide a deep and rich image quality.
            Detail Enhancer: Complete Images, True to the Finest Detail
            A vastly improved technology for automatically analyzing the picture signal reproduces images in amazing detail, resulting in more lifelike video.
            Color Optimizer: Vivid, Natural Colors
            The video signals being generated are analyzed and the quantities of reds, greens and blues are calculated to provide the colors most natural to the human eye.

            Samsung DNIe [tnbtsingapore YouTube channel, Aug 12, 2010]

            FAQs: What is DNIe [Samsung, Oct 10, 2012]

            Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe TM) is a set of four advanced image processing technologies that makes digital TVs, including various types of displays such as LCD, PDP, projection, and CRT, produce the clearest, most detailed, and yet most natural-looking images ever.
            The four technologies used by DNIe are:
            • Motion Optimiser: eliminates noise, even in moving pictures
            • Contrast Enhancer: increases the contrast
            • Detail Enhancer: sharpens pictures and makes details visible
            • Color Optimiser: provides natural and vibrant colours
            The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyser that analyses any kind of input signal to optimise the picture quality. By analysing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyser automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.
            Through this analysis of the input signal at the first stage of the DNIe TM process, the Intelligent Analyser ensures that the optimal adjustments is made throughout the remaining four stages to the production of the final output.
            DNIe technology is not only suitable for all usual input signals for television reception today, such as analogue, cable, satellite and digital, it also works with the input signals of DVD, camcorders and game computers.
            DNIeTM R&D History
            Progress in picture quality enhancement has been achieved through sustained research and investment at Samsung, beginning in 1996 with an independent project. In 1997, Samsung’s project developed a noise reduction function for the image enhancement of CRT TVs.
            In 2000, Samsung embarked on a new picture quality enhancement project and confirmed its potential for production. By 2001, the fruits of these research efforts had laid the technological foundations for the birth of Samsung’s full-fledged image enhancement algorithm.
            In March 2002, the basic version of Samsung’s unique DNIe technology was ready. At last it was possible to obtain optimal picture quality with signals ranging from RF all the way up to HD. The development of DNIe was completed by 2002, and early 2003 this radical new technology caught the eye of the world in a successful demo at a show in Las Vegas.
            For more information on (DNIe) Digital Natural Image engine click Here

            DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine [Birds-Eye.Net, Apr 3, 2011]

            DNIe, or Digital Natural Image engine, is a “natural image” technology introduced by Samsung in 2003. Originally developed as part of a concerted effort by Samsung to improve television picture quality on non-high-definition-televisions, the DNIe chip is now used in Samsung’s plasma and high definition televisions (HDTV). DNIe makes input signals sharper, clearer and more lifelike. Its advanced image processors help to create true-to-life colors and high contrast, while pretty much eliminating digital artifacts.
            DNIe offers better detail than conventional televisions by using four proprietary processes that optimize and enhance image quality and sound: a Motion Optimizer that is a noise processing technology used to eliminate blurring and noise in fast moving images and thus producing a more natural-looking motion; a Contrast Enhancer that offers rich details and image quality through brightness and contrast levels that are enhanced for deeper, richer blacks with greater detail, and more natural whites; a Detail Enhancer that automatically analyzes the picture signal elements in order to produce sharper detail, clearer image separation and more natural edge transition; and a Color Optimizer that analyzes the video signals being generated so that the quantities of reds, greens, and blues are calculated to provide colors with a more lifelike realism, where whites are more accurate, and skin tones are given a more natural hue. DNIe also offers Samsung’s patented “My Color Control” technology that the user to control specific colors without affecting the whole screen, providing six color-control selections: white, red, pink, yellow, green and blue, so the user can adjust a color to their liking.
            Other Related Definitions for DNIe
            “The secret of DNIe TM begins with an Intelligent Analyzer that analyzes any kind of input signal to optimize the picture quality. By analyzing the frequency characteristics of the input signal, the Analyzer automatically detects the amount of noise in the signal, identifies the source level as analogue, SD, or HD, and even determines whether it has been scaled.” [Samsung]
            “The SAMSUNG DNIe vision is an image enhancement algorithm with remarkable engines that work in tandem and individually to improve the visual quality. This technology from SAMSUNG that spells the end of conventional television.” [Samsung]
            “SAMSUNG’s DNIe Pro (Digital Natural Image engine) ensures the clearest, most natural images imaginable. Colour and motion are optimised and the contrast and detail are enhanced to ensure unprecedented image quality.” [Samsung]
            “Samsung’s proprietary technology, DNIe – Digital Natural Image engine – is the secret to stunning HDTV picture quality. DNIe optimizes six different elements of image quality such as color balance, sharpness, and motion to reproduce the most life-like and vibrant picture throughout Samsung’s broad portfolio.” [Samsung]
            “DNIe generally improves most HD and DVD content with a few exceptions, but it’s a mixed bag with NTSC sources. Many HD and DVD images are made sharper with DNIe, contrast is improved, and color accuracy is enhanced in many scenes.” [Extremetech.com]
            “DNIe is Samsung’s image “enhancement” engine…On the surface these claims sound great, but on closer examination most of these features are either impossible (6 times density enhancer) or undesirable (dynamic contrast ratio). For every image DNIe makes better there are two images that it makes worse. There is no way these sets can hold a calibration with DNIe enabled. If accuracy is desired DNIe should be turned off and left off. On the HLP DNIe can be easily disabled in the user menu. It should be noted that there are a few models of Samsung DLPs (notably the HLR series) that have DNIe permanently enabled. Before purchasing a Samsung display I would make sure that DNIe can be toggled from the user menus.” [Gadgetbench.com]
            “DNIe is a video enhancer that makes the picture more colorful and lifelike. You can tell too. In the DNIe product demo, the screen is split – one side shows natural footage, the other shows DNIe enhanced footage. The difference is remarkable. The natural footage is boring and robbed of color while the DNIe footage is bright and crisp. The user controls when DNIe is used, which is good because not everyone will want enhanced video all the time – like an editor previewing footage to see what color correction is required.” [Matthew Torres]
            Links Related to DNIe
            Nature created DNA, but SAMSUNG developed DNIe – Samsung Electronics Unveils New “Natural Image” Technology for Digital TV
            What is DNIe? – Digital Natural Image engine

            Technical Resources for DNIe

            Feel the DNIeVideo demo of DNIe and Technical Information

            Blogs about DNIe
            Samsung Village – Official Samsung blog for news and inside stories
            Books about DNIe
            Digital Video and HD, Second Edition: Algorithms and Interfaces (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) – by by Charles A. Poynton
            Global Marketing Management – by Kiefer Lee and Steve Carter
            Other DNIe Related Books

            Section 3

            Smartphone HSPA+ Platform (from 2013 Products of Broadcom [Feb 8, 2013]):

            • BCM28145: 720p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor
            • BCM28155: 1080p 4G HSPA+ Smartphone Processor

            Broadcom CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript [Seeking Alpha, Jan 29, 2013]

            Scott A. McGregor – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

            Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand, Grand Duos, and Galaxy S2 Plus, leveraging our complete Android platform, which includes our 3G cellular SOC and wireless connectivity.

            We also have more than 40 designs in process in China on our turnkey reference platforms. Our technology mix is trending to HSPA+ dual core application processors and additional connectivity, features which command a meaningful ASP premium.

            The Galaxy Grand, for example, includes Broadcom’s dual core SOC NFC controller, connectivity combo with built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and FM, RF transceiver, power management, and GPS.

            From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 6, 2012 (slides from here)

            Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

            image

            Broadcom’s focus is on 3G and 4G. The reason we’re focused on 3G is because we see the 3G market continuing to grow. We see it being very important for emerging markets. And we see the 3G market taking over the feature phone market going forward. So for emerging markets, our focus is on 3G. And then the 4G market, of course, for developing regions like the U.S. Big investment in 4G, a lot of progress to report, and I’ll get into this in my presentation. So focused on both because these — this is where the growth is, and this is where the action is in the market.

            So 2 years ago, we had one 3G smartphone SoC. That was the 21553. And you can see that’s the 7.2-megabit modem, single-core device. It could address screen sizes, say, from 3 to 3.5 inches. And this was the device that last year I talked about that powered the Samsung GALAXY Y, which was one of the most popular smartphones in India. Now, over the last year, we added 2 chips that we announced earlier this year, the 21654 and the 28145. We switched from 65-nanometer to 40-nanometer, and we went from single core to dual core. So — and you can see that it helped us address a bigger part of the market. We were able to move up to the 4- to 5-inch phone screen size.

            Now today, with the announcement of the 21664 and extension of the 28145 to the 28155, we now have a full family of solutions on 3G. We can cover anything from 3 inch, all the way up to 7 to 10-inch, which would be a tablet. More interesting actually is the 5 to 7-inch category, because the phablet is growing at a 93% compounded average growth rate. And phablets turn out to be one of the biggest growth areas for phones in Asia, okay? So Broadcom has the ability now to address this entire market. And again, why is that important? Because once a customer invests in one of these chips and picks up the Broadcom software suite for one, it can quickly be applied to an entire family of products.

            Now, again, 3G market is very competitive. We all know that 3G is probably the most competitive segment out there. The reason that we can win is because we have a family of devices here that offer different feature points, different cost points and allow us to make money at these various cost points, okay? So a full range of 3G for all of the segments is now complete.

            Now, let me highlight one other point. So 82% of the volume is in this 5-inch and below, but I did mention the phablet being an important segment.

            image

            Now, let me highlight our multimedia capability. I just wanted to compare the 28155 on the right to the HTC One X on the left. So HTC One X is a phone you can buy today. HTC One X is the phone that has been touted to have a lot of multimedia capability, world-class imaging, world-class image signal processing. This is the post-processing that goes on, on the pictures to make the pictures look good. A console gaming capability, good browsing experience, a 720 HD screen, Miracast capability that I just described to you, this ability to beam videos from your phone to a TV as well as Wi-Fi Direct. All these are the multimedia capabilities touted by the HTC One X.

            Now last year, I talked about the economics of the chips that we were announcing. For those of you who were here, I talked about how Broadcom’s ability to integrate with — change the economics of the smartphone business. And here’s a perfect example of how it changed it, okay? So HTC One X, tear it apart, what do you see inside? Three different chips. A thin modem chip, a quad-core application processor, discrete application processor, and a discrete ISP chip.

            Tear apart one of our 28155 phones, what do you see inside? One chip, integrated modem, application processor, graphics and ISP. Okay. So I told you I would exemplify the power of the 28155, and I wanted to talk today about Samsung’s — Samsung is going to be announcing a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+. I’m holding the first one in my hand. This is the GALAXY S II Plus, okay? And again if you look go back and look at the GALAXY S II, you’ll see a similar architecture, GALAXY S II Plus, based on 28155, is based on the Broadcom chip, the integrated chip. So those economics that I was talking to you about, they come to play right here with the Samsung GALAXY S II Plus. And in fact, there’s a series of phones that Samsung will be putting out based on the 28155 over the next couple of quarters.

            image

            So and then beyond that, what have we done in 2012? We’re working on customer diversity. And in order to achieve customer diversity in today’s 3G market, you need what’s called a turnkey device, a turnkey design. And you might ask what’s the difference between a turnkey and a reference design? Well, a turnkey is something that can quickly be put into production by a customer. So I’m holding up Broadcom’s 28155 turnkey design. And you can see it’s very thin, it’s very light, it’s the kind of phone that you’d want to carry with you. We have a design file that we can offer a customer. And it can reduce their investment from 6 to 9 months of time, down to 30 to 60 days. Where it used to take 200 to 300 engineers to put a design in production, now it’s something like 20 to 30 engineers because we’ve done the turnkey design. And this design is so complete, we have second-sourced the major components, the panel, the sensor, the memory, and we picked suppliers that are favorite suppliers for companies in China who are really building, taking advantage of these turnkeys. So what we’re doing is we’re enabling our handset companies to focus on what they do best, brand and distribution, and we focus on what we do best, which is engineering execution, okay? And we now have turnkeys for 21654, which is our single-core device, 40-nanometer single core; 21664, which is the part we just announced yesterday, which is our low-cost dual-core device, HSPA+ capable; and our 28155, which is what I’m holding up right now, which is our high-end dual core HSPA+ device. Okay.

            image

            So a lot of activity has been spawned by this — by these turnkeys and, again, this is a capability we’ve put in place in 2012. So it’s hard to measure the progress yet, but I tried to do that with this chart. And you can see, even in the short time that we’ve had the turnkey capability in place, the number of designs have gone up significantly, almost threefold. So significant number of designs that are currently going on, 15 from last year to 44. So you can see the power of the turnkey design because it enables companies — handset companies, to quickly adopt our platforms.

            image

            So talk some more about our expanding cellular SoC share. If you focus on that first row now, those are the phones that I’d like to highlight. Of course, I just mentioned the Samsung GALAXY S II, and I mentioned that there’ll be a series of phones based on Broadcom’s 28155 dual core HSPA+ coming from Samsung. The other phones you see here, GALAXY Chat, GALAXY Music, GALAXY Pocket Plus, are the beginning of a series of phones that are coming out on our single core HSPA+ device. And I’d also like to point to some of these interesting carrier-branded phones, okay? Kind of a blessing our 3G technology in the world’s biggest carriers: T-Mobile, with Concord, this is our first 3G phone in the U.S. market; Vodafone, with the Smart II and Orange. All phones based on Broadcom 3G SoCs, okay? And then all the phones in the bottom row, all in production still, all rolling along with our first 3G SoC, that’s the 21553 that I talked to you about last year. Samsung GALAXY Y is still selling like gangbusters along with a number of these Samsung smartphones in the developing countries, okay? So a lot of progress on 3G. And you can see a number of Chinese vendors on the chart, TCL, ZTE, G’FIVE, Sprocomm. Those are all customers and certainly, there’s other customers in China now working on our turnkey designs.

            imageSo exemplifying that growth we have in the 3G space, this chart shows that from Q3 2011, Q3 2012, we grew our 3G business 500%. Pretty big growth. More important to me though, is the market share that we command. You can see that Strategy Analytics has now recognized that Broadcom has 15% of the 3G/4G Android smartphone SoC ecosystem, okay? 15%. And we haven’t started shipping our 4G LTE solution yet, okay? So again, significant market share gains over the last 24 months in the most important ecosystem for us, which is Android, 15% market share.

            … roughly 15 different customers that make up that 44. And if you talk about when products hit the market, I mean, I think, they’re starting — they’re going to start hitting the market in — over the next 3 months.  …

            … you’re asking, should I worry about the vertical integration at Samsung? And I think anything Samsung does on vertical integration only applies to one segment of their business. I mean, if you look at Samsung’s business, it’s very broad. Everything from entry-level smartphones, midrange 3G smartphones, 4G smartphones, they have a very broad portfolio. In order for them to make money in all these areas, they need chips that are optimized for each one of those segments. And I think I exemplified that with the 28155 for the GALAXY S II Plus. So I think the risk of vertical integration is kind of overblown because you just need to apply the best solution to the particular class of product you’re building. …

            … we see Wi-Fi changing very rapidly and it will change even in the China market. So we don’t see the need to go integrate it. We believe the idea of having a connectivity island and a SoC island with app processor graphics and cellular modem, is the right partitioning for the next couple of years. …

            My question is, I guess, is do you think your timing — it seems like now, you’ll really going to hit the market, 2014 is when you get any significant revenues. Is that — are you going to really miss out on the profit pools while you’re fighting it out at the — with MediaTek at the midrange and low-end, meanwhile your good buddies in Southern California capture all this profit and then use that to attack you elsewhere?

            … if you look at the 3G space, it’s a lot more than just China. Right? I mean, I just showed you all the different phones from Samsung that are still coming out on 3G. So I do not believe that there’s not money to be made in 3G. Okay? Having said that, a big investment in 4G, absolutely recognize the importance. We’re moving very fast we have a big R&D investment in 4G. We think we’re going to get there in time to hit the sweet spot of the 4G market. And 4G will last for many years to come.

            Can you talk a little bit about your position on the RF side of the equation? You’re building full turnkey solutions now, there’s a lot of complexity on the RF side of the handset and whether you have the applicable tool kit to do more integration on that side.

            That’s an easy question because we have one of the world’s most capable RF teams in Broadcom. Broadcom pioneered CMOS RF, implementing RF in CMOS. And you can — as witnessed by our patent portfolio, which is second to none. We have a very capable team. The team has built RF chips for all of our devices. And I mentioned earlier that we sell more wireless chips with integrated RF than any company on the planet. So I’m very confident in the capabilities. They are doing the RF for all of our complete platforms that I showed you. So whether it’s 21553, 21654, 21664, 28155, those are complemented with Broadcom RF internal, 100% Broadcom IP. And again over the course of time, we can integrate all these IP into a single chip. That’s the reason these big OEMs, these big handset OEMs want to work with Broadcom because they know eventually all these connectivity pieces will integrate into a single connectivity island, and same thing with the baseband island.

            As it relates to the wins that you had earlier this year with the single-core platform like let’s say for example going into Samsung, I think the rough dollar content is about $10 to $12. Because you’re not only supplying the baseband, you’re supplying the power management, RF, integrated connectivity. And I think you’ve told us before that as the team moves to the dual-core platform, very similar to the GALAXY S II plus announcement today, that it’s roughly about a $7 to $9 increase in dollar content. So first question is, is that still the case?

            I think you’re asking is can our dual core — our 28155, for example, which is our high-end dual core, okay. As I mentioned, this is part that has integrated ISP. That’s the same ISP engine that Nokia used for their 41-megapixel camera that’s on board our 28155 device. We also have very high-end graphics on that device. The graphics on Broadcom 28155 rivals lot of the 4G SOCs that are out there. In fact, it surpasses a number of them, okay. So when you compare the price of that to the single core, absolutely the price delta would be in the range that you mentioned, okay, the ASP uplift.

            And then the second question is, as a team rolls out the turnkey solution, my sense is that there is still a lot of customization that has to be done on the software and the firmware set for your customers.

            … the idea behind the turnkey is not to have a lot of customization. The way that a company — a handset company could take advantage of our turnkey is to perhaps change the color, perhaps change the idea a little bit, but not change it. And that’s really what’s important. So there isn’t a lot of customization needed. We do all of the Android integration, all the tests. And we make sure all of the Android certification tests pass when we deliver that turnkey design. So if somebody wanted to put their own skin on top of it, we could do that, but would really prefer when it comes to the turnkey that they don’t touch anything, that they use this as their experience phone, if you will.

            12 months from now, most of the growth of the smartphone market is coming from emerging markets, much lower-end mix, can you help me understand how that impacts the content, the pricing, the competitive landscape, the profitability? Is that China market really going to be it’s a Broadcom turnkey solution or it’s a MediaTek turnkey solution and whoever has that turnkey solution wins it all?

            … first of all, every handset company, any smartphone handset company is — are spinning their 3G offerings today. So in order to — for them to take advantage of the growth in 3G, they’re all having to reduce their costs. They are all having to move to more integrated solutions. So I don’t see it as just a China play, okay. So I see it’s a worldwide event. And that certainly in China, I think the turnkey does help significantly because if you look at Tier 2s and Tier 3s in China, they don’t have as much engineering resource. So I do think it’s a big swing, an advantage to have a full turnkey and be able to supply this multi-sourcing capability to those Chinese customers. But again, the 3G turnover is going to happen across the world, not just in China.

            SUPPLEMENTAL CONTENT:

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

            BCM28145/28155
            Dual Core 720p/1080p HSPA+ Baseband Processors [Broadcom product page, Feb 24, 2012]

            The BCM28145/BCM28155 HSPA+ baseband processors are highly integrated high-performance dual-core CPUs implemented in a cost effective 40 nm LP process that squarely targets today’s power-conscious mobile platforms. These devices, combined with their complete reference platform, provide system designers with everything needed to bring next-generation mobile devices to market while also providing an extremely flexible platform for application, video, and multimedia developers.
            BCM28145/BCM28155 devices integrate high performance dual-core ARM® Cortex-A9 processors, each with a NEON floating-point SIMD processing engine. A powerful 2D/3D graphics engine, the latest audio codecs, and advanced video and image processing capabilities are all delivered by the integrated Broadcom VideoCore-IV® technology.
            Features
            • Advanced 2G/3G modem with support for 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ and Class 33 EDGE
            • Advanced applications processing subsystem
              – Dual ARM cortex-A9 processors with NEON extensions, up to 1.2 GHz per core
              VideoCore-IV multimedia and imaging processor
              – Support for 20-Mpixel imaging, 720p (28145) /1080p (28155) video capture and playback, and accelerated 2D/3D graphics
              – Full integration of audio subsystem
            • High performance memory and peripheral interfaces
              400 MHz LPDDR2 memory interface (single-28145, dual-28155)
              – High-speed e.MMC/SD/SDIO and NAND interfaces
              – CPI and MIPI® CSI-2 and MIPI DPI-2, DBI-B and DBI-C DSI serial camera and display interfaces

            image

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2012 Analyst Day Supplemental Content, Dec 6, 2012

            See also:
            Broadcom Introduces New Platforms Optimized for Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Smartphones [Broadcom press release, Feb 27, 2012]

            Single and Dual Core Processors with VideoCore® Technology Provide Premium Android Experience
            Broadcom’s new family of 3G platforms will enable handset OEMs to affordably deliver a premium Android 4.0 user experience across multiple smartphone product tiers. The Broadcom® BCM21654G features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, an integrated 7.2/5.8 Mbps HSPA modem and low-power VGA video support. The BCM28145 and BCM28155 include dual ARM Cortex A9 cores up to 1.3 GHz, 21/5.8 Mbps HSPA+ modems and HD 720p and 1080p, video respectively. All three chips were developed in an advanced, low power 40 nanometer process technology and are complemented by radio frequency (RF), power management unit (PMU) and an advanced connectivity suite for a complete system solution.

            All three platforms are sampling to customers and expected to be in production in the second half of 2012.

            Optimized for Superior Android 4.0 ICS Smartphones:
            • Broadcom’s industry-leading VideoCore technology offers a ‘third processing core’ to offload the application processor, enriching the Ice Cream Sandwich user experience with the industry’s lowest power HD playback and camcorder capabilities up to 1080p.
            • Low latency memory and bus architecture boosts overall system performance for a highly responsive user interface.
            • Highest quality imaging is provided by Broadcom’s latest Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports cameras up to 42 megapixels, with very low light capabilities and wide dynamic range for the sharpest images.

            From Broadcom Corp. – Analyst/Investor Day, December 14, 2011

            Robert Americo Rango, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Mobile and Wireless Group:

            Broadcom has been investing for many years, actually, since 2004 when we did an acquisition, in graphics. In fact, we call it VideoCore, and that, it’s maybe a misnomer, it should be called MediaCore because this dedicated IP block does graphics, it does image signal processing. When your image comes off the camera, you need to post-process it, that’s called image signal processing, okay? And it does video. So you can’t do those functions well with standard application processors. You need to do that with dedicated hardware, dedicated customized hardware, and that’s called VideoCore.

            image
            Source: Broadcom 2011 Analyst Day, Dec 14, 2011

            Now let’s see how we do versus the industry’s competition. One of the most recognized benchmarks that’s out there is called Taiji. It’s the OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark most people will recognize as benchmark, as a very important benchmark. And what you see here is Broadcom versus Qualcomm versus TI. In fact, this TI chip, I think, is running the latest version of some of Ice Cream Sandwich phones that are out there. And you can see that Broadcom’s VideoCore is able to render over 50 frames a second while some of the competition can barely get to 30. And in fact, just another data point comparing Broadcom VideoCore 4, all this — again, this is a fair comparison because it’s comparing what’s in production to what’s in production. Our VideoCore 4 is in production in many different Nokia phones, smartphones. And Nokia’s multimedia experience is widely considered to be one of the best. Now comparing VideoCore 4, which again is in production, to one of Imagination’s latest IP cores, we’re 1/2 the power and 2x the performance.

            So some of our competitors don’t have this IP. They go often license it from a company like Imagination. It sounds good on paper until you have a problem. And a customer calls you up and says, “Hey, this game, this Modern Warfare 3 won’t run,” and that company has to go call Imagination. Okay, Broadcom doesn’t have to do that. We’re a one-stop shop. All this IP that I’m talking about is owned and within Broadcom so I can walk down the hall, knock on the engineer’s door and say, “What were you thinking when you designed this?” and I usually get an answer very quickly. And I think that’s the respect we have with our customers, okay? We have the IP in-house. Okay, so the industry’s best graphics performance and power consumption. …

            Broadcom Announces 1080p Multimedia Processor with Breakthrough Mobile Power-Performance [Broadcom press release, Dec 15, 2009]

            New Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV Processor Features 1080p Video, 20 Megapixel Photos and 1 Gigapixel Graphics in an Ultra-Low Power 40 Nanometer Design
            Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced its next generation multimedia processor that delivers industry leading performance and lower power in the top multimedia categories for mobile devices. Using 40 nanometer (40nm) CMOS process technology, the new Broadcom® BCM2763 VideoCore® IV multimedia processor provides even higher integration, smaller footprint size and lower power consumption than 65nm designs.
            With the higher integration and significant power savings from 40nm CMOS process technology, the BCM2763multimedia processor features the most advanced mobile high definition (HD) camcorder and video playback, up to 20 megapixel digital camera and photo image processing, and 1 gigapixel 2D/3D graphics rendering for a world-class gaming experience. HD video, 3D games and high resolution 20 megapixel pictures can be displayed at top quality on full-sized HD televisions and monitors using an on-chip industry standard HDMI interface. Additionally, the BCM2763‘s highly integrated architecture reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost to help drive sophisticated multimedia features into more affordable handsets.
            Highlights/Key Facts:
            The breadth and quality of Internet multimedia content is rapidlyimproving, with sites such as YouTube now supporting full HD 1080p video sharing. Consumers are also increasingly using cell phones as their primary digital camera and camcorder, which is driving demand for higher resolution and more sophisticated image processing which is currently only available on advanced standalone camcorders and cameras. Additionally, newer graphics-oriented user interfaces and mobile games now require enhanced graphics capabilities.
            The new Broadcom BCM2763 VideoCore IV multimedia processor enables best-in-class performance in the following areas:
            • Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders). 
            • Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode.
            • The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
            In addition to providing these capabilities on new handsets, the BCM2763 has improved power savings using a 40nm process without draining the battery or significantly reducing talk time. Additional ultra-low power consumption features include:
            • 20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
            • 4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage.
            • Only 490 mW of chip power is required for 1080p camcorder H.264 High Profile encoding and only 160 mW for 1080p playback.
            • Only 160 mW of power is required for mobile game graphics processing, supporting up to 1 gigapixel per second fill rates and improves graphics performance by a factor of 4x to 6x in comparison to the prior generation Videocore III multimedia processor.
            The BCM2763 processor integrates the key functionality and components needed to drive advanced multimedia capabilities in new handsets. As a result of this high integration, the BCM2763 enables a lower overall BOM cost, enabling manufacturers to pass these lower costs on and introduce advanced features to lower tier phones than previously possible.
            • The BCM2763 integrates the functions of eight chips including GPU and graphics memory, image signal processing (ISP) and ISP memory, video processing and video memory, HDMI and USB 2.0. 128MB of LPDDR2 graphics memory is stacked in a single package. 
            • The 40nm process enables reduced power, improved performance and reduced handset board space.
            Benefiting from an existing VideoCore software code base and legacy architecture, manufacturers of phones and other consumer electronics devices can easily add these new VideoCore IV multimedia features to their products, allowing faster time-to-market.
            The BCM2763 is currently sampling to early access customers (pricing available upon request). Handsets utilizing this new 40nm VideoCore IV multimedia processor technology are expected to reach the market in 2011.
            Supporting Quotes:
            Mark Casey, Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom’s Mobile Multimedia line of business.
            VideoCore IV is setting new benchmarks for performance, power consumption and affordability and is poised to drive advanced multimedia capabilities into new tiers of handsets. Supported by our comprehensive line of complementary cellular and connectivity solutions, our multimedia processor technology is the right choice for next generation mobile designs.”
            Subscribe to RSS Feed: Broadcom Mobile Platforms Group
            About Broadcom
            Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.
            Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2008 revenue of $4.66 billion, and holds over 3,650 U.S. and over 1,450 foreign patents, more than 7,750 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.
            A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at www.broadcom.com.

            The first Windows Phone 4Afrika from Huawei for $150 = Huawei Ascend W1 for $240 (in China) and more elsewhere

            It is no surprise as two years ago we had a Huawei’s IDEOS U8150 smartphone for US$86 in Kenya: 350,000 units sold in 8 months [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Aug 17-23, 2011]. In that device we had the Qualcomm MSM7225 SoC (announced in Feb’07 and first delivered in 3G phones in June’07), with a single 528 MHz ARM1136EJ-S core CPU, Adreno 200 GPU, embedded QDSP5 DSP @ 320 MHz and UMTS (HSPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE), among others.

            The difference is immense as in the Windows Phone 4Afrika we have the Qualcomm MSM8230 SoC (announced in Nov’11 and first delivered in the similar Huawei Ascend W1 in Jan’13), with a 1.2 GHz Krait dual core CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, embedded Hexagon QDSP6 DSP @ 500 MHz and UMTS (DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA), among others. This is bringing a huge performance difference on the SoC level:
            – CPU: 7920 (2 x 3.3 x 1200) vs. 623 (1.18 x 528) DMIPS of raw CPU performance
            – GPU: Adreno 305 GPU vs. software rendered 2D support only
            Even within the Adreno GPUs the Adreno 305 has quite a high performance, see the below benchmark from Mali-T604 vs 400MP vs SGX 554MP4 vs 543MP4 vs 543MP3 vs 543MP2 vs 540 vs 535 vs Adreno 320 vs 225 vs 220 vs 305 vs 203 vs 205 vs Mali 400 vs Intel XOLO [Techivian, July 26, 2012]:

            image

            Note that the North-Amerian (SGH-T999, SGH-I747, SCH-R530, SCH-I535 and SPH-L710) and Japanese (SGH-N064) versions of Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones are using the Qualcomm Adreno 225 GPU (within the MSM8960 SoC of the phone) which has just 8% higher performance (closely corresponding to the above chart) than the Adreno 305 GPU. The SGH-I747 (Galaxy S III AT and T) has 30.4 FPS for the above banchmark, while the SPH-L710 (Galaxy S3 Sprint) 30.2 FPS.
            The International (GT-I9300, GT-I9305), South Korean (SHV-E210K/L/S) and Chinese (GT-I9308, SCH-I939) versions meanwhile using the ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU (within Samsung Exynos 4 Quad –Exynos 4412 – SoC of the phone). The GT-I9300 has 66.4 FPS for the above banchmark, while the GT-I9305 58.6 FPS.
            See Model variants and GLbenchmark Results.

            – resolution: QHD (960×540 of which only 800×480 is used) vs. HVGA (480×320 of which only 320×240 is used) display support
            – mobile Internet: 42 Mbps downlink and 11.5 Mbps uplink and TD-SCDMA
            vs. 7.2 Mbps dowlink and 5.76 Mbps uplink
            etc.

            To sum it up:

            • The MSM8230 SoC first delivered in smartphones in Jan’13 is representing a more than five years of technology advance over the MSM7225 SoC first delivered in phones in June’07.

            • Functionally the Android 2.2 on the IDEOS U8150 two years ago vs. the Windows Phone 8 on Windows Phone 4Afrika (= Huawei Ascend W1) now is as big a difference. Windows Phone 8 is even better than the latest Android 4.1 and 4.2.

            • The target audience in Africa for $150, and in other countries for $240-300 (see below), is getting a state-of-the-art mid-range device which will not be outdated for the next two years at least.

            Ascend W1 [HuaweiMx YouTube channel, Jan 29, 2013]

            Huawei Ascend W1 [engadget YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2013]

            If you were following Huawei’s presser from earlier today, you may have thought the company’s CES 2013 story was “All About Android.” Turns out, it’s not. On the showfloor here at Pepcom, the company was able to give us a first look at the Ascend W1: it’s first entry for the Windows Phone 8 space. Admittedly, the W1 doesn’t share any of the lust-worthy, high-end specs that adorn the Ascend Mate and D2, but that’s not its angle. As one Huawei rep put it, this is a value proposition, outfitted with a 4-inch display (we couldn’t verify resolution) and 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 paried with 512MB RAM. Software-wise, this is about as stock WP8 as it gets, so don’t expect to see any applications come pre-loaded onto the hardware. Continue reading here: http://goo.gl/VmkhH.

            Huawei launches the first Windows Phone 4Afrika [Huawei Device press release, Feb 5, 2013]

            image

            Shenzhen, China, February 5, 2013: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today launched the first Windows Phone 4Afrika. Exclusively selected to help boost mobile accessibility and adoption within the fast-growing African continent, the Huawei 4Afrika will be available from Huawei, in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa towards the later part of the 1st Quarter 2013.

            “We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft to ensure that more people have access to leading technology, communications and information services,” said Mr Peter Hu, Managing Director of Huawei Device, Eastern & Southern Africa. “By launching the Huawei 4Afrika we will be bringing leading technology within reach for more people in Africa, thereby giving them access to a world of new opportunities. ”

            The Huawei 4Afrika is a customized version of the HUAWEI Ascend W1, launched earlier this year at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone is 10.15 mm thin and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen with Zero-Gap Touch technology. With a 1730 mAh Li-Polymer battery and unique power saving technology, the Huawei 4Afrika phone provides up to 420 Hours of standby time and up to 560 minutes of talk time on 3G. The higher efficiency hardware design ensures power-saving up to 20%. It is powered by the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon ™ S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU. Additionally, the phone includes a 5 MP Auto-Focus Camera and VGA Front Camera, and comes in an array of bold colors including blue, black and white initially and red to follow in the next couple of months.

            Available exclusively for the African market, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features a customized Store in Store with a variety of applications and exclusive content including those built and designed by Africans for Africans. The Windows Phone 8 start screen allows users to customize the Windows OS Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates unique to their needs. Assisting with all business requests on-the-go, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features Microsoft Office and Skydrive for easy access to files. The Huawei 4Afrika phone marries great technology with a fashionable design, at a price that is right for its customers.

            “The Huawei 4Afrika phone is a fantastic addition to our Windows Phone product line, and we’re particularly proud to be introducing it as an exclusive offer for the African Continent today as part of the launch of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative,” said Ali Faramawy , corporate vice president for Microsoft Middle East and Africa. “We believe strongly that improved access to affordable and high quality smartphones in Africa can have a strong impact on the continent’s overall economic development and competitiveness, and we are confident the Huawei 4Afrika phone will help deliver on this. ”

            Since its entry into the African market in 1999, Huawei has created solutions that enable customers to reduce power consumption, carbon emissions and costs, thus contributing to the development of the society, economy, and the environment across Africa. To date, Huawei has worked with more than 18 African governments build E-Government networks in countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Angola, Guinea, and Djibouti, enabling 250 million Africans in rural areas to enjoy affordable communication services.

            As per the 2012 Qualcomm Snapdragon classification presented below the MSM8230 is a dual Krait UMTS (DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA) SoC:

            Microsoft and Huawei of China to Unite to Sell Low-Cost Windows Smartphones in Africa [The New York Times, Feb 4, 2013]

            BERLIN — Microsoft, taking aim at the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, said on Monday that it would team up with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows smartphone in Africa.

            The phone, called the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone, will cost $150 and initially be sold in seven countries. Microsoft’s Windows Phone software is fourth among smartphone operating systems, with just 2 percent of the worldwide market in September, according to Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England.

            Fernando de Sousa, the general manager for Microsoft Africa, said that in the next few months, Microsoft and Nokia planned to introduce two new Windows phones for the African market.

            Microsoft plans to introduce the Huawei 4Afrika phone on Tuesday at events in Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It will also be sold in Morocco and Angola.

            Prioritising Africa – Introducing Microsoft 4Afrika [TechNet Blogs > Microsoft on the Issues Africa, Feb 4, 2013]

            Posted by Ali Faramawy
            Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Middle East & Africa

            There is an African proverb that reads, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” We couldn’t agree more. Microsoft has been operating in Africa for 20 years, and today we have offices in 14 countries. As we look forward to our next 20 years, we wanted to explore new ways to link the growth of our business with initiatives that spur economic development for the continent. The world has recognized the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise.

            This is why today, we are introducing the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, which is designed to help improve Africa’s global competitiveness. Our goal is to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent, and beyond.

            By 2016, the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative intends to:

            – help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth,

            – bring 1 million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online, and

            – help 200 000 Africans develop skills for entrepreneurship and employability. This will include up-skilling 100,000 members of the existing workforce, as well as training 100,000 recent graduates, 75 percent of whom we intend to help place in jobs.

            A smart, affordable device

            In Africa today, smartphones account for only about 10 percent of total phones in the market. As a first step toward driving the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft and Huawei today introduced the Huawei 4Afrika phone, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8 preloaded with select applications designed for Africa, by Africans. The Huawei 4Afrika phone, which is the first in what will be a series of “4Afrika” smart devices, will be targeted toward university students, developers and first-time smart phone users to ensure they have affordable access to best-in-class technology, so they can access the information and tools they need to be active global citizens. (See related blog.)

            HUAWEI ASCEND W1 В РОССИИ: СРОКИ ПОЯВЛЕНИЯ И СТОИМОСТЬ [Hi-Tech Mail.Ru, Jan 24, 2013]

            Как стало известно Hi-Tech Mail.Ru, первый Windows Phone 8 смартфон Huawei — модель Ascend W1 — появится в России в феврале. Стоимость аппарата — 8 990 рублей.

            As hi-tech mail.ru, the first Windows Phone 8 Smartphone Huawei Ascend model W1-will appear in Russia in February.
            Unit cost is RUB 8990 [$300].

            As the standard value added tax rate in Russia is 18% the net price will be $254.

            Huawei Ascend W1 from Conrad Electronics (Germany) as of Feb 5, 2013:

            € 199,95* [$270]

            lieferbar ab  20.03.2013      available from 20.03.2013
            * Alle Preisangaben sind inkl. MwSt. und zzgl. Versandkosten. Wir berechnen eine Versandkostenpauschale in Höhe von € 5,95 (inkl. MwSt.) Bei Nachnahme beträgt die Versandkostenpauschale 8,95 € (inkl. MwSt.). Ab einem Bestellwert von € 300.- trägt Conrad Electronic die Versandkostenpauschale für Sie.
            Bei sperrigen Artikeln (sind im einzelnen entsprechend ausgewiesen) berechnen wir den am Produkt ausgewiesenen Sperrgutzuschlag. Dieser Betrag enthält das für Sie verauslagte Transportentgeld und die Verpackungskosten.
            * All prices are incl. VAT and excl. shipping costs. We charge a delivery fee in the amount of € 5.95 (incl. VAT) For cash on delivery, the shipping fee is €8.95 (incl. VAT). From an order value of € 300.-, Conrad Electronic bears the shipping costs for you.
            For bulky items (are similarly designated in particular) we calculate the bulky contract assigned to the product. This amount includes the transport fee incurred for you and the packaging costs.
            As the standard value added tax rate in Germany is 19% the net price will be $227.

            Huawei Ascend W1 on Taobao (China) as of Feb 5, 2013:

             ¥ 1499.00 [$240.5]

            As the standard value added tax rate in China is 17% the net price will be $206.

            Huawei Showcases its First Windows Phone 8 Smartphone [Huawei Device press release, Jan 8, 2013]

            Las Vegas, USA, January 8, 2012: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, HUAWEI Ascend W1, at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today. The Ascend W1 is 10.15 mm thin and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen with OGS Technology, powered by the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon ™ S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU. With a 1950 mAh battery, the Ascend W1 has 470 hours of standby time, the longest among all smartphones in its class. It features a visually iconic design inspired by a tropical island and comes in an array of bold colors including blue, red, black and white. The Ascend W1 is a smart and stylish alternative for consumers looking for great technology at a price that is right.

            image

            The HUAWEI Ascend W1 has a low reflective IPS LCD display with full lamination technology, which provides brilliant visibility under any lighting condition. The Windows Phone 8 Start screen lets you customize and pin Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates that are uniquely yours. Additionally, a dynamic lock screen allows you to select the photos or updates most important to you and have them ready at a glance, even when the phone is locked.

            “Inspired and powered by people, the Ascend W1 is a combination of Huawei’s user-centric design philosophy and Windows Phone 8 software, bringing consumers a truly compelling alternative.” Said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The addition of the Ascend W1 to our smartphone portfolio gives consumers access to an even wider range of Huawei smartphones. At a price that makes sense to consumers, Ascend W1 underscores our commitment to put smartphones within reach of every consumer, no matter who you are or what you want from your phone. “

            “We are excited to be working with Huawei to further expand our device portfolio to new locations and price points, allowing more people to experience Windows Phone 8 while enjoying the Ascend W1’s unique features,” said Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division.

            The HUAWEI Ascend W1 will be available in China and Russia from January 2013, with Western Europe, Middle East, USA and other selected countries to follow.

            More information: Ascend W1 [Huawei Device microsite]

            UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery

            Formerly known as MT6588 but recently renamed as MT6589. About that history see my earlier post: Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement  – UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming early 2013 in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, Oct 2, 2012]

            Although MediaTek is claiming that MT6589 is the first quad-core Cortex-A4 SoC, it is not true as the Allwinner A31 SoC is here with products [my other ‘USD 99 Allwinner’ blog, Dec 10, 2012]. It should also be noted that Qualcomm quad-core Cortex-A7 SoCs with Adreno 305 and 1080p coming for the high-volume global market and China [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Dec 9, 2012] with customer sampling by 2Q 2013. Therefore MediaTek will have at least several months advantage over Qualcomm in this respect, as according to MediaTek’s press release

            the first models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q1 2013.

            Updates: MediaTek quadcore Cortex-A7 superphones go higher frequency and lower end in H2 CY2013

            According to Maybank Kim Eng in its MediaTek Closing In Fast [July 17, 2013] report:

            image

            From this Xiaomi selected the current highest-frequency MT6589T (Turbo) MediaTek quad-core SoC for its own entry-level superphone:
            The list price is as low as ¥ 799 i.e. $130 in order to challenge Apple’s entry  

            imagehttp://www.xiaomi.com/hongmi: 红米手机 [Hongmi] Red Rice phone [July 31, 2013] as translated by Google

            image

            Size, weight, colorimage

            Basic parameters
            • CPU frequency 1.5GHz quad-core
            • CPU model MTK MT6589T
            • GPU Imagination PowerVR SGX544
            • Keyboard type virtual QWERTY keyboard
            • Input MethodTouch
            • System MIUI V5 system, support Android 4.2
            • Call pair Mai noise
            Capacity
            • Memory 1GB
            • Speed ​​Flash 4GB
            • Maximum memory expansion 32GB
            Network
            • Network standard mobile version: TD-SCDMA/GSM dual card dual standby
            • Network frequency GSM 900/1800/1900
            • TD-SCDMA 1900/2100
            • Data services GSM / GPRS / EDGE / TD-SCDMA / HSDPA / HSUPA
            • GPS GPS + AGPS
            • Bluetooth BT4.0LE + BT3.0HS
            • WIFI WIFI Direct
            Battery
            • Capacity 2000mAh replaceable lithium-ion polymer battery
            Screen
            • Screen size 4.7 inches [with Corning Gorilla 2 glass]
            • Screen material IPS [Retina] screen [up 312PPI]
            • Resolution 1280×720
            • Touch screen multi-touch capacitive screen
            Photograph
            • Rear camera 8 million pixels
            • Front camera 1.3 million pixels
            • Sensor type back-illuminated
            • Flash LED flash
            • Aperture F2.2 large aperture
            • ISO sensitivity mode supports optional
            • WB supports optional
            • Focus mode supports optional
            • Focus area supports optional
            • Autofocus support
            • Shooting scene supports optional
            • Wide Angle 28mm
            • Continuous function 8 frames per second continuous shooting
            • Other features zero shutter lag, face recognition, high dynamic range (HDR), real-time filters
            Camera
            • Video capture
              • Rear camera supports 1080p (1920×1080) HD video
              • Front camera supports 720p (1280×720) high-definition video standard
            Multimedia Player
            • Music player supports mp3, acc, amr, ogg, m4a, mid, wma, flac, ape, aac, wav and other formats
            • Video player supports 1080p (1920×1080, 30 frames / sec) video playback
            • Support mp4, h.263, h.264, rmvb, flv720p
            • Photo playback supports JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP and other formats
            • Flash Player Support
            • Radio Support
            Sensors
            • Gyroscope Support
            • Light sensor Support
            • Gravity sensor Support
            • Distance sensor Support
            • Electronic compass Support

            Xiaomi shifts into low end of mobile sector [China Daily, August 1, 2013]

            The company officially offers the first batch of products on Aug 12
            Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp launched a sub-brand “Hongmi” (red rice) on Wednesday that targets the country’s entry-level smartphone buyers.

            With rumors circulating that Apple Inc will introduce cheaper iPhones for Chinese clients in the second half, Beijing-based Xiaomi aims to beat its rival to the punch in the lower-end market.

            Xiaomi released the Hongmi smartphone, priced at 799 yuan ($130), at a Beijing newsbriefing on Wednesday.
            Hongmi has a 4.7-inch screen, Android-based device equipped with MediaTek Inc’s 1.5-gigahertz quad-core processor. The dual-card handset supports China Mobile Ltd’s second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) networks.
            Lei Jun, founder and chief executive officer of Xiaomi, said the launch of the Hongmi signifies Xiaomi’s first attempt to explore the nation’s affordable (below 1,000 yuan)smartphone market.
            “I believe the Hongmi is the best product among all 1,000-yuan smartphones” in China,Lei said. “Xiaomi does not care much about sales or shipments, but we strive toproduce the finest devices” for our costomers, Lei said at the event.

            Since Apple is hatching a plan to slash its iPhone price and garner more Chinese buyers, some Xiaomi officials said the “birth” of Hongmi is a preparation for the looming price-cut trend.

            “People will pay more attention to cheaper but capable smartphones,” one said.

            Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was in Beijing again, said officials at ChinaMobile Ltd on Wednesday.

            Xi Guohua, China Mobile’s chairman, met with Cook on Tuesday to discussion cooperation, said Li Jun, spokesman of China Mobile, via a text message.

            Analysts said Cook might have come to China to discuss Apple’s shrinking sales.

            There’s no doubt that Hongmi will open more doors for Xiaomi. Compared with the middle and high ends of the smartphone market, where Xiaomi has been operating, the entry-level market boasts many more potential buyers.
            According to data from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s biggest e-commercecompany by sales, 61 percent of the mobile phones sold on the Taobao marketplace and the business-to-customer platform Tmall.com were priced below 1,000 yuan. About one-fifth of the mobile phones sold cost 1,000 yuan to 2,000 yuan, while only 18 percent cost more than 2,000 yuan.
            “The entry-level smartphone market is definitely the market offering the most consumers,” said Li Yanyan, an analyst with Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.
            Domestic telecom operators have actively promoted and launched market campaigns for affordable smartphones, which help raise consumer awareness, she pointed out.
            Sandy Shen, an analyst with Gartner China, said the launch of the Hongmi also fills avoid for Xiaomi in cooperation with the nation’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile.
            “Previously, Xiaomi partnered with both China Unicom and China Telecom, but we never heard any information about cooperation with China Mobile,” Shen said.
            China Mobile, although struggling in the domestic 3G competition because it adopted a relatively inferior 3G technology, has gradually got on track to catch up with rivals inrecent months.
            China Mobile sold more than 59 million mobile phones for its 3G network in the first half of this year, said Ma Jingxin, vice general manager of China Mobile Terminal Co, during the same event. Ma added the figure was close to China Unicom’s 3G mobile phone shipments.
            The Hongmi smartphone is available for pre-orders on Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Qzone, a social-networking platform with more than 60 million users. On Aug 12, Xiaomi will officially offers the first batch of products.
            Although Chinese media have reported that Tencent was about to invest in Xiaomi,officials at Xiaomi have denied any such plan.
            “Qzone is China’s biggest social-networking website and it closely aligns with Xiaomi’s targeted clients,” Li Wanqiang, vice-president of Xiaomi, said.
            “Social-networking platforms are the major battlefield (for Xiaomi marketing and sellingits products),” Li added.

            While the MT6589 based smartphones were targeted to the mid-range market so far:

            imageCLICK HERE to get a clickable PDF version of the above “picture document” if needed. Note that the previous hit SoC from MediaTek, the MT6577 has only slightly more, 74 devices listed in this device database since July 2012, but only 47 if taking a similar period. So with 61 devices already MT6589 has a much greater market success. To compare with MT6577 see Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement – UPDATED with MT6588 [later renamed 6589]/83 coming early 2013 in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [‘Exp. the Cloud’, June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, O0ct 2, 2012] and MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake) [‘Exp. the Cloud’, Sept 13, 2012].

            The first product was delivered from Micromax, the leading local brand in India (now world’s 3d largest smartphone market) with 19.3% smartphone market share in the January-April period (24.3% in April), #2 behind Samsung (which had 40.7% share out of the 9.4 million units in total). The 5” IPS 1280×720 8MP/2MP Micromax A116 Canvas HD went on sale starting February 14 for Rs. 13,990 [$236], and 1 million unit sales were achieved by April 24. It was followed by the 5” IPS 480*854 8MP/2MP A110Q Canvas 2 plus entry model from May 22 for Rs. 12,100 [$204], and then by the 5” IPS 1280×720 13MP/5MP Canvas 4 top model from July 8 for Rs. 17,999 [$303]. As other Micromax products they were manufactured in China by unknown white-label vendor(s).

            Other Indian brands of similar kind were close to Micromax’s footsteps. I will add just the next two local brands: the #3 Karbonn with 8.6% smartphone market share, and Lava International which is aggressively targeting the smartphone market this year with $169M planned sales, 50% of the overall phone revenue plan. Note that overall phone revenue of Karbonn in the fiscal year ended June 30 was $408M, and for the next fiscal year its plan is $675M according to Karbonn Mobiles eyeing Rs 4,000 crore turnover in FY 2014.

            The 4.5” IPS 540×960 5MP/VGA S1 Titanium model from Karbonn appeared February 16 on its website for pre-booking at Rs. 10,999 [$185], then came the 5.5” IPS 1280×720 13MP/5MP S9 Titanium top model announced on July 5 (in order to gain attention before Micromax Canvas 4) at Rs. 19.990 [$337] and to be released in the 2nd week of August. Note that two other quadcore Titanium models the S2 and the S5 are based on Snapdragon SoCs from Qualcomm, as well as a rumored S6 model.

            Lava International’s subsidiary Xolo was starting the sales of its 4.5” IPS 540×960 8MP/1MP Q800 model from March 10 for Rs 12,499 [$211], the 4.5” IPS 540×960 5MP/VGA Q700 model from May 13 for Rs. 9999 [$169], the 5” IPS 720×1280 8MP/1.2MP Q1000 top model from May 22 for 14,990 [$253], the latest 4.5” 854×480 5MP/VGA Q600 entry model of the Q series from July 1 for Rs 8,499 [$143].

            From announcement point of view the first one was the Alcatel One Touch Scribe HD (announced at the CES 2013 in January) but it was delivered only from March, although with subsequent rollouts worldwide. Here is the WMC 2013 presentation of it:

            Building a Better Smartphone Experience: MediaTek Dual-SIM Platform 
            [mediateklab YouTube channel, June 23, 2013]

            MediaTek’s strength lies in optimizing system design, perfectly integrating hardware and software to offer users an uninterrupted and always connected dual SIM experience. In addition, MediaTek dual-SIM platform does not suffer from the battery draining effects typically associated with having two SIM cards on standby. By using highly refined algorithms to reduce the number of hardware operations, MediaTek provides the most power-efficient mobile device solutions to date.

            MediaTek: April EDM [newsletter, April 26, 2013]

            New MediaTek-driven products revealed

            imageMediaTek chipsets have found their way into several new products of late, many of which have since enjoyed widespread media coverage.

            Alcatel‘s One Touch Scribe HD, which leverages MediaTek’s quad-core technology to deliver top of the line, HD720p picture was recently featured in CNET.

            imageLenovo meanwhile generated its own share of CNETand Engadget buzz with the release of its trio of new tablets. The company’s ten-inch IdeaPad S6000 and seven-inch A3000 were widely praised for their value proposition – Both devices, despite being priced for the mid-market, house a MediaTek 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, making them a viable contender in any tablet category. Likewise, Lenovo’s entry-level model, the A1000, is also said to punch well above its weight class.
            imageSimilarly, Micromax and BLU Products have achieved advances in their Canvas and BLU LIFE lines respectively, both of which are powered by the MT6589 processor. Both brands have garnered extensive local and international media coverage, including a glowing TECH2AUTO for Micromax. Interest for the new offerings by BLU Products has also been tracked across media such as Engadget and SlashGear .

            How MediaTek reduces power consumption  [3 video episodes in a playlist on mediateklab YouTube channel, CPU: Feb 24 – Display: March 12 – Multimedia: March 12, 2013]

            Lenovo S6000 and A3000 hands-on [TheVerge YouTube channel, Feb 24, 2013]

            MediaTek Powers Lenovo’s Premium Multimedia IdeaTab S6000 Tablet [and two other] [press release, Feb 25, 2013]

            End of Updates

            MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [MediaTek press release, Dec 12, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, announced the launch of the MT6589, the world’s first commercialized quad-core System on a Chip (SoC), available for mid to high-end Android smartphones and tablets worldwide. The new quad-core SoC integrates MediaTek’s advanced multi-mode UMTS Rel. 8/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA modem, a power-efficient quad-core Cortex™-A7 CPU subsystem from ARM, PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU from Imagination Technologies, and is delivered in 28nm process technology. As a leader in Dual-SIM technology, the MT6589 is also the world’s first HSPA+ smartphone platform supporting Dual-SIM, Dual-Active functionality to address increasing multi-SIM demand around the world.  The integration of these compelling features makes the MT6589 a universal platform that delivers premium multimedia capabilities with extremely low power consumption for an outstanding user experience.  It also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way, for any market worldwide.

            “The ARM Cortex™-A7 is the most power-efficient applications processor ever developed by ARM. We are pleased MediaTek is the first company to combine a quad-core Cortex-A7 and leading edge 28nm manufacturing with TrustZone® for system-level security. The MT6589 system-on-chip brings the performance and features associated with high-end mobile devices to mass-market smartphones and tablets,” said Laurence Bryant, director of mobile solutions, ARM.

            image

            The MediaTek MT6589 quad-core solution supports 1080p 30fps/30fps low-power video playback and recording, a 13MP Camera with Integrated ISP, up to FHD (1920×1080) LCD displays, and enhanced picture processing for DTV-grade image quality.  In addition, the MT6589 also supports MediaTek’s “Cool 3D” suite, which includes support for stereo 3D cameras and displays, real-time 2D-to-3D conversion and an optimal 3D user interface. Leveraging MediaTek’s established 3D technologies from the DTV and Digital Home markets, this suite helps create an optimal stereo 3D display with a custom-tailored 3D interface, providing an extremely flexible platform for product differentiation.

            Tony King-Smith, Vice President Marketing, Imagination Technologies, said, “Today’s smart device users have very high expectations for graphic quality and performance. The MT6589 gives Imagination a great opportunity to show the abilities of the PowerVR™ Series5XT GPU, which delivers around twice the performance of previous generation devices while maintaining the lowest possible power and silicon area. We are delighted to contribute to this impressive, highly integrated solution, which demonstrates the benefits of our ongoing close strategic relationship with MediaTek.”

            The MT6589 also supports Miracast™ technology for multi-screen content sharing and pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo, which supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM.

            Jeffrey Ju, GM of the smartphone business unit at MediaTek, said, “As the world’s first quad-core SoC, the MT6589 is a strong proof point of MediaTek’s growing global presence and ambition to drive the democratization of the smartphone and reshape the mid to high-end device market.  Having built a solid reputation for quality and reliability over the last 15 years, we’ve created a one-of-a-kind achievement with the MT6589 platform—marrying blazing performance and flexibility with surprising affordability and simplicity.  It’s an innovative solution that accelerates product development, simplifies differentiation, and offers the best possible experience that mid to high-end smart device owners desire.”

            “The demand for a Smartphone SoC that can be delivered anywhere in the world has never been greater, which is why the MT6589 is so important to our business,” said Dr. Ji-Yang Wang, COO at TCL Communications Technology/Alcatel One Touch. “As the first truly universal platform it is designed with the customer in mind to give us a crucial competitive edge. The MT6589 will make the life of our customers and partners easier, allowing them to bring the best possible experience to mid-to high-end users in multiple markets in the most timely and affordable manner, and most importantly, without compromising its performance.”

            The MediaTek MT6589 is currently being incorporated into smart devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q1 2013.

            For GPU related information see:
            A brief history of the PowerVR Series5XT GPU family [Imagination, Nov 5, 2012]

            MediaTek Launching Quad-Core MT6589 CPU’s Today [Gizchina.com, Dec 10, 2012]

            Although we have been hearing alot about MT6589 powered phones already, Mediatek will only offiicially launch their low-cost quad-core CPU later today!

            MediaTek took the smartphone market by storm this year with the single core MT6575 CPU and later the dual-core MT6577 and MT6577T processors which have found their way in to phones from local Chinese firms and larger international manufacturers.

            The new quad-core MT6589 CPU, which will be launched later today in Shenzhen, will build on the company’s low-cost, high performance reputation, but could bring with it a new lower price. Rumour from earlier this year claimed the quad-core chip could cost less to manufacture than current dual-core MT6577 CPU’s, however this is not to say we are going to find $100 quad-core phones launching anytime soon.

            According to most companies already testing the MT6589, they hope to launch higher end phones with larger screens, in an attempt to take on the higher price range Android phones from big brands such as Samsung, HTC and Sony. Typical specifications for MT6589 phones current offer 5 inch 1920 x 1080 displays, 2GB RAM, and 12-13 mega-pixel cameras.

            Currently Oppo, ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo, Gionee and even Sony have confirmed to be working on phones using the new quad-core CPU, with prices from some smaller brands expected to start at around $200.

            MediaTek launches ‘world’s first’ quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, we go hands-on (video) [engadget, Dec 11, 2012]

            image

            There’s a new player in the quad-core SoC game and it’s called the MT6589. MediaTek announced today that it’s launching the “world’s first” quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC and gave us the opportunity to take it for a spin — in prototype form, of course. The MT6589, which includes the aforementioned quad-core Cortex A7 1GHz+ CPU, also features a PowerVR Series5XT GPU, high-performance multimedia support (13MP / 3D camera, 1080p video and display, Miracast) and a built-in 42Mbps HSPA+ / TD-SCDMA-capable dual-SIM dual-active radio. By combining competitive performance with high thermal efficiency and low power consumption in an affordable package, MediaTek’s new chip is well suited for a wide-range of smartphones and tablets running Jelly Bean and beyond. The MT6589 will be available in devices starting Q1 2013. Check out the gallery and hit the break for our impressions and benchmarks plus MediaTek’s videos and PR.

            image

            We played with two devices equipped with the new chip — a generic handset with branding covered up by MediaTek stickers and an upcoming Alcatel smartphone with a 1.2GHz MT6589, five-inch HD display, 8MP 1080p camera, dual-SIM 42Mbps HSPA+ connectivity, Miracast support and a 2500mAh battery. While our hands-on time was extremely limited we managed to run some benchmarks on Alcatel’s prototype — namely Quadrant, Vellamo 2 and AnTuTu 2 / 3. As you can see in the table above, the scores are generally lower than the competition, but the results are still decent enough. Both handsets felt snappy despite neither using final software or hardware. What’s more impressive is how efficient the MT6589 appears to be in MediaTek’s videos below, both in terms of heat dissipation and power management. We’ll reserve judgement until we’re able to test a production device equipped with the company’s new quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, but it sure looks like 2013 is going to be an interesting year in the chip business.

            From the gallery:

            image image

            image

            Replaced with equivalent: MT6589 – The Coolest Quad-Core SoC Platform – Thermal Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, Dec 28, 2012]

            MediaTek MT6589 -The World’s First Commercialized Quad-Core Cortex-A7 SoC Available for Mid to High End Smartphone and Tablets Market.

            Replaced with equivalent: MT6589 – The Coolest Quad-Core SoC Platform – Low Power Benchmark  [mediateklab YouTube channel, Dec 28, 2012]

            MT6589 is an advanced smart device platform delivering leading power efficiency without compromising performance

            Jiayu G4 redefines thousands of quad-core smart phone! [JiaYu product page, Dec 12, 2012] as translated by Google with manual edits

            December 12, 2012, immediately following the MTK 6589 quad-core chip release, Yiayu Mobile will launch next-generation flagship smartphone – the Yiayu G4 redefines thousands Yuan quad-core smartphone!

            image

            The best domain the G4 main performance parameters are as follows:

            1, CPU: MT6589 1.2Ghz quad-core; the GPU: SGX544

            2, 4.7 inch IPS screen resolution of 1280×720 HD (MIPI interface), the the OGS whole fitting process (single glass program)

            thickness of the dual-battery design, thin electric 1800 mA, 3000 mA thick power for the different needs of the user selects.

            4, gyroscope \ distance \ light \ Gravity \ magnetic sensor \ double wheat Noise Reduction \ WIFI \ Bluetooth \ FM \ GPS galore!

            5, body measurements: thin electrical about 130 × 63.5 × 8.1 (mm) thick power 130 x 63.5 x 10 (mm), a larger screen, a shorter, narrower, thinner body!

            6, higher definition camera configuration, specific parameters be announced separately.

            as translated by Bing with manual edits

            On December 12, 2012, released along with the MTK 65,894 core chips, Yiayu Mobile will launch a new generation of flagship Smartphone—”Yiayu G4″ redefines the thousands of quad-core smart phone!

            G4 major performance parameters are as follows:

            Quad-Core 1, CPU:MT6589 1.2Ghz; GPU:SGX544
            IPS,

            2 inch screen, resolution 1280×720 HD (MIPI interface), using OGS laminating technology (single glass scheme)

            3, thickness double batteries design, thin 1800 Ma, thick by 3,000 Ma, for different needs of users.

            4, gyro \ \ \ distance light gravity \ \ magnetic sensor dual noise-canceling Bluetooth \FM\GPS \WIFI\ MAK-everything!

            5, body measurements: thin about 130×63.5×8.1 (mm), thick 130×63.5×10 (mm), a large screen, a shorter, narrower and thinner body!

            6, HD camera configuration, specific parameters be announced separately.

            Jiayu G4 Is Unveiled With MT6589 Quad-core Processor [GizmoChina, Dec 11, 2012]

            Today is all concerned with MediaTek smart phone chip friend who’s big day, including manufacturers, including, has always been a cost-effective smartphone known for the Jiayu taking advantage of MediaTek released MT6589 4-core of the occasion, the official website released a long-awaited the quad-core smartphone – Jiayu G4.

            The information revealed in succession before Jiayu G4 hardware parameters with consistent, the Jiayu G4 will equip MediaTek MTK6589 quad-core processor, clocked at 1.2GHz, built-in PowerVR SGX 544 graphics processor. The 4.7 inch IPS screen resolution of 1280 * 720 HD level. There are two different versions of the battery with body size, the the thick version of the body measurements of 133 * 65 * 10 mm, with a capacity of 3000 mA battery, thin version of body size of 133 * 65 * 8.2 mm, The battery capacity of 1800 mA. In addition, support for commonly used Bluetooth, FM, GPS and WIFI, and built-in gyroscope distance light Gravity magnetic sensors and other common sensing devices, and supports dual-microphone noise reduction technology.

            See also: MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 [on this same blog, Sept 13, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson: Fundamental repositioning for modem, APE and ModAps spaces

            Rumour: Microsoft to expand ARM processor choices to Samsung and ST-Ericsson SOCs in next Windows update [Oct 5, 2012]

            image

            MSNerd, long time Microsoft leaker, has passed on a little tip about the next version of Windows on ARM.

            Currently Windows on ARM runs on NVidia, Qualcomm and TI processors, which leaves OEMs like Samsung unable to use processors from their own supply chain.
            According to MSNerd, in the next update to Windows Nokia and Samsung will be able to use processors from their favourite providers – in Nokia’s case ST-Ericsson’s Novathor processor, and in Samsung’s case its own Exynos processor and SOC.
            Blue is said to be an interim update to Windows, much like a service pack, and may be the start of a regular, more phone-like pattern of yearly updates to Windows which add features, as we have come to expect from Windows Phone and the iOS.
            So far we do not know much else about the update, but one can hope the update removes the reliance of the Modern UI on the Windows desktop for many settings.

            See also:
            Windows Next: Just call it ‘Blue’? [ZDNet, Aug 13, 2012]
            ST-Ericsson NovaThor SoCs for future Windows Phones from Nokia [this blog, Nov 3-24, 2011]

            We are talking about the following SoCs according to the latest, May 23, 2012 roadmap presentation:

            image

            According to the recent STMicroelectronics information included in the first section below:

            1. The low-cost version of the current L8540 ModApp will be in mass production next year at the Samsung 32/28nm foundry.
              My conclusion: With that ST-Ericcson could compete quite well with Qualcomm’s MSM8x30 “mid-tier market” SoCs in the Snapdragon S4 Plus tier. Depending on the production efficiency even the MSM8x27 “mass market” SoCs in the same tier may be targeted, at least later on.
            2. The 28nm FD-SOI based version of the L8540 (according to a French leak given in Section II the L8580) is slated for mass production by Globalfoundries in H2 2013.
              My conclusion: With that ST-Ericsson will compete quite well with what Qualcomm is going to offer later in the current MSM8x60 “premium market” space of S4 Plus.
            More information on S4 Plus is in the Core post: Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [Sept 30, 2012]

            Some explanation:
            The current L8540 ModApp is a dual-core 1.85GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, with a powerful Imagination PowerVR™ SGX544 GPU running at 500Mhz and an LTE/HSPA+/TD-HSPA modem on a single 28nm die. It started sampling in Q3 2012 and debuted on Sept 18 at the PT EXPO COMM China 2012. The low-cost version will run the dual A9-s at 1.2 GHz, while the FD-SOI based version also dual A9s at 2+ Ghz (first information was 2.3 GHz while on the PT EXPO COMM even 2.5 GHz was mentioned as possible). The PowerVR SGX544 GPU will run at a slower than 500MHz in the former and at least 600MHz in the latter case. We also know that the FD-SOI based version has taped out in September and could be available for production smartphones in smaller quantities by the end of H1 2013.

            ST-Ericsson’s near term strategy is therefore to compete with the same dual-core Cortex-A9 and SGX544 based SoCs across a broad scale achieved via broad range of manufacturing technologies, and do not engage in many-core battles pursueded by the low-cost Chinese SoC vendors like MediaTek, Spreadtrum, Allwinner, Rockchip and others.

            Latest competitive information regarding the low-cost Chinese vendors:
            Core post: Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement  – UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming early 2013 in Q42012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, Oct 2, 2012]
            Core post: Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets [July 26 – Aug 16, 2012]
            Core post: The low priced, Android based smartphones of China will change the global market [Sept 10-26, 2012]
            – Take note: MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 [Sept 13, 2012]

            Elaboration for the current topic in details is given in the following sections:

            I. Reorganization began recently at semiconductor parent STMicroelectronics

            II. Summary: ST-Ericsson’s Fundamental repositioning

            III. Detailed information: ST-Ericsson’s Fundamental repositioning

            Warning: the last section is quite long but worth to go through


            I. Reorganization began recently at semiconductor parent STMicroelectronics

            STMicroelectronics Announces New Appointments in the Executive Management Team [STMicroelectronics press release, Sept 13, 2012]

            STMicroelectronics, (NYSE:STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today that, effective immediately, Georges Penalver has been appointed Executive Vice President, Member of the Corporate Strategic Committee, Corporate Strategy Officer. Penalver was formerly Managing Director of the Communication Business Group of Sagem and, more recently, Member of the Executive Board of France Telecom/Orange Group in charge of the Group’s Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships. He brings a wide experience in defining corporate strategies, leading businesses and implementing comprehensive transformation processes.

            Jean-Marc Chery, Executive Vice-President, will take the additional responsibility of General Manager, Digital Sector, while maintaining his current role of Executive Vice-President, Chief Technology and Manufacturing Officer.

            As a consequence of Chery’s expanded responsibilities, Eric Aussedat, General Manager, Imaging and Bi-CMOS ASICs Group; Joel Hartmann,Corporate Vice President, Front-end Manufacturing & Process R&D, Digital Sector, and Philippe Magarshack, Corporate Vice President, Design Enablement & Services, are promoted to Executive Vice Presidents while maintaining their previous scope of activities; Stéphane Delivré, Corporate Vice President, Global Chief Information Officer, will now report to the President & CEO.

            Philippe Lambinet, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy Officer and General Manager, Digital Sector is leaving the company today to pursue other interests.

            ST also announced it will present its new strategic plan in December. The objectives of the plan are to continue to accelerate the company’s roadmap towards the already announced financial model, taking into account the changed market environment and some specific customer dynamics, and to continue to ensure the future success of the company in total, with the two pillars, the Analog and the Digital businesses, both becoming as quickly as possible sustainable segments of ST.

            About STMicroelectronicsST is a global leader in the semiconductor market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power technologies and multimedia convergence applications. From energy management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office, at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a positive and innovative contribution to people’s life. By getting more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for life.augmented.

            In 2011, the Company’s net revenues were $9.73 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.

            Business insider brought in to fix ST [ElectronicsWeekly.com, Sept 14, 2012]

            A heavyweight business insider has been brought in to address the deteriorating situation at STMicroelectronics.
            Georges Penalver formerly at Sagem and France Telecom and a general partner at US-based investment fund Cathaya Capital, has been appointed Chief Strategy Officer of ST.

            ST has two big problems: one is its jv ST-Ericsson which has run up debt of $1.2bn since starting trading in 2009. It is losing $250m a quarter.

            The other big problem is a collapse in sales at ST. From $9.73bn in sales last year, sales are expected to be $8.6bn this year – about the same level as they were when the current CEO [Carlo Bozotti] took over in 2005.
            On the one hand ST has a solid business in MEMS, discretes, power semiconductors and analogue, on the other hand it has slipped behind in the process technologies on which success in digital microelectronics depend.
            Penalver’s job will be to find some resolution to these issues and he is expected to report with a new strategic plan in December.

            Samsung and STMicroelectronics Enter Strategic Relationship for Advanced Foundry Services at 32/28nm Technology [Samsung press release, Sept 28, 2012]

            Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology solutions, announced foundry production of STMicroelectronics’ leading products using 32/28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology. Samsung Electronics’ foundry business has been selected by STMicroelectronics to provide it with products at the 32/28nm process node. The relationship has already resulted in taping-out of a dozen ST advanced system-on-chip (SoC) devices for mobile, consumer and network applications.

            “We have successfully started production of STMicroelectronics’ new-generation 32/28nm SoC products,” said Kwang-Hyun Kim, executive vice president of foundry business, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. “A foundry relationship with ST demonstrates our commitment to advanced process technology and our 32/28nm HKMG process-technology leadership. We have aggressively ramped 32/28nm capacity and will continue to deliver the most advanced process solutions to our customers,” he said

            Samsung and STMicroelectronics have developed 32/28nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) technology through participation in the International Semiconductor Development Alliance (ISDA). Samsung’s foundry business has offered access to 32nm HKMG process technology for early market leaders and 28nm HKMG process technology for customers looking for traditional migration benefits.

            “In addition to delivering waves of innovative new products, another key to ST’s success in each of our target markets is working with industry leaders,” said Jean-Marc Chery, executive vice president, chief-technology officer for STMicroelectronics. “Both ST and Samsung have worked together on advanced process-technology development through the ISDA and that experience has provided significant insight into our ability to work together to meet our objectives and thus provide unique service to our customers in demanding and fast-moving markets.”

            See Samsung Foundry: 32/28nm Low-Power High-K Metal Gate Logic Process and Design Ecosystem [March 2011]

            TSMC 28-nm market share may drop in 2013: Topology [The China Post, Oct 4, 2012]

            Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s (TSMC) share in the 28-nanometer contract chip-making sector may drop from 80 percent to 50 percent next year on fierce competition from Samsung, reported research firm Topology yesterday.
            Samsung has been active in expanding its contract manufacturing business and has raised capital expenditure for two years in a row, Topology said.
            The Korean firm has turned a large part of its memory chip business into contract manufacturing, resulting in a sharp increase in foundry capacity that is expected to catch up with TSMC, it said.
            “Samsung’s migration into contract manufacturing has sent shockwaves throughout the industry,” said Chen Lan-lan, researcher with Topology. “Its move to raise capital expenditure and transform memory capacity into foundry capacity indicates its ambition in the contract manufacturing sector.”
            This year, Samsung’s contract manufacturing capacity is about a third of TSMC’s. Our forecast indicates next year the figure will change to one-half,” she added.
            According to her, it was also worth noting that Samsung’s 300-millimeter capacity has surpassed that of United Microelectronics and GlobalFoundries, the latter of which has also been active in expanding high-end production capacity. These factors will combine to bring fierce competition to TSMC, she said.
            “Strong demand for 28-nm have enabled TSMC to report record sales several times this year. Yet next year, with expansion by Samsung and GlobalFoundries, the shortage in 28-nm capacity will improve, and this is expected to bring down TSMC’s share in the 28-nm market,” she said.

            Full Interview: Jean-Marc Chery, CTO and CMO at ST [ElectronicsWeekly.com, Sept 10, 2012]

            In the first week of September STMicroelectronics taped out the 28nm FD-SOI NovaThor integrated modem and applications processor designed by ST-Ericsson.
            The chips are being made at Crolles. The Crolles 28nm FD-SOI line has capacity for 300-500 wafers per week. The process is in the course of being transferred to Globalfoundries’ Dresden fab where it will be ready for mass production in the second half of 2013, said Chery.
            The decision to go with FD-SOI was taken in July 2011 after an earlier decision to use bulk [?HKMG?] “28nm bulk with HKMG looked good enough to address smartphones,” said  Chery, “over a year ago we taped out HKMG 28nm at Samsung.”
            Having made the decision to adopt FD-SOI last July, it has taken a year to get the process to the point where it will be ready to start running 28nm FD-SOI ICs next week.
            The 28nm FD-SOI process produces ICs with superior performance to Intel’s bulk 22nm finfet process, said Chery. Intel’s ’22nm’ process has a drawn gate length of 27nm.
            “Finfet generation 1 on bulk does not perform as well as SOI performance at 28nm,” said Chery, “finfet generation 1 has good leakage without performance or performance with high leakage.”
            “Finfet generation 1 on 22nm is a complex technology and doesn’t give the best trade-off between performance and leakage,” said Chery.
            “Finfet generation 2 on 14nm will be the same performance as FD-SOI but much more complex and with less design legacy,” added Chery.
            How will ST compete when the processes deliver the same performance? “Our competitive advantage will be in our design technology,” replied Chery, “they’re used to making PC chips for high performance, we are in the world of wireless devices where the priority is power consumption. They’re OK with small volume high value PC chips, not with the very high volumes of tablets and phones where volumes are very high and prices are low.”
            ST reckons it has a big lead in FD-SOI particularly in the UTBB [Ultra Thin Body and BOX (buried oxide)] refinement of FD-SOI where the value added is the thickness of the silicon dioxide BOX which is 25nm.
            Compared to bulk processes, the FD-SOI process has 10% fewer steps and three fewer masks reducing lead time by 10%. It is scalable to 14nm and has a processing cost equivalent to bulk.
            “Planar 28nm UTBB SOI is an evolution of 28nm bulk,” said Chery, “it has the same design rules and the same BEOL process. The FD-SOI FEOL process has 80% in common with 28nm bulk.”
            ST is keeping a foot in the bulk CMOS camp. “We’re prototyping 28nm bulk at Samsung,” said Chery, “we start mass-production on 32nm and 28nm next year.”
            Bulk CMOS is introduced first at Samsung, then at Globalfoundries,” said Chery, “SOI is being introduced first at Globalfoundries where it will be ready for mass production on 28nm FD-SOI in H2 2013. And we can use Samsung for SOI if we need to.”
            The Samsung and Globalfoundries fabs are synchronised under the IBM Common Platform Alliance so all the design rules are compatible and the same product fits both fabs.
            The FD-SOI process will see ST through the 28nm and 20nm nodes without ST having to bother with finfets.
            “At 28nm and 20nm we can offer a planar SOI solution which offers the best combination of performance and leakage,” said Chery
            The FD-SOI vs finfet competitive battle will be joined in earnest at the 14nm node, reckons Chery.
            “Intel’s 14nm finfet process will be fantastic,” said Chery, “so Samsung and TSMC are running fast to introduce a competitive 14nm finfet process.”
            ST’s FD-SOI process will scale to 14nm but, after that, ST is looking for partners to develop the technology further.
            “The challenge for us will be at 10nm,” said Chery, “because bulk will disappear at 10nm. We need to get others to join the club at Globalfoundries – it’s in our interest to prepare a club for 10nm.”
            Chery reckons the FPGA people and the ARM camp could be possible members.
            STMicroelectronics’ strategy of being a ‘competitive follower’ means that the advantage in process technology being gained by the ASML, Intel, Samsung, TSMC lithographic alliance will not affect ST.
            We intend to be a competitive follower,” says Jean-Marc Chery, Chief Manufacturing and Technology Officer at ST, “we won’t have the first machines. We’ll have them when production is mature.We won’t fight to take machines at the same time as Intel, TSMC and Samsung but we’ll take them when they’re mature. That’s our strategy of being a competitive follower.”
            ST gets its basic process technology from IBM’s Common Platform Alliance and, if IBM can’t get the latest production machines early, that will affect IBM’s ability to develop processes in a timely manner for distribution to its alliance partners.
            So is IBM being out of the ASML litho party a problem for the Common Platform Alliance? “We have to decide that at the top executive level,” said Chery adding that he would be going to talk to IBM about it quite soon.
            The absence of EUV machines doesn’t mean process development has to stop. “Intel have said they can cope with 14nm using double or triple patterning,” said Chery.
            As for ST getting its hands on the latest equipment in a timely manner, Chery points out: “ASML capacity is booked 18-24 months in advance. You pay up-front and they will guarantee supply.”
            Being left out of the ASML litho party is more of a problem for Globalfoundries, reckons Chery.
            Part of Chery’s brief at Crolles, as Chief Manufacturing Officer, is to keep the fab there running wafers as cost effectively as anywhere else in the world.
            The challenge Crolles has in manufacturing technology is to offer a competitive supply chain,” said Chery. ST benchmarks its manufacturing cost against foundry manufacturing cost.
            So how does Crolle’s 300mm fab capable of running 14,000 wpm at the moment compete on cost with TSMC’s GigaFabs running 100,000 wpm?
            We are competitive in terms of purchasing price,” replied Chery, pointing Crolles is built to make 5000 wafers per week. (it’s running 3,500 wpw at the moment). “At 5K wpw, below 40nm, the advantages of the dimension of scale is getting lower,” he said, “and full automation means we do not need the high volume to be competitive; with a high level of automation we can manage average volume with strong efficiency.”
            Crolles currently produces 22% of ST’s annual sales – about $2 billion worth. “The number of good circuits per wafer is between 70% and 90% depending on complexity and ramp up. The challenge is always how to align the wafer cost to TSMC’s selling price.”
            The manufacturing strategy varies with the industry cycle. In a down-cycle the strategy is to have 60% out output manufactured in-house and 40% out of house; in the up-cycle the proportions are reversed: 60% out at foundry and 40% in-house.
            ST uses the Fast-Yield Learning Curve technology of PDF Solutions.which has brought days-per-mask-level down to 0.7. “With one customer’s apps processor on 40nm we have achieved 0.36 days per mask level,” said Chery.
            ST will pursue two options at 14nm. “We don’t want to be a follower of Intel,” said Chery, “at 14nm we’ll have both options: 14nm finfet in bulk – from the Common Platform Alliance, and 14nm FD-SOI planar.”

            ST-Ericsson boosts smartphones and tablets to 2.3 GHz! [silicon.fr, July 12, 2012] as translated by Google:

            The L8580 is a component NovaThor ARM dual-core clocked at 2.3 GHz, dedicated to mobile terminals. A solution that relies on burning in FD-SOI 28nm STMicroelectronics.
            We have seen previously, the 28 nm FD-SOI STMicroelectronics is a very effective means between 28 nm and 22 nm, but also an interesting alternative (and affordable) Intel 3D transistors.
            ST-Ericsson is the first to adopt this technology in theNovaThor L8580 , L8540 successor (engraved in 28 nm “bulk”). This component has been designed in Grenoble and Crolles, prototyped and then melted Crolles. Of 100% “made in France”! It features two ARM Cortex-A9 clocked at 2.3 GHz , or 24% more than the L8540 (1.85 GHz maximum).
            A champion of energy efficiency
            But this is not all: 1.85 GHz, consumes 35% less energy than its predecessor. Better, a voltage of 0.6 V, it is clocked at 1 GHz , almost twice than competitive offerings (which must make the best use of 0.9 V to achieve such a frequency).
            The L8580 is faster than most dual-core ARM chips, but also more energy in times of low system load (which constitute the bulk of the activity of a computer system).
            ST-Ericsson believes that a classic smartphone, this component will provide an extra day of autonomy compared to L8540, which can result in a surplus of respectively 4 hours or 2:30 in high-speed web browsing or reading HD video.
            The top mobile graphics
            In addition to its particularly high operating frequency, the NovaThor L8580 is assisted by PowerVR SGX544 GPU clocked at the frequency of very valuable 600 MHz (500 MHz cons above, or 20%). It is among the very best in the mobile world in raw performance, as operating frequency.
            Finally, the SoC integrates a DDR2 memory controller and modem LTE is for all smartphones and tablets.
            On the actual availability of this offer, STMicroelectronics indicates that the scheme component will be fixed within a month, the chip start to be melted before the end of 2012 .

            II. Summary: ST-Ericsson’s Fundamental repositioning

            There was a series of fundamental announcements from ST-Ericsson on MWC 2012, then in March and a final one in April last week. The essence of all this is that the company’s modem business is set to grow further within ST-Ericsson while its application processor business will continue to grow within its ST-Microelectronics parent, and its integrated ModAps are repositioned for maximising the chances to achieve true market leadership in the next two years.

            In terms of the conventional, Boston matrix based decisions such a strategic repositioning is to be achieved by the following actions (their general meanings are shown in the brackets):

            Meanwhile it has also been reported that HTC is developing its own CPU for lower end smartphones with ST-Ericsson [Unwired, April 23, 2012]

            HTC is following in the footsteps of Apple and Samsung, and is now working on its own dedicated applications processor. According to China Times, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has already signed memorandum of cooperation with ST-Ericsson to co-develop the chip.

            Contrary to high performance Samsung and Apple [proprietary] CPUs which power their flagships, the new HTC processor will run the lower end smartphones. The devices with new chip will start shipping in volume sometime in 2013.

            Note that ST-Ericsson is not the only proprietary SoC partner for HTC as indicated in the latest updates to Tech investment banking expertise to strengthen the unique value focus of growing the HTC brand and to achieve high growth again [this “Experiencing the Cloud” blog, April 18-25, 2012].


            III. Detailed information: ST-Ericsson’s Fundamental repositioning

            For the most recent information about that see: STMicroelectronics NV 2012 Investors & Analysts Day (NY), May 23, 2012 where a webcast is available as well. ST-Ericsson’s CEO Didier Lamouche had a downloadable plenary session presentation there on the following topics:

            • The new strategic direction
            • Addressing the right market
            • Product Roadmap
            • Customer traction continues

            From that I will include here the following updated roadmap information:

            image

            image

            Ericsson’s JV ST-Ericsson announces new strategic direction [Ericsson press release, April 23, 2012] with slides inserted as appropriate from ST-Ericsson’s CEO (Didier Lamouche) presentation to analysts
            (note: the ST-Ericsson press release is essentially same)

            • Focused R&D effort and partnership with STMicroelectronics in the development of future application processors
            • Restructuring program to lower break even point and accelerate time-to-market
            • Ericsson committed to the 50/50 joint venture and its new strategic direction

            ST-Ericsson – the 50/50 joint venture owned by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) – announced today the guidelines of its new strategic direction. Within the company’s new strategic direction it has signed an agreement to transfer its stand-alone application processor R&D activities to STMicroelectronics, and to take additional measures to accelerate time-to-market and lower the breakeven point.

            “ST-Ericsson’s strategic shift is a key step in ensuring that the company can reach sustainable profitability and cash generation. With the focus on ModAps for smartphones and tablets it will allow device manufacturers to rapidly bring best-of-breed devices to the market,” said Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson and Chairman of ST-Ericsson Board of Directors.

            The new strategic direction announced by ST-Ericsson today builds on four main pillars:

            1.      Strategic Focus

            The Company re-affirms its vision to be a leader in smartphone and tablet platforms and unveiled a new strategy based on repositioning the whole business model. The new strategic direction leverages on ST-Ericsson’s unique capability to deliver complete system solutions for smartphones and tablets; competitive integrated modem plus application processor solutions (ModAp) will be the key differentiating offering through a combined approach of development and alliances.

            image

            The key building blocks of the complete system solution – application processors, modems, connectivity as well as power, RF, analog and mixed signal – will be developed either directly or through partnerships and alliances to limit and optimize the R&D effort, while enabling highly compelling solutions for its customers to bring innovative devices to the market in a timely manner. The Company will continue to develop modem IP, a key competitive enabler, sell thin modems and possibly license modem IP to third parties.

            2.      Partnership already signed: application processor

            As a first step of this new strategy, ST-Ericsson has announced that it will partner with STMicroelectronics in the development of future application processors. The combination of the ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics teams will create a world-class organization, having the appropriate size, skills and strength to win in the growing multi-segment application processor market.

            Under the terms of the agreement, ST-Ericsson, at closing date[1], will transfer its application processor R&D activity and employees to STMicroelectronics and will then integrate the application processor in ModAp platforms for smartphones and tablets under a license agreement from ST. In addition to this, the two companies have entered into a commercial agreement to jointly promote and offer stand-alone processors and thin modems, respectively, to a broader range of customers and applications.

            The entire ST-Ericsson application processor R&D team will continue, under a transitional cost sharing model, the development of the current product generation, ensuring full continuity of ST-Ericsson’s product roadmap and full service to customers.

            [1] completion of labor law related procedures and merger control approvals, if applicable, are the sole conditions precedent to closing of the agreement.

            3.      Accelerate time-to-market

            In addition to this strategy change, the company will focus on improving R&D execution and accelerating time-to-market, while reducing the overall operating expenses. The activities will be consolidated into a significantly smaller number of sites, which will be specialized by technology as “centers of excellence.” The larger ones will also integrate a wider portion of the smartphone platform value chain, with a view to optimizing time-to-market and delivery efficiency.

            image

            This comprehensive site transformation is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of operations and will significantly reduce the number of sites. Additionally the Company aims at reducing its SG&A expenses by about 25 percent versus 2011 by streamlining the general and administrative activities and substantially reducing positions within the top paid members of the management.

            4.      Lower the breakeven point

            As a result of all the above initiatives, the Company – subject to negotiations with work councils and employee representatives as required – foresees a global workforce reduction of 1,700 employees worldwide, including the employees that would be transferred to ST as part of the partnership announced today.

            image

            Annual savings of about $320 million are expected from the new and from the on-going restructuring plans, upon completion by the end of 2013. Total restructuring costs are estimated to be approximately $130 to 150 millionthrough completion. Specific impact on country or site level related to the plan will depend on local negotiations based on applicable legislation.

            image

            Conference call

            An analyst conference call, hosted by Didier Lamouche, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson, will be held on April 23, 2012 at 18:00pm Central European Time (CET). Call-in numbers as well as supporting slides, will be available at www.stericsson.com/investors/investors.jsp.

            About ST-Ericsson’s products

            An application processor is a complex system-on-a-chip (SoC) for smartphones and tablets that supports applications and software running on mobile devices. In a similar way that a  traditional general purpose microprocessor in a computer performs all processing and control functions, an application processor powers complex mobile devices efficiently processing functions such as user interface, graphics processing, phone calls, audio and video recording and playback and web browsing.

            ST-Ericsson is a 50/50 joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Ericsson, established in February, 2009. ST-Ericsson’s result is accounted for in accordance with the equity method.

            About ST-Ericsson

            ST-Ericsson is a world leader in developing and delivering a complete portfolio of innovative mobile platforms and cutting-edge wireless semiconductor solutions across the broad spectrum of mobile technologies. The company is a leading supplier to the top handset manufacturers and generated sales of $1.7 billion in 2011. ST-Ericsson was established as a 50/50 joint venture by STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) in February 2009, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

            www.stericsson.com

            www.twitter.com/STEricssonForum

            Ericsson CEO Committed to ST-Ericsson Venture [Bloomberg YouTube channel, April 25, 2012]

            Hans Vestberg, chief executive officer of Ericsson AB, discusses the company’s gross margin, ST-Ericsson joint venture and opportunities in mobile broadband. He speaks with Bloomberg Television’s Manus Cranny. (Source: Bloomberg)

            STMicroelectronics Announces its Next Step in Multimedia Convergence [STMicroelectronics press release, April 23, 2012] with slides inserted as appropriate from ST-Ericsson’s CEO (Didier Lamouche) presentation to analysts

            • To offer a single application processing platform to serve all markets
            • Combining strengths with ST-Ericsson through a strategic partnership
            • ST’s consolidated results to benefit from ST-Ericsson’s new strategic direction and related savings

            Geneva, April 23, 2012

            STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, announced today the next step in its multimedia convergence strategy, which will focus on offering a single application processing platform to serve a broad range of multimedia devices like set-top-boxes, TVs, cars, smartphones and tablets.

            image

            ST signed an agreement with ST-Ericsson on the development of future application processors. Under the terms of the agreement, ST will take on ST-Ericsson’s application processor development R&D activity and then license back its technology to ST-Ericsson for integration into their ModAps (competitive integrated modem plus application processor solutions) for smartphones and tablets. Additionally, the two companies entered into a commercial agreement to jointly promote and offer stand-alone application processors and thin modems to a broader range of customers working across the entire spectrum of electronics applications.

            image

            The partnership contemplates the transfer to ST of highly skilled employees from ST-Ericsson, joining forces with the current ST R&D teams working on application processors. The agreement includes a transitional cost sharing model, followed by a royalty scheme from ST-Ericsson to ST. This transfer is subject to the completion of consultations with work councils and employee representatives, which ST currently estimates to be completed by July 1, 2012.

            The partnership with ST-Ericsson is part of a wider new strategic direction announced today by our joint venture aiming to offer, through a combined approach of development and partnerships, competitive integrated ModAps, in addition to capturing a total of $320 million of annual savings from their new and on-going restructuring plans. The expected ST-Ericsson savings will benefit ST’s consolidated results, starting in Q3 2012, through the completion of the savings plans by the end of 2013.

            “With this agreement, ST is one of very few companies to provide complete solutions based on a single application processing platform that delivers the features required by its customers and the whole ecosystem,” said Philippe Lambinet, ST’s Corporate Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Sector. “By combining ST-Ericsson’s skills and deep knowledge of the smartphone and tablet business with ST’s strengths in IPs and consumer platforms, we now have capabilities that are second-to-none in mastering all of the key technologies necessary to serve the multi-screen society.”

            “This is a further major step forward in our ambition for undisputed leadership in multimedia convergence, one of the two pillars of our vision together with Sense and Power,” said Carlo Bozotti, president and CEO of STMicroelectronics. “By partnering with ST-Ericsson in such a critical and R&D-intensive domain, we are able to leverage our investments over a wider range of applications and market opportunities, while capturing significant synergies benefiting both ST-Ericsson and ST. Overall, the agreement announced today well positions ST and ST-Ericsson for future success in application processors. In addition, ST, as a shareholder of ST-Ericsson, will benefit from the joint venture’s new strategic plan and expected cost savings.”

            The closing of the deal is subject to completion of labor law related procedures and merger- control approvals, if applicable.

            EE Times Analysis: ST-Ericsson rescue plan underwhelms [April 24, 2012]

            The plan as laid out is for ST-Ericsson to be a developer of mobile device SoCs and firmware to create “platforms” based on a mix of home-grown and licensed-in IP blocks.

            Lamouche called the strategy ModApp indicating that ST-Ericsson would put together modem-plus-application processor platforms. To that end ST-Ericsson will continue to develop modem IP, which it considers its crown jewels, but the ARM-based application processor cores and about 500 jobs are being passed to STMicroelectronics. These are part of the 1,700 jobs being cut out of ST-Ericsson. We don’t know the exact number but Carlo Ferro, chief operating officer, said the application processor group represented several hundred jobs but by no means the majority of the 1,700 jobs being axed.

            … it seems inconceivable that STMicroelectronics shareholders could think it a good deal to carry ST-Ericsson for the next two years.

            Perhaps what we will see is the movement of certain technology development operations out of ST-Ericsson to create licensing opportunities, thereby allowing the remaining ModApp company to be sold off. But to have any value it has to continue to get design wins, must continue to lay off engineers and must continue to drive down cost.

            Q1 2012 Earnings Conference Call Remarks [STMicroelectronics, April 24, 2012]

            … The savings specifically related to the partnership will be achieved in two steps: 1) a transitional cost sharing model for the current generation of application processor; and 2) synergies related to a common ecosystem, which for us is ARMbased. In addition, royalties will be paid by ST-Ericsson to ST to integrate the next generation application processor into their ModAp platforms.

            Overall, this initiative is an important, first step in ST-Ericsson’s move towards leadership and improved financial returns.

            We will see measurable progress in reducing the quarterly operating losses at STEricsson in the second half of this year leading to a significant reduction in losses as we exit the year.

            Now let me give you additional details on the partnership announced with STEricsson for application processors which is part of our plans to advance our multimedia convergence strategy. It is very clear that delivering a similar experience across multiple screens is what service and content providers are looking for. So what might seem to be individual markets are actually very related markets as consumers expect their smart TV, car, smartphones and tablets to offer them the same experience.

            ST is building a unique and competitive advantage by unifying its application processor platforms. As we outlined yesterday in our press release, we are adding the wireless application processor know-how within ST-Ericsson to the extensive multimedia capabilities ST has already developed within its Digital Sector for Set top Boxes and TV.

            With respect to Wireless, total revenues, as expected, decreased significantly due to a drop in sales of new products at one of ST-Ericsson’s largest customers, in addition to the usual seasonal effect and to the continued decline of ST-Ericsson’s legacy products. In the first quarter, however, ST-Ericsson reached a milestone on the new product sales side as the NovaThorTM U8500 ModAp systems started to successfully ramp at Samsung and Sonywith smartphones from both now available on the market.

            STMicroelectronics’ CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Q&A part [Seeking Alpha, April 24, 2012]

            … the partnership with ST is based of course on a transfer of the application team from ST-Ericsson team to ST … also it’s based on the fact that we see now that the real opportunity to extract synergies from merging these two teams. So if the question is why not before, our consumer business was based on a proprietary microprocessor and today is based on the ARM platform. The ST-Ericsson application processor is also based on the ARM platform, as you know. So merging these two teams, we have the potential and we have the plan to extract significant synergies from the merging of the two activities.

            … of course, we also hope and we are confident that the ST-Ericsson can expand the customer base. I am very happy to see this new Galaxy phone from Samsung. It’s a great phone. Initially it was for the emerging market. Now, I understand it’s for all the markets. I saw phone in Europe now also. And of course, we also plan to fill these fabs with the new wireless customers. …

            … What ST transferred to the joint venture was a device that was called Mont-Blanc, that is now called U8500, and this device is exactly the same device that is now ramping in high volume production in one of the topline in Samsung. This was our contribution to the joint venture, and I think it was an important contribution. It is the fundamental part of the joint venture today. …

            In terms of the synergies, that we will exploit there is some positive synergies, sales opportunities and some synergies related to avoiding to do twice the similar things by unifying the resources, the teams between ST-Ericsson and ST, inside ST. We will avoid duplications, we will avoid doing things twice and will be a lot more efficient and clearly we’ll be able to save cost, internal cost inside ST, R&D cost but also cost of third-parties because if we have to do only one software boarding of the given platform, it saves a lot of money rather than to do it twice. So that’s pretty obvious and of course we will extract cost synergies.

            Now on the topline synergies, I want to say something which is the application processor market is estimated to be more than 2 billion units per year by 2015 and smartphones it’s already half of that bucket. So there is of course a great opportunity in smartphone base and to working together with ST-Ericsson of course will capture as much as we can in that particular half of the market.

            But the other half is where ST is strong, it’s consumer, its automotive, it’s industrials, it’s medical, there is a lot of applications for application processors and with this combination, we do intent to explore also topline opportunities. So that’s also part of our strategy and that’s a very important reason why we are unifying our single platforms in all the market, not on wireless, not only set top boxes, but across all segments.

            STMicroelectronics Reports 2012 First Quarter Financial Results [STMicroelectronics press release, April 23, 2012]

            Q1 2012 – Product and Technology Highlights

            ST-Ericsson

            • Products
              • Announced at Mobile World Congress, the new NovaThor™ L8540 is an LTE/HSPA+/TD-HSPA-enabled integrated smartphone platform with the powerful application processor and modem integrated on a single die, and is scheduled to sample to customers in the second half 2012.
              • Unveiled the CG2905, the industry’s first connectivity platform solution with simultaneous support for GPS and GLONASS technology, Bluetooth and FM Radio all integrated on a single 40nm device.
              • Introduced first fully integrated wireless charger for mobile phones with the PM2020.
            • Customers
              • Samsung is now a customer of the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ platform. The new Samsung GALAXY S Advance Android-powered smartphone uses the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ U8500system.
              • Xperia™ P, Xperia™ U, and Xperia™ sola are the first three smartphones by Sony Mobile Communications to use the NovaThor U8500 ModApsystem, combining application processing, modem and connectivity.
              • Thor™ M5780 HSPA+ modem powers the next-generation Panasonic Elugasmartphone.
              • Ontim WP8500 tablet to be the first commercially available Android-based tablet using the NovaThor U8500 system.
            • Partners/technology
              • Selected fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) technology for use in future mobile platforms, leveraging ST technology based on Soitec SOI, which will enable enhanced performance from the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ platform at much lower battery usage – as much as 35 percent lower power consumption at maximum performance.
              • Continued cooperation with metaio, reaching another milestone in supporting metaio’s new 3D object tracking technology.
              • Joined the W3C Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group kicked off by Facebook.
              • SRS Labs has made their TruMedia audio processing technology available on the ST-Ericsson Snowball development platform.

            ST-Ericsson Complete LTE Platform & Technical Demos – MWC2012 [ARMflix, March 2, 2012]

            Gerard Cronin from ST-Ericsson shows us their newly launched mobile devices – inlcuding Sony Xperia U & P, Samsung Galaxy S Advance – then discusses and demos the next generation complete NovaThor LTE platform.

            ST-Ericsson Clear market strategy - smartphone volumes - tablet growth -- 31-Jan-2012

            ST-Ericsson Clear market strategy -- 31-Jan-2012
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            [20:56] But what is also clear which segments of those markets we intend to grab. This chart is illustrating actually the growth that we are projecting between 2012 and 2014 in terms of units for the smartphone market. … dividing into four segments from the entry to the premium. The largest segments are the high-end and mid market, and that is clearly where we want to focus, without exiting fully the entry market. But clearly our mainstream focus will be on the high and the mid. If we can tactically address the premium we will do but it will not be the basis of our mainstream strategy. If we can tactically address the entry we will do but it will not be the basis of our strategy. Our strategy will be focused on the mid and the high-end.

            Why and how we will do that? We will do that via one initiative which is our unique capability, I will show that later on, to integrate the two critical silicon engines, software engines that are powering smartphone and tablet applications. The application processor and the modems. Our critical value add, our differentiating factor is our unique capability to integrate those functions into one chip. This is exactly what we want to do. [22:37]

            ST-Ericsson Focused portfolio approach -- 31-Jan-2012
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            [28:02] … that is what has been shown already before – the focus. The U8500 is clearly our battle horse for the coming months and weeks, and quarters. Shipping in volume, with some products, at key customers. The first product that we would like to announce is this one today: U8520 which is in fact an extension of U8500. It is a lower cost, optimized version. Basically we are reusing all the software and legacy of the U8500. …

            What we would like to announce today which is brand new: the first ModAp from the joint venture [L8540]. The first piece of silicon and the first software package built out of those two platforms: the A9540 application processor and the M7400 LTE modem. … this is the first ModAp the JV is going to bring on the market before the end of the year [also using 28nm FD-SOI]. …

            [From the press release (see much further below): The NovaThor L8540 integrates a dual-core 1.85GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, a powerful Imagination PowerVR™ SGX544 GPU running at 500Mhz and an LTE/HSPA+/TD-HSPA modem on a single 28nm die. Thanks to its ultra-low voltage operating mode the NovaThor L8540 extends battery life for typical smartphone usage by up to 30% compared to platforms in the market today. … scheduled to sample to customers in Q3 2012.]

            This product will be also complemented by two different flavors:
            – one, which is a low-cost version of this one to address the lower tier of the market, and to address lower price point phones; and
            – another one, which is a boosted version in [using 28nm FD-SOI] terms of performance and power consumption.

            So the strategy is really to simplify our roadmap. To develop not too many products, to develop extensively and efficiently one platform and to try to refine it, and to extend our range of products by different flavors to it. [30:20]

            [33:21] As I said before:
            – we will derive one version of this product, which we are not announcing today (we will announce it later on), which will be a low cost, streamed down version, simple technology to address the lower part of the market; and in parallel
            – we will also try to boost the performance of this platform with a new technology feature called FD-SOI … in order to address a different segment of the market, which is the highest performance area of the market, or the lower power consumption part of the market. [34:00]

            ST-Ericsson Differentiation through integration -- 31-Jan-2012
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            [34:15] Our know-how is not only to be able to bring to the market high-performance application processor, not only to be able to bring to the market high-performance modems, but also—essentially—to bring them together. In another form of what we call ModAps, integrated solution of modem and application processor. Why we do that? To save cost. For example we have put here, on this chart what our integrated platform brings to the customer, to the product. In terms of power saving, in terms of size saving, compared to a dual chip solution.

            It is bringing 10% power improvement, 15% size saving (which obviously in smartphone is something you want to do), 20% less components (so it means 20% less BOM). Of course that is exactly what our customers want, and by definition less workers.

            Why do I insist on that? Because I believe there is only two companies in the industry today which are capable to bring these kind of technology on the market, and we are one of the two. [35:33]

            Important note: With ModAp as one of the key differentiators the premium and somewhat even the high performance markets will be served with matching of the ST-Ericsson’s leading edge modem chips to the leading edge products of the application processor vendors as seen on the following slide of the briefing presentation.

            Now see first the information related to the Thor M7400 modem:

            “Our high-speed Thor™ modem revenue grew more than 20 percent sequentially as new HSPA+ phones continued to ramp in the market. Also in the quarter [i.e. in Q2 CY2011] we delivered first samples of our Thor M7400 LTE modem
            From: ST-ERICSSON REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS [July 20, 2011]

            ST-Ericsson Thor M7400 -- 31-Jan-2012
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            [36:20] … you need the bricks that are extremely performing, extremely high-level. We are proud to have today probably the most brilliant product on the market. We need to bring it to the market now. This will be done this year, before the end of the year. We’ve got already an award at CES for this product.

            This is our latest LTE M7400 modem. With revolutionary architecture, meaning that we’ve decided years ago to start from a blank piece of paper and to rewrite totally what it takes to do a modem capable to have a global coverage up to 8 bands. So we are going to be ready to go forward for the next 10 years with this type of technology. Those are the critical elements that are going to be the characteristics of this product.

            Just to give you one information. And again, coming from a different industry you will understand why I am insisting on that.

            This modem is less than 50 mm2, very small. 7 mm by 7 mm piece of silicon. It contains 10 million lines of code. Why do I mention the use of this number? I will compare this number to another number which for me was before this astonishing.

            The largest supercomputer in Europe, #5 in the world, designed to manage in parallel 100 thousand processors, delivering the most powerful engine to the market in Europe 2 years ago, was powered by a middleware that comprised 1 million lines of code. This piece of silicion, 7 [mm] by 7 [mm] contains 10 millions.

            Just to calibrate you. Just to make you understand why you need incredible R&D power, incredible innovation capabilities, but incredible sense of delivery also to bring this type of performance to the market. We will do that. Takes a bit of time, takes a lot of energy, sometimes it takes some delays unfortunately, but we will bring it to the market. We are committed to do so. [39:14]

            THOR™ M7400 LTE AND HSPA+ [ST-Ericsson, excerpted on March 12, 2012]

            Paves the way for global LTE devices
            The Thor™ M7400 is a new generation of multimode mobile broadband modem. It supports the latest LTE, HSPA+ Dual Carrier and TD technologies. The small form factor and high power efficiency of the M7400 enable slim form factor smartphones, tablets and other mobile broadband enabled devices. The advanced multimode RF design offers new level of flexibility to support regional LTE FDD/TDD/HSPA bands in Asia, Europe and North America in combination with global HSPA/EDGE.
            A breakthrough in modem architecture delivers an optimum combination of hardware acceleration, for lowest power consumption, and flexible execution in software allowing feature and performance enhancements in existing hardware.
            Equipped with the latest communication interfaces it enables efficient integration between application processor and modem, including memory-less modem design when combining with an application processor.
            HIGHLIGHTS
            Truly global
              • LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE
              • Radio supporting up to 8 LTE/WCDMA/GSM bands.
                A streamlined modem
              • Smallest two-chip thinmodem solution
              • Power efficient architecture
              • Highly integrated radio solution
                For all devices
              • Interfaces for data devices and smartphone application processors
              • Memory-less modem design possible when combined with an application processor
              • Complete and pre-tested reference design

            FD-SOI: A process booster for http://blog.stericsson.com/blog/2012/04/st-ericsson-general/fd-soi-a-process-booster-for-st-ericssons-next-generation-novathor-part-1/ST-Ericsson’s next generation NovaThor, Part 1 [ST-Ericsson Technology Blog, April 17, 2012]

            With the recent evolution in smartphone capabilities consumer expectations are rising fast. Ultra-fast multicore Gigahertz processors, stunning 3D graphics, full HD multimedia and high-speed broadband connectivity have become the norm for high-end devices. Consumers expect these features to be delivered in a device that is slim, light and can last for at least as long as their previous phones did. For our customers, the product designers, this translates into requirements for delivering high performance at low power in a cost effective manner. Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator – or FD-SOI – is a technology that addresses exactly these requirements.

            At Mobile World Congress, our CEO Didier Lamouche confirmed during his speech that our next generation NovaThor platform L8540 will be using 28nm FD-SOI technology.

            FD-SOI is a technology that is available for design today and will allow existing designs in 28nm to benefit today already from significant improvements in performance and power. FD-SOI solves – with less process complexity – scaling, leakage and variability issues to further shrink CMOS technology beyond 28nm.

            FD-SOI, like FinFET, is a technology that was initially planned for 20nm nodes and below to overcome traditional bulk CMOS scaling limitations such as high leakage and device variability. However, unlike FinFET, FD-SOI process remains a low-complexity planar process very similar to the traditional CMOS bulk. This allows for a faster process development and ramp-up and an easier design porting for existing designs. The strong collaboration between ST-Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Leti and Soitec allows us to already benefit in 28nm from the added value of FD-SOI. The three key benefits realized are leading performance, competitive speed/leakage trade-offs, and optimized power efficiency. This post looks at the performance aspectsand a later post will look at the other two benefits.

            Leading-edge performance across a wide voltage range

            The graph below compares the maximum frequency achievable for a particular critical path of an ARM Cortex™-A9 CPU core implementation, versus the supply voltage Vdd, for a slow corner process (SS) and a worst case temperature.

            Each curve represents a specific 28nm process offer.

            • 28HP-LVT is a mobile high performance bulk CMOSprocess. Targeting high CPU performance mobile applications , these processes are derived from fast process flavors with very thin gate oxide and therefore have a limited Vdd overdrive capability (~1.0V) for reliability reasons
            • 28LP-LVT is a low power bulk CMOSprocess. Traditionally used for low power mobile applications, LP processes are based on thicker transistor gate oxide supporting a higher voltage overdrive (up to 1.3V).
            • 28FDSOI-LVT is the 28nm FD-SOI process developed by STMicroelectronics. FD-SOI uses a similar gate structure as 28LP, it can also sustain a 1.3V overdrive.

            In all process, only low voltage threshold (LVT) transistors are considered. These are the one giving the highest speed performance.

            Performance comparison of 28nm technologies

            Performance comparison of 28nm technologies

            1. First observation is that FD-SOI at nominal voltages (0.9V for HP, 1.0V for both LP and FD-SOI) gives similar peak performance to HP processes and more than 35% performance improvement compared to LP at same Vdd.
            2. Furthermore, higher Vdd tolerance allows for an extra performance boost in FD-SOI that is not possible with HP processes, resulting in better overall peak performance
            3. At low operating voltages such as Vdd=0.6V, the LP process is either not functional or gives low performance. FD-SOI is equivalent or better than the HP process – but with a much lower leakage and dynamic power consumptionas we will see in a later post.
            4. Thanks to lower process variability than any bulk CMOS process, FD-SOI allows even lower operating voltages (down to 0.5V) at frequencies that are useful for non-CPU intensive processes (200MHz-300MHz) e.g. Hardware accelerated audio or video playback.

            So, over a large Vdd range (from 0.5V up to 1.3V), FD-SOI comprehensively outperforms existing bulk CMOS processes dedicated to mobile applications. This extra performance gain can be used either to increase peak performance or to operate at a lower Vdd for the same performance, saving dynamic power.

            More technical information: Planar fully depleted silicon technology to design competitive SOC at 28nm and beyond [STMicroelectronics FD-SOI whitepaper, Feb 23, 2012]

            ABSTRACT
            This document considers the challenges to obtain competitive silicon technology for the upcoming generation of System-On-Chip ICs. It suggests planar fully depleted technology deserves serious interest. After outlining some implementation choices, a number of circuit-level benchmark results as well as some important design aspects are presented. It is found that this technology combines high performance, power efficiency and cost-effectiveness, which makes it a very attractive candidate to serve the needs of mobile and consumer multimedia SOCs starting at the 28nm node and scalable down to 14nm.

            6. Perspectives

            6.1. 28nm

            With the 28nm planar FD technology, on top of preparing the work for 20nm where the kind of power/performance tradeoff enabled by planar FD will be key, we are already able to demonstrate very attractive results. We expect to sign-off designs breaking the 2GHz barrier under worst-case conditions, in a power-efficient and cost-efficient way. For lower
            performance targets, there is also the opportunity to design ultra-low-power chips that can fulfill their functional specifications using a very low Vdd, for example in the 0.6-0.8V range.

            The Process Design Kit (PDK) is available, targeting the technology to be open for risk production by mid-2012.

            6.2. 20nm

            We intend to scale our planar FD technology to 20nm, introducing a number of improvements to continue pushing the performance and retain a low power consumption. The objective is to bring up a solution that will improve on what mobile-optimized planar bulk CMOS will achieve, and will be extremely competitive vs. potential FinFET-based approaches
            for SOC – while keeping a simple and cost-efficient approach. The design rules will be compatible with 20nm bulk CMOS. This technology will bridge the gap to 14nm and provide an interesting alternative to the cost and complexity of introducing Extreme-UV and FinFET structures.

            Evaluation SPICE models are available, and full PDK is scheduled by end of 2012, with risk production for 13Q3.

            6.3. 14nm

            Based on the assessments we have performed, we are confident that the planar FD technology is shrinkable to 14nm. Silicon and buried oxide thickness will need to be reduced to within limits that wafer manufacturers and CMOS process technology can handle.

            7. CONCLUSION
            The findings exposed in this document indicate planar FD is a promising technology for modern mobile and consumer multimedia chips. It combines high performance and low power consumption, complemented by an excellent responsiveness to power management design techniques. The fabrication process is comparatively simple and is a low-risk evolution from conventional planar bulk CMOS – and there is little disruption at design level, too.

            At 28nm, we find that planar FD more than matches the peak performance of “G”-type technology, at the cost and complexity of a low-power type technology, with better power efficiency across use cases than any of the conventional bulk CMOS flavor.

            Looking further, for 20nm and 14nm, we believe planar FD will be extremely competitive with respect to alternative approaches in terms of performance and power, while being both simpler and more suited to low-power design techniques. In short, a better choice for the type of SOC we offer.

            Interview With ST-Ericsson’s Chief Chip Architect: SOCs on 28nm FD-SOI – When, Why and How [ASN #19 – FD-SOI INDUSTRIALIZATION (ST, ST-ERICSSON, SOITEC, LETI, UC BERKELEY), April 6, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson’s Chief Chip Architect Louis Tannyeres talks with ASN about the move to 28nm FD-SOI for smartphones and tablet SOCs.

            FD-SOI is a technology that is available for design today and will allow existing designs in 28nm to benefit today already from significant improvements in performance and power. FD-SOI solves – with less process complexity – scaling, leakage and variability issues to further shrink CMOS technology beyond 28nm.

            True market disruptions are only understood after the fact. We believe FD-SOI is such a disruption and a truely differentiated solution. There is a real opportunity for a FD-SOI 28nm solution and then 20nm as a key technology differentiator.  Our customers have reacted  favorably to hearing that we will be enabling FD-SOI technology in our next generation of products. And since we are enabling this technology in STMicroelectronics’ foundries, we have also minimized our risk with respect to market adoption trends.

            28nm planar FD manufacturing technology has a lot of commonalities with traditional 28nm Low-Power CMOS technology and STMicroelectronics’ strategy has been to reuse as much as possible the 28nm low-power bulk CMOS process. The Back-End part of the process is a direct copy of the 28nm bulk technology. The Front-End part of the process also relies in majority on a direct re-use of equivalent process modules from the bulk technology. Only a few steps have been optimized, added or removed. Overall, the Back-End is 100% identical to the traditional 28nm bulk low-power CMOS process, and the Front-End of Line (FEOL) has 80% in common with that same process.

            FD-SOI will be introduced into next generation products from ST-Ericsson. At this time, our first 28nm FD-SOI products are scheduled to tape out in Q3 2012 with production start anticipated in 2013.

            See also:
            Important News Comes Out of Recent FD-SOI Workshop [Advanced Substrate News, April 20, 2012]
            The End Of CMOS [SperlingMediaGroup YouTube channel, Dec 10, 2011]

            Steve Longoria, senior vice president of Soitec, talks with System-Level Design (www sldcommunity com) about why silicon on insulator (SOI) has suddenly become essential to semiconductor manufacturing and what it will mean for Moore’s Law.

            Soitec: Wafer Roadmap for Fully Depleted Planar and 3D/FinFET [Steve Longoria, Senior VP of Worldwide Business Development at Soitec on the Advanced Substrate News, April 20, 2012], the related Soitec press releases are: Soitec outlines fully depleted product roadmap for advanced planar and three-dimensional transistors [April 16, 2012] and Soitec provides affordable paths to higher performance, lower-power processors for mobile and consumer devices [April 16, 2012]
            Considerations for Bulk CMOS to FD-SOI Design Porting – Key Excerpts [Advanced Substrate News, Dec 5, 2011]
            Archive of 32nm SOI [Advanced Substrate News] for the state-of-the-art in the “classic” (i.e. partially depleted) SOI
            ST: FD-SOI for Competitive SOCs at 28nm and Beyond [Thomas Skotnicki, Advanced Devices Program Director at STMicroelectronics on Advanced Substrate News, Nov 18, 2011]

            In a mobile world, high-performance must go hand-in-hand with low-operation Vdd and low stand-by leakage. That requires different technologies. As we approach the 20/22nm node and beyond, traditional planar-bulk technologies cannot meet these requirements. The choice comes down to either a planar fully-depleted (FD) SOI solution or a FinFET solution. At STMicroelectronics, we call our flavor of planar FD-SOI UTBB, for ultra-thin body & box. As such, it leverages SOI wafers with both ultra-thin top silicon and ultra-thin buried oxide (BOX). Where more practical, we use a hybrid SOI/bulk configuration, wherein certain devices are placed in the bulk silicon that has been exposed by etching back the insulating BOX layer.

            ST has been working on FD-SOI for over 10 years. We have research programs or partnerships on 3 sites: Crolles, Leti, and IBM Albany NanoTech. We have collaborated with Soitec for wafer supply.

            The key technology elements for UTBB have been demonstrated.

            The move from R&D to an industrial process of 28nm FD-SOI technology is for us (and for our partners) an efficient and straightforward response to the world-wide competition. The extension of FD-SOI towards the 20nm and 14nm nodes is also in preparation with new boosters to further increase the performance growth rate.

            UTBB FD-SOI promises to give STMicroelectronics a significant edge in both the near term and for years to come.

            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            [39:25] For the 8540 platform we have two ideas. One is to take down the cost, and one is to boost the performance. … to boost the performance in terms of power and speed because we need to get differentiated. The key differentiating factors of this joint venture to me are two: ST and Ericsson. Ericsson is the #1 company in the world when it comes to network technology and ST because it is one of the top 6 semiconductor companies in the world. We absolutely need to exploit that in order to beat the competition. None of our competitors have these abilities. All of our competitors, not most of them, but all of them are standard companies exploiting the same process, coming from the same place, coming from the same vendor. How can you differentiate when you are doing that? We absolutely need to differentiate this time. Which is the capability we have, to exploit the strength of our shareholder. This is one.

            We will bring to the market, and we will bring the demonstration before the end of the year an FD-SOI flavor, 8540 FD-SOI version that will demonstrate the following capability.

            ST-Ericsson Differentiation with FD-SOI Technology -- 31-Jan-2012

            Why do we want to use FD-SOI?

            … FD-SOI means Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator technology. This is a silicon technology which is unique. Silicon on insulator means you use silicon substrates which are actually composed of six substrates (that you will not see here) with a thin layer of oxide and on top of it a thin layer of silicon. What it does, it provides perfect isolation. … Normally with the classical processes from foundries you start only with six layers of silicon. In this case we will start the silicon process with this sandwich. These six layers of silicon, the oxide and then a very thin layer of silicon on top of it on which you are going to build your active element, the transistor.  These technologies are running for a while. IBM is using it in the server since very long time for performance reason.

            [i.e. partially depleted SOI only: e.g. AMD Bulldozer on 32nm SOI, Microsoft Xbox 360 by IBM etc. for the latest. IBM launched SOI in Fishkill back in 1998. IBM, of course, has its own successful SOI foundry business, and owns the high-end gaming market, fabbing SOI-based chips for the big three: in addition to Microsoft Xbox Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii (and the upcoming Wii U) as well. AMD followed with 130nm SOI out of Dresden in 2001. Singapore – which was first Chartered – started turning out 90nm SOI chips for IBM back in 2004, and adopted AMD’s highly touted Automation Precision Manufacturing (APM) in 2005. GlobalFoundries has been turning out 32nm SOI chips since June ’11 and at GlobalFoundries’ “Fab 8″ in upstate New York, based on IBM’s latest, 32nm SOI chip technology since January’12.]

            This is known. It has not been used yet in the mobile space for one reason, cost and complexity of the technology.

            Why can’t we use it today?

            Because of those two letters: FD. FD means fully depleted. It means we have been able with our partner ST, and their partners, to come to such a thin layer of active silicon on top of the thin layer of oxide that it provides us two things:

            1. Because of this layer is so thin you can much more easily isolate the transistor one from each other. The process is much simpler which removes the cost of SOI.
            2. Because this layer is so thin the transistor you create is naturally pinched, closed. When you put the metal gates on top of the silicon the transistor is closed. No current is flowing between the two. What that means is that you don’t need to impose an electrical signal on the gates to close the transistor. So it means you save power. In a sleep mode zero consumption at all.

            This is one of the first time in my life that I see that all ingredients as put together result only in benefits and not in penalty. Cost-wise we have about the same cost as the normal process. Process-wise simpler. Performance-wise this is what you get [see the above slide]. At 0.6V twice the performance. 35% less power dissipation. [on the same node]

            And finally: why we want to use that?

            Because the world needs to go fully depleted. … The target solution is extremely complex in terms of cost. It is not fitting for the mobile space. It is not fitting for devices that you want to sell below 10 or 20 dollars. Absolutely not. This solution is fittingWe are the only one to have this one thanks to FD technology and as soon as we ramp up the volume and will have a proprietary foundry [ST-Ericsson has a 300mm foundry which is just down the road from the special wafer – called FD-2D – supplier Soitec in Grenoble] to fullfill the volume requirements we are going to demonstrate that. We already have silicon on test vehicle. We are going to demonstrate that before the end of the year, on the base of the 8540 product. …

            What does it give to a telco?

            4 hours more high-speed browsing, 2.5 hours more HD video playback, 2 hours more HD video recording, and of course less power dissipation, longer battery etc. … We are the only one to have this technology today. We are at least 2 years before anybody else. And we can compete with the companies I told you before which have not yet demonstrated that 3D fully depleted technology that they want to put up the market, [put already] for PC and server market, [but] fitting the mobility market [an obvious reference to Intel]. … [46:10]

            image
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            … stabilization means stop bleeding …

            So from the application processor point of view the company is abandoning the premium/high segment of the market which had been the kind of flagship for the future before, as well as the entry segment which had also been figuring quite high on their priority list during the second half of 2011:

            Will ST-Ericsson’s New Product Programme Do The Trick? [July 28, 2011]

            Currently ST-Ericsson is moving its product line onto 45nm and is sampling three 45nm products – its 8500 platform for smartphones, its 4500 platform which is the lower-end version of the 8500, and its CG2900Bluetooth/GPS/FM combo modem.

            “We shipped the 8500 in pre-production quantities in Q2 and it will be ramping up at a number of customers this year,” Gerard Cronin, STE’s head of marketing, told me yesterday, “we have engagements on the 8500 with five out of the top ten handset manufacturers.”

            Before the end of this year, ST-Ericsson intends to sample its first 32nm device, the A9540 application processor based on Cortex A-9 which is the upgrade of the 8500 with 50% higher speed.

            Early in 2012 it intends to sample its first 28nm device – the A9600 based on the Cortex A-15.

            Asked from which foundry ST-Ericsson hopes to get 28nm from, Cronin said ST-Ericsson is part of the Globalfoundries alliance.

            However, according to Mike Bryant, CTO of Future Horizons, talking at IFS 2011 earlier this month, GloFo’s 28nm process in Dresden is running with almost zero yield.

            ST Ericsson plants center in Silicon Valley [Sept 13, 2011]

            ST Ericsson announced it has opened a small technical office in Silicon Valley as it scrambles to get ahead of the curve in the hyper competitive market for smartphone and tablet chips. It demoed its current HSPA+ products running Android here and talked about plans for LTE chips and support for Windows Phone software in the coming year.

            At the launch, ST Ericsson demoed its U8500 integrated applications processor and HSPA+ baseband running on a new board geared for software developers. The chip supported stereo 3-D graphics, 1080-progressive video playback, games with motion sensors and a browser supporting augmented reality.

            The processor uses a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 with Mali 400 graphics. In demos it supported Symbian and the Gingerbread and Honeycomb versions of Android.

            The company does not have demo-ready versions of its next-generation discrete LTE baseband [the M7400] and application processor [the A9540] announced in February and slated for production in mid-2012. The schedule is behind that of rival Qualcomm which is expected to supply the first LTE handsets. However, the ST Ericsson chip will support eight LTE spectrum bands on a single RF transceiver.

            ST Ericsson has taped out a dual-core ARM Cortex A-15 set to ship in 2012 [the A9600]. It will outgun rivals including the Omap 5 from Texas Instruments because the STE chip uses the Imagination Rogue graphics core, said Gilles Delfassy, chief executive of ST Ericsson and former head of TI’s wireless business unit. Due to use of a new vector-processing architecture, the chip should also have smaller size, cost and power consumption than its rivals, he added.

            In software, ST Ericsson is playing catch up with the shift by Nokia, a lead customer, from Symbian to Windows Phone. It does not expect to support Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handsets, but it has put a team in place to support Windows Phone 8 on its chips.

            “We have a road map which is very aggressive, but the key question is will we deliver on it on time,” Delfassy said.

            International Data Corp. analyst Mario Morales said smartphone makers want alternatives to integrated chips from Qualcomm, and are waiting on ST Ericsson to execute on its road map.

            To that end, Delfassy said he has replaced some engineers in ST Ericsson and brought on two executives with strength in product execution. One is a senior vice president from the former Infineon wireless group who worked closely with Apple; another is a former Sony Ericsson executive who has supervised groups of more than a thousand engineers.

            ST Ericsson has also simplified its product portfolio, pruning five modem technologies down to just one [the Thor M7400 modem]. It was the first company to deliver a 21 Mbit/second HSPA+ modem [the Thor M5780 modem], Delfassy said.

            So far ST Ericsson is not planning any quad-core products despite the fact rivals Nvidia and Qualcomm have announced plans for such parts. “We aim to be leaders in apps processors, but there is a big debate whether quad core is a case of diminishing returns,” Delfassy said.

            More information on this past strategy is available in my post:
            ST-Ericsson NovaThor SoCs for future Windows Phones from Nokia [Nov 3, 2011]

            In fact what remains out of that is the following:

            ST-Ericsson NovaThor U9500 (Nova A9500)
            45nm
            2 x ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.2GHz
            ARM Mali-400 MP1
            1 x 32-bit LPDDR2
            Now
            (Nova A9500 in production since Q3 2011)
            ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500
            45nm
            2 x ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.0GHz
            ARM Mali-400 MP1
            1 x 32-bit LPDDR2
            Now (pre-production quantities in Q2  2011)

            while the real changes were happening in the planned SoCs for the higher end of the market, and ST-Microelectronics is to take now the decision about the timing:

            ST-Ericsson NovaThor LP9600 (Nova A9600)
            28nm
            2 x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.5GHz
            IMG PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue)
            Dual Memory
            (Nova A9600:
            2H
            2012 [???])
            ST-Ericsson NovaThor L9540 (Nova A9540)
            32nm
            2 x ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.85GHz
            IMG PowerVR Series 5
            2 x 32-bit LPDDR2
            (Nova A9540:
            1H 2012
            [???])

            ST-Ericson L9540 1.85Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 [Charbax YouTube channel, March 1, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson demonstrates their new L9540 1.85Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core processor with the SGX544 GPU. They show that it can be cranked at up to 2.2Ghz and it can also automatically be down-clocked to 400Mhz when not much CPU performance is needed when for example tasks like video-playback are offloaded to another part of the System on Chip.
            Important note: With the last two application processors still on the company’s roadmap the product availabilities are unknown now, especially that of the flagship A9600 which should be repositioned (at least in time) in lieu of the announced change of moving away from the premium segment of the smartphone market as per the below announcement.

            What the company announced on MWC 2012 instead is a new part, the Novathor L8540 AP+Modem integrated SoC on a single die with the following specification:

            NOVATHOR™ L8540 [ST-Ericsson, excerpted on March 12, 2012]

            The NovaThor™ L8540 builds on the NovaThor L9540 to combine a state of the art application processor with an LTE/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA multimode modem in a single die. The platform incorporates a dual-core CPU with a powerful graphics engine, an LTE multimode modem and a full suite of connectivity in a high-performance, low-power and size and cost-optimized solution. With a small footprint, very low bill of materials and support for up to eight bands in a flexible radio solution the NovaThor L8540 further enables widespread global adoption of LTE multimode smartphones.
            FEATURES
            • Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
            • 3D HD video capture and display
            • High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to WUXGA
            • Simultaneous dual display support up to dual qHD
            • High-performance 3D graphics
            • Dual camera support up to 20 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
            • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GNSS (GPS+GLONASS), FM and NFC enabled platform
            • Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
            • Support for major operating systems
            • Optional support for mobile TV standards
            TELECOM
            • LTE FDD/TDD, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE
            • Radio supporting up to 8 LTE/WCDMA/GSM bands.
            • Power efficient architecture
            • Highly integrated radio solution
            TECHNOLOGY
            • Highly efficient, low-power ARM® dual Cortex™- A9 processor clocked at up to 1.85Ghz
            • Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
            • High-bandwidth Dual LP-DDR2 interface
            • Imagination Technologies’ POWERVR™ SGX544 GPU
            • Unique audio architecture with a wide range of audio codecs supported
            • Advanced power saving architecture enabling class-leading audio and video playback time
            BLOCK DIAGRAM

            image

            Such an announcement when nothing has been announced regarding the product availability of the NovaThor L9540 two-chip SoC solution (announced a year ago) while already a single die solution based on that, the NovaThor L8540 has been announced, is quite remarkable.

            Let’s take first a look at the announcement text for some clues explaining that:

            ST-ERICSSON ANNOUNCES NEW HIGHLY INTEGRATED LTE NOVATHOR PLATFORM [ST-Ericsson press release, Feb 28, 2012]

            NovaThor L8540 integrates Thor LTE technology with powerful dual-core application processor to deliver extraordinary multimedia performance
            Barcelona, February 28, 2012 – ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced today the latest addition to its integrated smartphone and tablet platform portfolio. The NovaThor™ L8540 is an LTE/HSPA+/TD-HSPA-enabled integrated smartphone platform with the powerful application processor and modem integrated on a single die.
            “By adding the new NovaThor L8540 platform to our portfolio of highly integrated smartphone and tablet solutions, the L8540 takes integration of LTE platforms to the next level,” said Marc Cetto, senior vice president of smartphone and tablet solutions for ST-Ericsson. “By integrating the powerful dual-core application processor with our industry-leading LTE multimode modem we bring further size, bill of materials and power consumption savings to our customers. Consumers of next generation smartphones powered by the NovaThor L8540 will benefit from compact, power efficient devices that deliver an amazing multimedia experience.”
            The NovaThor L8540 integrates a dual-core 1.85GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, a powerful Imagination PowerVR™ SGX544 GPU running at 500Mhz and an LTE/HSPA+/TD-HSPA modem on a single 28nm die. Thanks to its ultra-low voltage operating mode the NovaThor L8540 extends battery life for typical smartphone usage by up to 30% compared to platforms in the market today.
            The NovaThor L8540 will provide extraordinary multimedia performance in an integrated solution, supporting 1080p video encoding and playback at up to 60 frames per second, 1080p 3D camcorder functionality, support for displays up to WUXGA (1920×1200) at 60 frames per second and support for cameras up to 20 megapixels.
            The complete platform includes pre-integrated connectivity with support for Bluetooth, GNSS (GPS+ GLONASS), FM, WLAN, WiFi Direct and NFC. With the recently released ST-Ericsson connectivity solutions, CG2905 and CW1250, the platform comes optimized for wireless radio co-existence and low power consumption.
            With support for up to eight LTE/HSPA/TD-SCDMA/GSM bands in a flexible and compact radio solution, the NovaThor L8540 addresses the need for a cost effective solution for widespread global adoption of LTE multimode smartphones.
            The NovaThor L9540 is being demonstrated by ST-Ericsson at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The NovaThor L8540 is scheduled to sample to customers in Q3 2012.
            Note to Editors
            The NovaThor family combines advanced application processing, a high speed mobile broadband modem and a full connectivity suite in a complete platform. The NovaThor L8540 builds on the NovaThor L9540 platform, which combines the Nova™ A9540 application processor and the Thor™ M7400 LTE multimode modem, and which has been sampling to lead customers since Q4 2011. The Nova A9540 is ST-Ericsson’s second generation application processor following the Nova A9500 which is in production since Q3 2011.
            With an extremely high level of software and hardware compatibilitybetween the generations, our customers will be able to quickly bring NovaThor L9540 and L8540-based devices to market.

            That is by the new focused portfolio approach ST-Ericsson so far has declared a fairly strong direction of aiming at the mainstream market of 2013-2014 by providing the most cost-effective, fully integrated and single die solution on the market. Moreover, due to “extremely high level of software and hardware compatibilitybetween … NovaThor L9540 and L8540” the leading smartphone vendors with a long-term view of the market could already launch their respective strategic products in 2012.

            So, what to expect in a month or so, and from which vendors?

            ST-Ericsson readies revamp, soon a takeover target (Reuters, March 14, 2012)

            ST-Ericsson is preparing to unveil a major operations revamp within two weeks, placing the troubled mobile chip venture on track for a takeover by a peer or competitor that would create a formidable rival to Qualcomm Inc.

            ST-Ericsson, a 50-50 joint venture of Sweden’s Ericsson and France’s STMicroelectronics, is seen as a “strategic asset” for potential buyers. Those could include Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Nvidia Corp, Intel Corp and Texas Instruments Inc, three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

            “It is the only answer to Qualcomm,” one of the sources said. “On the patent side, they are the one company that you go, ‘That makes sense.'”

            Potential suitors will likely drag out their courtship over a year or two, waiting for ST-Ericsson to first show signs of a turnaround under new Chief Executive Didier Lamouche, a restructuring expert hired late last year.

            Lamouche is due to unveil by the end of March a restructuring planthat is set to include site closures around the world and major layoffs to lower costs. The new strategy could also include seeking a partner for application processors.

            ST-Ericsson NovaThor chipsets offer one of the few integrated alternatives to Qualcomm’s market-leading Snapdragon.

            “The holy grail is to sell an integrated modem with an application processor into mainstream smartphones,” said analyst John Jackson from research firm CCS Insight.

            The current structure of ST-Ericsson would pose several challenges for a potential buyer, the sources said. For example, the business is tightly linked to STMicro’s products, particularly for its upcoming “FD-SOI” technology, which analysts expect to be a game-changer at the market’s top end.

            The technology, which brings significant power savings, has been seen as too expensive for phones, but last month ST-Ericsson promised to deliver FD-SOI chipsets — using STMicro technology in partnership with Soitec SA — for manufacturing clients to try out in smartphones this year.

            And Ericsson holds most of the venture’s telecom patents and would be a tough deal negotiator, one of the sources said.

            When Ericsson exited from a similar 50-50 cellphone venture, Sony Ericsson, the deal gave Sony Corp access to Ericsson patents; but only a few patents were sold to Sony as part of the deal. Also, loss-making Sony Ericsson was valued at roughly $3 billion in the deal. It had 2011 sales of $5.2 billion.

            ST-Ericsson has lost a total of $2 billion in its three years of operation as revenues from key clients Nokia and Sony Ericsson shrank over 70 percent during the same period.

            … Revenues in 2011 dropped to just $1.65 billion from pro forma level of $3.6 billion in 2008. …

            One of the online marketing flagships of the leading global business media conglomerate UBM plc, EE Times responded to the Reuters report by a quite different view which – due to the specific business community nature of UBM segments, particularly that of the Online Marketing Servicesmight reflect a better understanding of what is going on behind the scene(note that EE Times received the 2010 Folio Eddie Award for Best website in B2B Energy/Utilities/Engineering):

            Update: Why ST should sell ST-Ericsson to China [by Peter Clark on EE Times, March 15, 2012]

            Europe’s largest chip company STMicroelectronics NV should persuade Ericsson AB that they sell off their mobile chip joint venture ST-Ericsson, but probably to some aspiring Chinese company. That is likely to produce the quickest and most profitable – or least loss-making – exit for the two parent companies from what has become a failed project.

            A spokesperson for ST-Ericsson said the company has no comment on the Reuters report but added that STMicroelectronics and Ericsson remain committed to the joint venture and that it is a fundamental part of ST’s digital convergence strategy. It is interesting to note that ST-Ericsson is almost exactly three years old and that it may be Ericsson that wants to disengage from the joint venture and had expected ST to buy out its 50 percent.

            I don’t think ST-Ericsson or ST have that much more time. In a note in the most recent financial results ST-Ericsson said “Our shareholders will continue to support funding our transitional financial needs.” This of course begs the question of “transition to what?” and “how long will that transition take?” The fact is that ST-Ericsson is a three-year old joint venture that has acted like a boat-anchor on the progress of STMicroelectronics.

            It is true that ST-Ericsson wrapped up a lot of the previous problems of ST, specifically an overdependence on faltering Nokia as a customer, but pushing the problem into a joint-venture along with other European wireless chip business units belonging to NXP and Ericsson, was clearly not the solution.

            ST compared with Infineon

            Compare ST’s plight with that of Infineon, which got out of communications through the spin-off of its wired chips into Lantiq Deutschland GmbH and the sale of its wireless business unit to Intel. In the later part of the last decade Infineon’s CEO Peter Bauer decided to focus on some of the less glamorous but higher margin parts of the chip industry: power, automotive, industrial and security. How smart does that look now?

            NXP has a similarly focused strategy with CEO Rick Clemmer taking the company out of a number of consumer markets and now pursuing similar markets to Infineon with high-performance mixed-signal ICs. NXP of course got out of mobile wireless by selling its business to create the joint venture.

            While it is possible that a western company might want to acquire ST-Ericsson and access to patents I think greater interest might come from further east. I don’t think Texas Instruments wants to get back into the world of razor-thin margins in smartphones and the while the likes of AMD or Intel may have the appetite but are they going to sit on the sidelines too long waiting for the cuts have their effect.

            Nvidia Corp. defnitely want to compete in this area but it has its own line of ARM-based Tegra application processors and is pursuing a modem strategy based on its purchase of Icera Inc. (Bristol England) for nearly $400 million in May 2011. Surely any deal for ST-Ericsson would undermine the value of what Nvidia has already paid.

            Apple compared with China

            The other question to ask is who has the means to make something of ST-Ericsson. I think that some companies from greater China do and perhaps Apple, which has been going through a process of re-integration to give itself the ability to develop and own chips during the roll out of its mobile device strategy.

            Apple does not need all the baggage that would come with ST-Ericsson, or the ability to address multiple customers. Which is why a sale to a company such as HiSiliconTechnologies Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen, China) backed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen, China) might extract the highest value in the shortest time for ST and Ericsson.

            Other Chinese companies that might have an interest in ST-Ericsson could include Rockchip, Xincomm, Leadcore Technology, Nufront and Spreadtrum. Of these HiSilicon with its links with Huawei and Leadcore, aligned with Datang, would appear more likely. In Taiwan MediatekInc. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) is also a likely candidate.

            However, the geopolitical nature of any such sale of ST-Ericsson should not be underestimated. It would be a loss of face for Europe and for the west and behind the scenes moves may be made to try and keep control of the technology and jobs in the west. But what can Europe do? It is a continent of many bankrupt nations and few successful ones.The 27-nation European Union could try to lean on the likes of Apple and Intel to have them step in and save ST-Ericsson. Apple and Intel want to be good European citizens because of the size of the consumer market the European Union represents.

            Of course, such is the power of Apple in the mobile device market these days that one design win with Apple could make many of ST-Ericsson’s problems go away – at least until they are designed out again.

            Regarding the other parent’s position, i.e. that of the STMicroelectronics we have the following which is quite contradicting to both of Reuter’s and EE Times’ positions:

            STMicroelectronics’ Management Presents at UBS European Technology Conference (Presentation Transcript) [Seeking Alpha, March 13, 2012]

            STMicroelectronics NV (STM) UBS European Technology Conference Call March 8, 2012 3:45 AM ET

            Philippe Lambinet
            [Corporate Strategy Officer, Executive Vice President and General Manager of STMicroelectronics’ Digital Sector since January 2012; from February 2012 also responsible for Investor Relations and External Communications. Before that General Manager of the Home Entertainment & Displays Group for 5 years]

            The other side of the company, in the area of Multimedia Convergence, clearly the focus is going to be on turning around the ST-Ericsson business and of course it is very important for us to maintain our leadership in the area of digital consumer applications.

            … [elaboration of the ST-Ericsson’s performance over the last three years in financial terms] … So you see a $1.7 billion improvement over three years, so those three years actually included two crises, so not so bad performance considering how difficult 2009 was in our industry and how difficult the second half of 2011 was. So we are not unhappy of this situation and this is despite the cash consumption of the joint venture, ST-Ericsson joint venture which has been consuming quite a lot of cash as you all know.

            During 2012 I think the top three priorities are fixing ST-Ericsson, fixing ST-Ericsson and fixing ST-Ericsson. This is really top on our agenda and this will be the plan [for STMicroelectronics itself !]. The plan will be published by ST-Ericsson as you will know imminently. ST-E’s CEO, Didier Lamouche in Barcelona committed to deliver a plan to get back to sustainable profitability around the end of March, beginning of April. So it’s coming in few days now.

            STMicroelectronics’ Management Presents at UBS European Technology Conference (Question-and-Answer Session Transcript) [Seeking Alpha, March 13, 2012]

            Unidentified Analyst

            Thanks a lot. You mentioned the restructuring of your operations into one digital unit this year and you also mentioned how less famous Set Top Box business, you are seeing new entrants like Qualcomm and you also said your top priority is ST-Ericsson, ST-Ericsson, ST-Ericsson. Can you help us understand the possible synergies between ST-Ericsson and your digital business? Thanks,

            Philippe Lambinet

            Okay. I will do it conceptuality. This is in no way to be understood as an announcement or anything like that. But conceptually the world is moving to, and this is a message, I remember passing in every year in Las Vegas consumer electronic show. I do a speech about the trends in consumer electronics and already three years ago, I was talking about the evolution of the set top box moving to more and more open systems, internet open systems. So moving from proprietary operating system, like the CDI or NDS or open TV or like (inaudible), you know, proprietary operating systems, in to more open operating systems, such as Android and this is a fundamental trend.

            Now as this happens, in set-top box, as this happens in TV, some TV manufacturers in China, 100% of their connected TVs are developed based on Android today. It’s not 10%. It’s 100%. Some of the major TV makers in China are basing all their connected TV strategy on Android. So, we’re talking about pretty heavy change here and as these things happen and you know, the story of Android and smartphone. Isn’t that pretty obvious that there are things that we should share more and things we could do together more. I think it’s very obvious.

            So first, we do it in ST because you know, we see set-top box TV, car navigation and so we’re moving to very similar platforms, very, very similar. And I think, the obvious concept is that at some point, to be defined, there would be synergies exploited between what we’re doing in ST what we’re doing in ST-Ericsson. They are already by the way quite logical, which is not seeing because the products are different but you know, it’s pretty obvious, that’s a trend, which we will continue over the next years and that makes a lot of sense also for our customers and that makes a lot of sense for the ecosystem and because you know people — we have seen for example the set-top box business and the TV business of some of our customers being merge into one. That has happened to Samsung, now it’s under one organization, which used to be under two or three or four organization, now it’s the same boss has the TV and set-top boxes businesses in Samsung. And we see it across the market.

            So as our customers are doing it, you know we have no choice, but to do it as well so that’s what these all new organization meansand by the way, we also see some of our more traditional ASIC business for example which we’re doing for communication infrastructure, at the end of the day ASIC used to be, just give a few cells to customers and they do the design themselves; now the kind of cell you have to provide is a full as part of the system here, with the dual 8 or 9 with the 3D graphics with the video processing and that’s the base for various it design.

            So the world of ASIC is also changing; it is also aligning towards this kind of application process and platform, so that’s also why our ASIC business has been included inside the digital sectorbecause that’s side of the business also.

            Now when I mention Qualcomm entering the TV business, I didn’t mention them entering the set-top business, so I just want to back on your point. The set-top box business has certain characteristics in terms of fragmentation, in terms of security which are very particular and not everybody can enter that market and you know that’s one area of difficulty for the Taiwanese, but also for some of our American competitors like Marvell or Qualcomm who would love to enter set-top box. Broadcom and us have some particular security technologies which are extremely tough to master and which are very important for content protection and are essential.

            Now we believe by the way, security technologies will become important in many other businesses which content protection is very important. So actually that’s why I went very fast in some of my slides, but clearly data protection, security is an area for ST of traditional strength and we intend to leverage that strength in many other businesses. It’s very clear that the hackers, terrorists and industrial spies are driving a need for higher security levels in every system that’s true for a TV and set-top box, but that’s also true for a smartphone, for a router and for any devices. So it’s very important for us to use that competitive advantage in many marketsand again here we are in advance compared to many of our competitors.

            From that I will conclude that neither Ericsson (as per their spokesman response to EE Times) nor ST (as per their EVP and CSO views presented above) will sell its investment in ST-Ericsson. For me the much more logical likelihood is that large industrial investors will join the joint venture thus providing the needed additional capital.

            Anyway when the new CEO will deliver the new restructuring plan by the end of March we will probably know everything about the new investors from the semiconductor sector who will back that plan. The crucial question now is the customer support, i.e. which smartphone vendors in what way could back the restructuring plan by their NovaThor platform commitments. Here are certain clues:

            NOKIA SELECTS ST-ERICSSON AS SUPPLIER FOR FUTURE WINDOWS PHONE DEVICES [ST-Ericsson press release, Nov 2, 2011]

            NovaThor™ platform to enable Nokia to extend Windows Phone devices to new price points and geographies

            Geneva, Switzerland, November 2, 2011 – Nokia has selected ST-Ericsson as a supplier for future devices it plans to introduce based on the Windows Phone mobile platform.

            “We are pleased to have been selected by Nokia as a key partner for Windows smartphones, in line with our goal to be present in all segments and major operating systems,” said Gilles Delfassy, president and CEO of ST-Ericsson. “Our NovaThor platforms continue to gain traction as they enable customers to bring great smartphones to the market.”

            which goes back to a year earlier agreement as well:
            ST-ERICSSON AND NOKIA JOIN FORCES TO DRIVE TD-LTE IN CHINA [Nov 10, 2010]

            ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, and Nokia, the world’s leading provider of mobile devices and solutions are developing pioneering TD-LTE demonstration devices for China Mobile.

            At the Shanghai Expo, Nokia and ST-Ericsson demonstrated video streaming and other multimedia services on a TD-LTE Nokia Booklet containing ST-Ericsson’s M700 TD-LTE modem. ST-Ericsson’s LTE modems, which can download data at speeds of up to 100 Mbps, enable mobile subscribers to enjoy high-definition video streaming, video conferencing, online gaming, rapid file transfers and other demanding multimedia services.

            China Mobile is trialing TD-LTE. Globally the technology is referred to as LTE TDD, which has a wide interest from operators around the world.

            “Although LTE is still in its infancy, this sophisticated technology has the potential to bring a raft of compelling high-speed multimedia services to hundreds of millions of consumers all over the world,” said Heikki Koivu, Vice President, TD-SCDMA Business Team, Nokia. “Our co-operation with ST-Ericsson will enable us to demonstrate LTE capable devices and experiences as TD-LTE is developing towards commercial maturity”

            “After driving development of both LTE and TD-based mobile technology for several years we are now ready to supply market-leading TD-LTE solutions,” said Pascal Langlois, Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of ST-Ericsson. “Our co-operation with Nokia, the world’s number one mobile phone supplier, will strengthen our ability to support mobile operators deploying LTE.”

            Notes to Editors
            Nokia and ST-Ericsson announced a partnership in late 2009 in the TD-SCDMA market
            , which has since resulted in the launch of several devices in China.

            From all that Nokia is clearly one of those absolutely committed vendors to the NovaThor platform! (And please note as well that the new CEO starting the Nokia restructuring was already at the helm during that announcement!)

            Stephen Elop: Nokia Lumia coming to China on March 28th [engadget, March 12, 2012]

            China recently greeted its first Windows Phone (on pre-order, anyway), but if Stephen Elop has his way, Nokia will be hot on HTC’s heels. The company’s CEO has revealed that Nokia will unleash its Lumia handsets upon the People’s Republic on March 28th. While Elop offered no clues to suggest which models will be available, recent regulatory approvals hint that the Lumia 800 and 710 are both top candidates — though personally, we’d be shocked if the Lumia 610 didn’t rear its head sooner rather than later. Both China Telecom and China Unicom are said to be partners with Nokia, which is undoubtedly eager to offer something other than Symbianto its Chinese fan base.

            Engadget Chinese (translated), Tech in Asia

            source21st Century Business (translated)

            China Mobile to Launch TD-SCDMA Windows Phone [Marbridge Daily, March 9, 2012]

            Pan Zhiyong, general manager of China Mobile’s (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) Guangzhou branch, disclosed in a recent interview that China Mobile will soon release a TD-SCDMA Windows Phone. As to the question of whether the phone will be a Nokia Lumia series or an HTC brand Windows phone, Pan would not provide further comment.

            China market: Nokia to launch Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones [DigiTimes, March 16, 2012]

            Nokia will launch Windows Phone 7.5 (Tango) Lumia series smartphones in the China market on March 28 through cooperation with China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile. WCDMA, CDMA and TD-SCDMA versions will all be available matching the specifications of each carrier’s network, according to industry sources.

            Windows Phone “Tango” officially launches in China on March 21 [liveside.net, March 14, 2012]

            Microsoft China has recently sent out invitations to media outlets for their Windows Phone 7.5 launch event. This will mark the official entrance of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system into the mainland Chinese market. The event is set to be held in Beijing on March 21st, check out the invitation below:

            While the launch event is set to be in a week’s time, HTC had went ahead to become the first OEM to launch the HTC TITAN(called HTC Triumph in China) in the Chinese market. The device was released yesterday, March 14th, and is said to come pre-loaded with Windows Phone “Tango”.

            Following the launch event, Nokia’s CEO and President Stephen Elop is also set to hold an official launch event on March 28. Elop had announced that Nokia will be launching their Lumia range of devices for the mainland Chinese market during the event. Nokia is expected to launch 3 Lumia devices during the event, however the exact devices are still currently unknown. Rumors have been floating around that Nokia will be launching the Lumia 610S, Lumia 719C, and the Lumia 800C with China Telecom, and the devices are expected to be able to run on the carrier’s CDMA2000 network. As at Q4 2011, Nokia owns 16.1% of the Chinese mobile phone market, placing them second just behind Samsung.

            Microsoft opened app submissions to Chinese developers back in October 2011, and has recently put up the mainland Chinese version of the Windows Phone marketplace website. However the marketplace itself has not yet opened to Chinese customers on their Windows Phone devices. It is expected that the marketplace will open soon after the launch.

            Other vendors with ST-Ericsson NovaThor platform:

            ST-Ericsson U8500, now in a range of Smartphones on the market [Charbax blog, March 6, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson demonstrates the range of some of the devices announced that use the ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 that includes ST-Ericsson HSPA+ connectivity. They also announced the U8520 and the U9540 L8540 LTE platforms. [The U8520 is a lower power, higher frequency and lower BOM cost version of the U8500. As such it is the life extender for the U8500. The frequency and the node on which it will be produced (instead of the 45nm of U8500) are not yet announced. U8520 is sampling now and will be in production in H2 2012.]

            http://www.stericsson.com/press/STER-027ChinesePressBackgrounder_English_2011.pdf
            [2010. okt. 25. or 2011. febr. 7.]

            … By combining ST-Ericsson Nova™ A9500 dual core application processor with the ST-Ericsson Thor™ M6718 TD-HSPA thin modem, ST-Ericsson customers in China can develop an advanced smartphone compatible with China Mobile’s 3G network, enabling consumers to enjoy immersive 3D graphics, fast web browsing, high-definition multimedia as well as other innovative and advanced applications with exceptional performance and battery life. …

            POWERFUL NEW ST-ERICSSON PLATFORM MAKES DEBUT IN HTC SENSATION Z710T [ST-Ericsson press release, Sept 26, 2011]

            China Mobile’s latest TD smartphone based on state-of-the-art NovaThor™ platform

            China Mobile and HTC have launched the first smartphone to be based on ST-Ericsson’s powerful new NovaThor platform. The Sensation Z710t offers consumers immersive 3D graphics, fast web browsing, high-definition multimedia and the ability to run several advanced Androidapplications simultaneously with exceptional performance and battery life.

            Underneath the hood of the HTC Sensation Z710t are ST-Ericsson’s Nova™ A9500 dual-core application processor, running at 1GHz, and ST-Ericsson’s Thor™ M6718modem, which can connect to China Mobile’s extensive TD-SCDMA network, enabling consumers to get online at broadband speeds across much of China. The HTC Sensation Z710t also sports an eight megapixel camera and a 4.3 inch display.

            “ST-Ericsson’s new NovaThor platform has enabled us to develop a world-class Android smartphone for China Mobile’s TD network,” said Matthew Costello, Chief Operating Officer of HTC. “Consumers are going to be captivated by the fast and responsive multimedia experience delivered by the HTC Sensation Z710t.”

            “The launch of this exceptional HTC smartphone highlights both the capabilities of our NovaThor platform family and our wholehearted support for China Mobile’s drive to bring world-leading smartphones onto its TD network,” said Pascal Langlois, senior vice president, chief sales and marketing officer of ST-Ericsson. “Consumers and Android application developers alike will relish the raw power and 3D graphical capabilities of the HTC Sensation Z710t.”

            Notes to editors
            ST-Ericsson
            has been developing platforms for the Chinese 3G technology TD-SCDMA since 2003.

            ST-Ericsson NovaThor smartphone platforms combine dual-core application processors with high-speed modems.

            ST-Ericsson Current Thor and NovaThor adaptations -- 31-Jan-2012
            Source: ST-Ericsson Analyst & Media Briefing (Barcelona, February 28, 2012)

            ST-ERICSSON THOR M5780 HSPA+ MODEM POWERS NEW PANASONIC SMARTPHONE [ST-Ericsson press release, Feb 28, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced today that Panasonic selected the power-efficient Thor™ M5780 thin modem for their newest ultra slim smartphone.

            The ST-Ericsson Thor M5780 is a very compact smartphone-optimized modem configuration which inherits the proven HSPA+ modem technology from its predecessors. The small modem size helped Panasonic deliver an ultra slim smartphone equipped with a 4.3-inch screen.

            “The Thor M5780 represents a further improvement of 21Mbps thin modems for smartphones in terms of size, thermal performance and cost structure which is why we believe Panasonic selected our modem to power their newest smartphone,” said Staffan Iveberg, senior vice president, thin modem solutions division for ST-Ericsson. “The success of innovation has led to a 35% size reduction of M5780 compared to our first generation HSPA+ modem. The modem is capable of delivering 21Mbps downstream and 5.76Mbps upstream simultaneously and needs no separate flash memory. With all of these features, Panasonic had everything they needed to make a great high speed broadband-enabled smartphone.”

            ST-Ericsson announces that Panasonic smartphone will be first to use Thor M5780 HSPA+ modem [by Magnus Karlberg on ST-Ericsson blog, Feb 29, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson was a pioneer with its Thor™ modems on the HSPA+ 21 market. I’m very pleased to see that the market has taken off quickly and that many networks support this high speed mobile broadband.

            Of course we haven’t stopped our development on our HSPA+ portfolio since the early days, the success of innovation has led to even smaller and more power efficient modems. Today, I can share the exciting news that we power a new Panasonic smartphone device for this market with our latest HSPA+ 21Mbps modemthe M5780.

            The Thor M5780 represents a further improvement of 21Mbps thin modems for smartphones in terms of size, thermal performance and cost structure which is why we believe Panasonic selected our modem to power their newest smartphone. The Thor M5780 is actually 35% smaller compared to our first generation HSPA+ modem.

            I really like the design of the new Panasonic device, it’s an ultraslim smartphone with 4’3 screen powered with excellent mobile broadband capabilities!

            Related to the current HSPA+ only single die U8500 NovaThor platform:

            “Our high-speed Thor™ modem revenue grew more than 20 percent sequentially as new HSPA+ phones continued to ramp in the market. Also in the quarter [i.e. in Q2 CY2011] we … conducted field trials on our NovaThor™ U8500 platform with several customers. We are very pleased with our increasing progress on the NovaThor U8500, although initial volumes will be somewhat lower due to reduced demand at certain customers.
            From: ST-ERICSSON REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS [July 20, 2011]

            NOVATHOR U8500 [ST-Ericsson, excerpted on March 12, 2012]

            The best smartphone platform
            The NovaThor™ U8500 is the first integrated smartphone platform to offer the latest SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) dual core technology in a high-performance, low-power and cost-optimized solution for multiple operating systems. The U8500 is the first mobile platform with full High-Definition 1080p progressive-scan camcorder capabilities. With its combination of a dual-core SMP processor and a high-end 3D graphics accelerator, the U8500 enables a full web-browsing experience for next-generation smartphones.
            FEATURES
            • Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
            • High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to WXGA
            • Simultaneous dual display support up to dual XGA
            • High performance 3D graphics
            • Dual camera support with Integrated ISP 20 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
            • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM enabled platform
            • Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
            • Support for multiple operating systems
            • Optional support for mobile TV standards

            TECHNOLOGY
            • Highly efficient, low-power ARM dual Cortex™- A9 processor
            • Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
            • High-bandwidth LP-DDR2 interface
            • ARM® Mali™ 400 GPU and NEON®CPU extensions
            • State-of-the-art HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) Release 7 [HSPA+] modem
            • Unique audio architecture with a wide range of audio codecs supported
            • Advanced power saving architecture enabling class-leading audio and video playback times

            U8500 BLOCK DIAGRAM

            NovaThor U8500 block diagram - ST-Ericsson

            ST-ERICSSON NOVATHOR U8500 POWERS NEW SAMSUNG GALAXY S ADVANCE [ST-Ericsson press release, Feb 28, 2012]

            New Samsung Android-powered smartphone is first from company to use ST-Ericsson NovaThor platform

            Today at Mobile World Congress, ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced that Samsung is now a customer of the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ platform. The new Samsung GALAXY S Advance Android-powered smartphone, announced last month, selected the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ U8500.

            “The U8500 platform’s high level of integration enables handset manufacturers to produce small, slim yet powerful smartphones – like the Samsung GALAXY S Advance,” said Marc Cetto, senior vice president of smartphone and tablet solutions for ST-Ericsson. “Samsung is known for their powerful smartphones, strong design aesthetics, and solid user experiences and we could not be more pleased that they selected ST-Ericsson as a partner.”

            The NovaThor U8500 smartphone platform offers dual core technology in a low-power but high-performance solution and integrates a state of the art HSPA+ modem and application processor featuring dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9. Using the U8500, the Samsung GALAXY S Advance smartphone features 1GHz processor speed, HSPA 14.4 connectivity, a 5-megapixel camera and a 4.0-inch Super AMOLED display.

            The Samsung GALAXY S Advance is expected to be available in March in parts of Europe, Asia, China and Latin America.

            Samsung offers style and power with GALAXY S Advance [Samsung Mobile press release, Jan 30, 2012]

            Latest addition to Android-powered GALAXY portfolio delivers sleek curved design with Dual Core performance
            Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S Advance. Designed for those who define themselves by the phone they carry, the GALAXY S Advance strikes a balance of style, power and performance. It will be available in Russia starting from February, and then be gradually rolled out in CIS, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Latin America and China.
            “The GALAXY S Advance adds to the successful track record of the GALAXY smartphone range with a phone that combines power and style with all the versatility of Samsung’s Hub services,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
            Dual Core performance, curved design and Super AMOLED display
            Powered by a dual core 1.0 GHz processor and HSPA 14.4 Mbps connectivity, the GALAXY S Advance has been built with power and connectivity in mind, delivering great versatility and a highly responsive user interface for easy multitasking. Application start-ups are faster with virtually no lag time, and the user experience is boosted with smoother screen transitions, faster image processing, and enhanced Web download and browsing performance.
            The GALAXY S Advance’s curved glass design enhances handling of the phone and fits the user’s facial form easily and naturally. Its 4.0” Super AMOLED display provides the stunning visuals users have come to expect of Samsung GALAXY smartphones, offering unparalleled color reproduction and ensuring that photos and videos captured with the device’s 5MP camera can be enjoyed with vivid clarity.
            The Samsung user experience
            Running on Android Gingerbread and featuring Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, the GALAXY S Advance enables users to stay connected through the Samsung Hubs and ChatON services. Music Hub offers a full music store experience with access to over 11 million tracks and the ability to fully personalize users’ own music catalogues. Readers Hub offers access to over 2.3 million e-books, 3,500 magazine and 200 newspaper titles; while the hugely popular Game Hub offers access to thousands of catalogued games supplemented by gamer news feeds and news.
            Samsung’s cross platform communication service, ChatON connects all phone users into a single community using phone numbers instead of usernames and passwords, provides aneasy instant messaging, group chatting and sharing of content in multiple formats—images, video, voice, contacts, calendar—to make messaging simpler and more intuitive than ever.
            The GALAXY S Advance also features Find My Mobile, a unique lost-phone management system that ensures secure phone data encryption in case of phone loss, and that enables users to trace their lost phone directly via the Web or even delete the device’s data remotely.
            For multimedia content and more detailed information, please visit www.samsungmobilepress.com
            Samsung Galaxy S Advance Product Specifications:
            Network
            HSPA 14.4 Mbps 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
            EDGE / GPRS 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
            Processor
            1 GHz Dual-Core Processor
            Display
            4.0” WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED display
            OS
            Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
            Camera
            Main (Rear) : 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash
            Sub (Front) : 1.3 Megapixel Camera
            Video
            Codec : MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX, VC-1
            Recording / Playback : 720@30 fps
            Audio
            Codec : MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AC3
            Music Player with SoundAlive
            3.5 mm Ear Jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS
            Value-added

             

            Features
            – Samsung TouchWiz / Samsung L!ve Panel UX
            – Samsung Apps
            – Samsung Kies 2.0 / Samsung Kies air / AllShare
            ChatON (Downloadable via Samsung Apps)
            Readers Hub (Downloadable via Samsung Apps)
            Music Hub
            Game Hub
            *Service availability differs by region
            GoogleTMMobile Services
            – Android Market™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™,
            Syncing with Google Calendar™
            – Polaris Office
            – Find My Mobile
            – A-GPS
            Connectivity
            Bluetooth® technology v 3.0 High Speed
            USB 2.0
            Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n
            Sensor
            Proximity, Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Light, Gyroscope
            Memory
            8 / 16 GB User memory + 768 MB (RAM)
            MicroSD (up to 32 GB)
            Size
            123.2 x 63 x 9.69 mm, 120 g
            Battery
            Standard battery, Li-ion 1.500 mAh

            TWO NEW XPERIA SMARTPHONES FROM SONY MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS POWERED BY ST-ERICSSON NOVATHOR PLATFORM [ST-Ericsson press release, Feb 26, 2012]

            Xperia P and Xperia U join growing list of smartphones that have NovaThor U8500 inside

            ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced today that two new phones from Sony Mobile Communications will be leveraging the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ U8500 platform. The Xperia™ P and Xperia™ U are the first two smartphones by Sony Mobile Communications to use the NovaThor complete mobile platform solution, combining application processing, modem and connectivity.

            “We have added Sony Mobile Communications to the growing list of smartphone manufacturers that have selected our NovaThor U8500 platformto power their newest smartphones,” said Marc Cetto, senior vice president of smartphone and tablet solutions for ST-Ericsson. “With its combination of a dual-core SMP processor and a high-end 3D graphics accelerator, the NovaThor U8500 enables a fast and smooth mobile web-browsing experience together with high definition multimedia creation and consumption on powerful next-generation smartphones like Xperia P and Xperia U from Sony.”

            Key features for Xperia P

            • 4” Reality Display with WhiteMagic technology powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine for an ultra-bright and power efficient viewing experience.
            • 1 GHzdual-core processor for super fast performance with 16GB flash storage.
            • 8MP camera with unique fast capture and HD recording.
            • NFC enabled with easy HDMI and DLNA connectivity to share content.
            • Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgrade to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) during the second quarter of 2012.

            Key features for Xperia U

            • 3.5” Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine.
            • 1 GHzdual-core processor for super fast performance.
            • 5MP camera with unique fast capture and HD recording.
            • Crisp and loud listening with xLoud™ and 3D surround sound audio technology.
            • Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgrade to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) during the second quarter of 2012.

            Xperia P and Xperia U will launch during the second quarter.

            Notes to Editors

            The NovaThor family combines advanced application processing, a high speed mobile broadband modem and a full connectivity suite in a complete platform. The NovaThor U8500 integrates a dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9 processor, an ARM Mali-400 GPU and a HSPA+ modem in a single die.

            Another Sony smartphone powered by the NovaThor U8500 [ST Ericsson technology blog, March 15, 2012]

            The new Xperia™ sola, announced by Sony Mobile Communications this week, is the latest addition to its portfolio of Android powered Xperia smartphones – and the latest smartphone to be powered by the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ U8500 platform.

            With its combination of a dual-core SMP processor and a high-end 3D graphics accelerator, the NovaThor U8500 enables a fast and smooth mobile web-browsing experience together with high definition multimedia creation and consumption on powerful next-generation smartphones.

            The Xperia sola also features a new amazing technology called floating touch, giving people the ability to control the smartphone without even touching it. Check out the video below to check out the phone and for a brief demonstration of floating touch technology.

            Sony Xperia sola is the latest Xperia smartphone, featuring the brand new amazing technology called floating touch. Floating touch gives you the ability to control the smartphone with out even touching it. Get a full browser experience where you can hover above links in your Xperia sola with floating touch, and check out the magic live wall paper reacting to floating touch.

            The new Xperia sola joins growing list of smartphones that have the NovaThor U8500 inside. And just last month at Mobile World Congress, we announced that the Xperia P and Xperia U also use the NovaThor U8500platform.

            The Xperia sola will be available to consumers globally in black, white and red in the second quarter.

            Zenithink ST-Ericsson U8500 based 3G 1024×600 Tablet [Charbax YouTube channel, March 14, 2012]

            Zenithink shows their new ST-Ericsson U8500 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 based tablet designed by Ontim with a built-in 3G HSPA+ modem, bluetooth, WiFi, and a decent 1024×600 screen resolution. The price is $150 for an order of at least 1000 units. They also show a $65 AmLogic based Android set-top-box with a built-in DVB-T tuner.

            ST-ERICSSON NOVATHOR U8500 POWERS NEW TABLET FROM ONTIM [ST-Ericsson press release, Feb 27, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson, a world leader in wireless platforms and semiconductors, announced today at Mobile World Congress that Ontim has selected the NovaThor U8500 platform for its newest tablet. This tablet will be the first to be commercially available based on the NovaThor U8500 platform.

            “Ontim has selected the NovaThor U8500to power their newest Android-based tablet,” said Marc Cetto, senior vice president of smartphone and tablet solutions for ST-Ericsson. “ST-Ericsson’s U8500 platform integrates a state of the art HSPA+ modem and application processor featuring dual-core ARM® Cortex™ A9. As a result, the U8500 can easily power the Ontim tablet five-megapixel built-in camera and high-definition digital camcorder as well as enable a full web-browsing experience.”

            “The new Ontim WP8500 tablet is the first seven-inch handheld tablet delivering an outstanding user experience and performance thanks to the NovaThor U8500,” said Bob Huo, CEO of Ontim. “We were able to bring this tablet to market quickly by working closely with ST-Ericsson engineering and the maturity of the solution.”

            In addition to the U8500, the Ontim WP8500 tablet also leverages the ST-Ericsson CG2900 and CW1100 connectivity solutions.

            The seven-inch Ontim WP8500 will launch with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The Ontim WP8500 tablet is expected to be available in March.

            http://www.advancedsubstratenews.com/2012/03/important-news-comes-out-of-recent-fd-soi-workshop/

            http://semimd.com/blog/2012/03/12/st-ericsson-adopts-fd-soi-for-mobile-products/

            Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013

            Follow-upMediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [Dec 12, 2012]
            The MT6588 was recently renamed MT6589.

            Update: Sold 70 million in the first three quarters, MediaTek smart chip dominates China [The Liberty Times, Taiwan, Oct 2, 2012] translated by Google/Bing with additional manual edits of my own 6588

            Qualcomm (Qualcomm) last week launched a lower-priced smart phone chip against rival MediaTek (2,454), but according to the the recent shipment situation MediaTek shipped in China more than 70 million smartphone chips in the first three quarters, 10 million more than Qualcomm there, and become a smart-phone chip superpower in China. Merrill Lynch is bullish on MediaTek outlook because for Qualcomm’s “MSM8225Q” to shake up MediaTek’s leadership still will not be easy.

            Barclays Capital analyst Lu Hang increased MediaTek smartphone chip shipments in the next two years to 180 million and 290 million, respectively.

            Chinese mobile phone distributors circle recently the hottest topic number the high pass last week, low-cost quad-core mobile phone chip “MSM8225Q/MSM8625Q “, estimated price falls to $ 25, the market worry renewed price war, the impact MediaTek Maori. However, the latest released Merrill Lynch research report pointed out that the dual-core MediaTek chips and the two Qualcomm quad-core chips compared to each other competitively, plus “8225Q” mass production may be in March next year, by about one quarter behind the MediaTek quad-core chip “MT6589″ (formerly known as MT 6588), the cost of which is expected to be cheaper than the dual-core version, meaning MediaTek is still dominant.

            Update: Taiwan chip designer MediaTek downgraded amid competitive pressure [WantChinaTimes.com, Oct 2, 2012]

            … In a report dated Sept. 27, [independent financial services group] CLSA [Asia-Pacific Markets] said the market was optimistic about MediaTek’s gross margin in the second half of 2012 and in 2013 after the company forecasted a gross margin expansion for the third quarter of this year, ending 11 consecutive quarters of contraction.
            However, MediaTek’s management told the press on Sept. 25 that the company’s quarterly gross margin growth is likely to remain flat in the fourth quarter of this year and will not expand until the second half of 2013, the report said. …
            … One of the reasons investors were optimistic about MediaTek’s 2013 margin was that they thought its new quad-core MT6588 chip had no competition, as Qualcomm made only very high-end quad-core ICs, [CK] Cheng [a Taipei-based analyst at CLSA] said.
            But the launch of the MSM8225Q will change that perception, Cheng said, noting that Qualcomm is aiming to release the chip for customer sampling by the end of 2012 and ship in volume in the first quarter of 2013.

            Although the Qualcomm chip is scheduled to be launched a month or two later than MediaTek’s, Qualcomm’s price is likely to be 5% cheaper because of lower specifications, he said.

            While MediaTek is believed to have superior products and better low-end smartphone ICs than Qualcomm, price does matter to Chinese handset makers, Cheng added.
            “This is the main reason why MediaTek has been struggling to lift its average selling price and improve its margin since the third quarter of 2011, although it continues to offer faster processors and multi-core solutions,” he said.
            “We don’t think MediaTek’s quad-core solution can reverse this trend,” Cheng said.
            As for Chinese competitors, the increased production of RDA Microelectronics’s connectivity combo chip and Spreadtrum Communications’ 2G smartphone ICs will also weigh further on MediaTek’s margins and average selling price, Cheng said.
            CLSA raised its forecast for MediaTek’s earnings per share by 3% for 2012 and by 8% for 2013, factoring in the company’s acquisition of its smaller rival MStar Semiconductor, but the brokerage maintained its target price of NT$250 (US$8.53) on the stock.
            As of 10:26am Monday, MediaTek shares had dropped 4.62% to NT$310 (US$10.59) in Taipei.

            Regarding actual Cortex-A5 and Krait-related information see on this blog the actual:
            Core post: Qualcomm decided to compete with the existing Cortex-A5/Krait-based offerings till the end of 2012 [Sept 30, 2012]

            Update: Mediatek [联发科] target price by Barclays is [NT$] 395 [Taiwan’s Commercial Times News, Sept 26, 2012] as translated by Google/Bing with additional manual edits of my own

            Lu Hang [陆行] [principal analyst of semiconductors for Asia-Pacific at] Barclays Capital Securities [巴克莱资本证券 Taiwan Limited, 11F, 106 Xin-Yi Road, Sec. 5, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. << from] yesterday (25) revealed, that MediaTek 28 nanometer quad-core A7 smartphone chip MTK6588 launch time is expected to advance to the fourth quarter of this year from the first quarter of next year! Because the price is very competitive, only 18 to 20 dollars, not only quadcore smartphone prices in mainland China will immediately fell to less than 150 dollars following that, the company will also have the opportunity to break into [the market of ] first-tier [i.e. global brand] manufacturers such as Samsung.

            Lu Hang said that Mediatek’s biggest “backer” [in terms of stock market performance] is expected to be the launch of MT6588 (quad-core A7 [with] TD-SCDMA/WCDMA) and MT6599 (8 core of the ARM [with] LTE/TD-SCDMA/WCDMA) smartphone chips in 4th quarter [of this year] and in the next year, respectively.

            Lu Hang believes that there are 5 items which will affect the profits of the overall market with MediaTek MT6588:
            – First, the quad-core smartphone prices in mainland China can immediately be reduced from the current US$ 320 to US$ 150.
            – Second, we will see in the near future more dual-core 1.7Ghz Krait-based MSM8960A [on one hand], and MSM8974 [on the other], which is same but with quad-core, rather than next to the launch of 8225Q.
            – Third, in the fourth quarter of next year the estimated proportion of MT6583/MT6588 [shipments] within the total smartphone chip shipments will reach 50%, even the year after the fourth quarter launched MT6599 will also have 50% level, thus raised its shipment forecast value.
            – Fourth, MT6588 will help to maintain the overall ASP at a level of more than $ 10, and customers can be [serviced via a] unified system design.
            – Fifth, with the help of 13 million pixels CMOS the sensing power amplifier manufacturers will focus on mainland China and other emerging markets.

            Important remark from Barclays Hires New Taiwan Investment Banking Head [The Wall Street Journal, Aug 19, 2012]:

            Barclays … is … an advisor to chip design firm MediaTek Inc. on its proposed acquisition of a minority stake in MStar Semiconductor Inc. worth around $3.8 billion, announced in June, according to Dealogic.

            Update: MediaTek will produce small amounts of MTK6588 in October [MTK mobile phone network, Sept 10, 2012] as translated by Google/Bing

            Recently MediaTek message there are two who are more concerned about one thing, according to Taiwan media reports, the fastest possible production of MediaTek quad-core mobile processor chip MTK6588 will start in October this year a small amount, quantity should not be a lot, may be available only to large client proofing purposes. Rumored MediaTek MTK6588 manufacturing cost is even less than dual-core MTK6577. Quad-core MTK6588 is using 28 nm technology process to support tens of millions of pixels of camera, support for TD/WCDMA dual-mode network, support 1080P playback and recording, and is equipped with a PowerVR SGX 544 graphics processor.
            According to show learned about MTK6588 before, Quad MT6588 or will before the end of trial production, mass production quantities listed in the first quarter of next year.

            Update: Lenovo Selects MediaTek to Power New LePad Android Tablet [MediaTek press release, Sept 13, 2012], note: “The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575” source: the MT6577 launch release

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced that Lenovo has selected its highly integrated Android mobile platform for the new LePad A2107, dual-SIM 3G/HSPA tablet, which is shipping to customers globally.
            The LePad A2107 provides high-speed cellular data and wireless connectivity and is designed for tablet users who want to be “connected always”. The A2107 uses MediaTek’s proven Android mobile platform consisting of the MT6575 and the MT6620 SoCs. The MediaTek MT6575 incorporates a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM A9 processor, a PowerVR™ Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, a 3G/HSPA modem and built‐in support for 3D displays and DTV‐grade multimedia capabilities by leveraging the company’s world‐leading DTV platform technologies. The MT6620 4-in-1 connectivity combo integrates an 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, GPS, and FM transmitter/receiver into a single chip with the world’s smallest footprint and leading low-power consumption. The MediaTek mobile platform is ideally suited to enable mobile device manufacturers like Lenovo, helping them to address the mid and entry‐level tablet market that demands global connectivity for today and tomorrow.
            “Consumers are increasingly using tablets as a companion device to the PC and mobile phone to access media and information. We forecast that the tablet market will increase from 119 million in 2012 to 494 million by 2016(*),” said Mr. Mark Hung, Research Director at Gartner. “A company that has capabilities and technologies across different multi-screen platforms, from smartphones to DTV, should be well positioned to benefit from participating in the growing tablet market.”
            *Source: Forecast: Media Tablets by Operating System, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 2Q12 Update, 4 July 2012, by Gartner

            Update: the best smartphone based on the MediaTek MT6577 both technically and in terms of price is the MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 [Sept 13, 2012], which is also the best example of The low priced, Android based smartphones of China will change the global market [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud blog, Sept 10, 2012]

            Update: MediaTek MT6577 Performance Review [mediateklab YouTube channel, Sept 3, 2012]

            Update: New MediaTek chip efficiency: catching up with iPhone4s [MTK mobile phone network, Sept 6, 2012]

            2012 International Semiconductor exhibition yesterday (5) days in Taipei debut, over the years, the first IC design Forum yesterday morning talk show, presenter mediatek Vice President Lu Guohong home 3G smart mobile phone chip specification level, noted that MediaTek MT6577 of the latest dual-core Smartphone chip efficiency, comparable with iPhone4s. By the show’s brief is not difficult to see, MediaTek, engaged global Smartphone chip leader Qualcomm momentum is high.

            IPhone4s core processor for Apple A5, the design was based on Cortex-A9 dual core 1GHZ frequency of ARM architecture processors, Lu Guohong comparison list noted that mediatek MT6577 newest 3G Smartphone dual-core chips are used by An Mou with iPhone4s A9 dual core architecture, AP mobile core chips, baseband chip, RF chips and GPU architecture level par with iPhone4s.

            Update: MediaTek Launches “Cool 3D”: A Comprehensive Suite of 3D Solutions for Smartphone Platforms [MediaTek press release, Sept 11, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions announced today the availability of “Cool 3D”, the world’s most complete 3D suite of solutions, for its smartphone platforms. Consumers continue to look for new features in smartphones, such as 3D capabilities, and a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc, predicts that the global market for 3D enabled smartphones is projected to register 994 million units in annual shipments by the year 2018. Demand for this innovation will be driven by the increased availability of 3D content, such as games, videos and full length movies.
            The “Cool 3D” suite for MediaTek smartphone platforms includes support for stereo 3D cameras and displays, real-time 2D-to-3D conversion and an optimal 3D user interface that is designed to provide consumers with a stunning 3D experience. Two distinguishing features are “3D Cool Shot” and “3D Cool Show”. MediaTek’s “3D Cool Shot” solution supports a cost-effective 5 MP, dual-lens camera, which achieves 1080P, 24 FPS 3D images, giving users a high-definition visual experience. The MediaTek smartphone platforms are the first of their kind in the industry to integrate the functionality of the dual-lens bridge devices into the main smartphone platform, reducing system cost and saving precious board area. The “3D Cool Show” technology substantially improves the stereo 3D effect with anti-fatigue capabilities, and real-time transformation between 2D/3D modes, allowing for convenient switching between the 2D and 3D displays. These solutions, which leverage MediaTek’s established 3D technologies from the DTV and Digital Home markets, are aimed at creating an optimal stereo 3D display with a custom-tailored 3D interface.
            “One consequence of the rapid developments in the smartphone market is product homogenization or the ‘all smartphones look alike’ phenomena. Creating product differentiation has become one of the biggest challenges for the mobile phone industry “said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “From Dual-SIM to 3D capabilities, MediaTek has always pushed technological innovation in our platforms, enabling rich and compelling devices and solutions. By working together with our customers, we hope our industry-leading, ”Cool 3D” suite of solutions can lead the wave of 3D smartphone popularity, allowing even more consumers to enjoy an extraordinary 3D experience.”

            The “Cool 3D” suite of capabilities is already enabled on MediaTek’s shipping MT6575 single-core and MT6577 dual-core platforms. All future launches of MediaTek smartphone solutions will support these 3D capabilities.

            Updates: Shares of MediaTek jump on positive shipment target revision [Focus Taiwan, Aug 1, 2012]

            … As of 11:15 a.m., shares of MediaTek had added 6.67 percent to NT$272.00 (US$9.07), off an early high of NT$272.50, with 23.82 million shares changing hands. … MediaTek announced Tuesday at an investor conference that it had raised its target for smartphone chip shipments to 95 million units, from a previous estimate of 75 million units, mainly because of strong demand from China.

            In the second quarter, the IC designer shipped 21 million smartphone chips, higher than the 18 million to 20 million previously forecast. The company said it would ship at least 30 million smartphone chips in the third quarter.

            … MediaTek said it expects its gross margin will improve to 41-43 percent for the third quarter from 40.8 percent in the second quarter. …

            MediaTek hikes 2012 target smartphone chip shipments [DIGITIMES, Aug 1, 2012]

            … The company expects its MT6575 and MT6577 chips to account for 60% of total smartphone chips sales in the third quarter and 80% in the fourth. …

            MediaTek eyes Q3 double-digit revenue growth [Taipei Times, Aug 1, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc (聯發科), the nation’s largest handset chip designer, said yesterday revenue in the third quarter of this year is projected to grow between 13 percent and 18 percent from the second quarter, following the launch of new products and strong demand for smartphone chips.

            That would mean a quarterly revenue of between NT$26.50 billion (US$883.33 million) and NT$27.70 billion, compared with NT$23.44 billion in the second quarter.

            MediaTek said second-quarter revenue rose 19.5 percent sequentially and 11.7 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by the fast-growing smartphone demand in China.

            However, gross margin for the quarter was 40.8 percent, down 1.3 percent and 5.1 percentage points from the previous quarter and the same period of last year respectively. The company attributed that fall to fierce price competition in the market.

            Total smartphone chip shipments are likely to reach 95 million units this year, of which between 50 percent and 60 percent will be 3G chips and the remainder 2G chips …

            MediaTek a product roadmap leaked: Quad-core code-named MT6588 [MTK Smartphones Network (MTK手机网), July 27, 2012]

            From a recently obtained electronic forum information abroad we see that the MT6585 code communicated earlier for the quad-core MediaTek smartphone chipset is wrong. The true model code is MT6588. It is built on the 28nm process in order achieve higher performance level than the dual-core MT6577 technology.

            MT6588 has a 4-core CPU [Cortex-A7 (!), see on the second slide below] clocked at 1GHz [1.XGHz rather, see the included slides below], supports dual-channel at maximum 1066Mbps, has an integrated multimode modem for WCDMA [+ it is delivering HSPA+ WCDMA performance (!) vs just HSPA with MT6577/75, see the first slide below] and TD (!), that is it can support both Unicom [latest upgrade to HSPA+ service, see the news in the original post materials much below] and China Mobile 3G network, supports an up to 13 MP camera and 1080P video playback. It finally has a GPU upgrade with SGX544, doubles the resolution to 1280×800 HD level, and has 32KB L1 cache and 1MB L2 secondary cache.

            Along the MT6588 there is a 28nm dual-core version, MT6583 on the MediaTek 2012 product roadmap. From the chipset parameters it is evident that MT6583 is a scaled down version of MT6588. It has 2 cores less, the camera support is 8MP, the video decoder is of 720P level, and the resolution is down to 854×480.

            It is understood that MT6588 and MT6583 will be in production in the first quarter of 2013, early next year the fastest.

            The MediaTek product roadmap

            MTK MT6588 chip Introduction

            Note: No search reveals the source for the above information.

            MediaTek to launch quad-core smartphone solutions in 1Q13, says paper [DIGITIMES, Aug 6, 2012]

            MediaTek is expected to launch its first quad-core smartphone solution, the MT6588, in the first quarter of 2013, according to a Chinese-language Liberty Times report. The MT6588 features a quad-core 1.5GHz or 1.7GHzCortex-A7 CPU, supporting WCDMA and TD-SCDMA technologies.

            The MT6588, which features a 13-megapixel camera, also supports 1080p video playback and a display resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. The chip will be built using a 28nm process, the paper said.

            Additionally, MediaTek will also roll out a 28nm dual-core solution, the MT6583, during the same quarter. While the dual-core CPU of the MT6853 will also run at 1.5GHz or 1.7GHz, the chip will support a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels targeting a segment different from that of the MT6588, the paper indicated.

            End of updates

            The original content:

            • About the just four months old MT6575-based market
            • MediaTek provided general MT6575 information
            • Some history leading to MT6575
            • Turmoil on the H1CY12 market in China:
              International and local brands, as well as white-box vendors are repositioning for the most lucrative CNY500 (US$79) to CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone market of H2CY12 and on

            Note: the PowerVR SGX Series 5 GPU used for MT6577 is said to be by 3d parties SGX531, See: SoC list on Imagineers blog, or Lenovo (indirect).

            Greater China mobile solutions – From silicon to software [DIGITIMES Research, June 8, 2012]

            Abstract

            The China mobile market has developed rapidly, with smartphone shipments reaching 69 million units in 2011 and tablet shipments soaring from around one million in 2010 to some 10 million in 2011, and potentially exceeding 20 million units in 2012. As consumer spending power increases, local vendors are focusing on more market tiers and makers have begun to make a play for the high-end market.

            Updates: China market: Nearly 195 million handsets shipped in 1H12 [DIGITIMES, July 10, 2012]

            There were 194.913 million handsets shipped in the China market during the first half of 2012, consisting of 106.874 million (54.83%) 3G handsets in 801 models and 88.039 million (45.17%) 2G handsets in 1,298 models, according to statistics published by the China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR) under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

            Of the shipment volume, 94.855 million or 48.67% were smartphones in 822 models of which 801 models or 97.44% were based on Android. China-based vendors accounted for 75.16% of the half-year shipment volume, and international vendors 24.84%.

            The monthly shipment volume of smartphones exceeded that of feature phones for the first time in April 2012, with the corresponding proportion increasing to 56.9% in June.

            China market: Breakdown of total handset shipment volume, 1H12
            Generation

            Technology standard

            Number of models

            Shipment volume (m handsets)

            3G

            WCDMA (China Unicom)

            476

            53.099

            CDMA2000 (China Telecom)

            174

            28.197

            TD-SCDMA (China Mobile)

            151

            25.578

            2G

            GSM

            1,272

            81.915

            CDMA1x

            26

            6.076

            Source: CATR under MIIT, compiled by Digitimes,  July 2012

            China smartphone market 2012: Trends and analysis [DIGITIMES Research, July 3, 2012]

            Abstract

            The China handset market has exhibited strong growth, with the total number of mobile users in the country reaching 980 million people according to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), an increase of 130 million over the 2010 figure. Digitimes Research estimates that mobile user numbers could top 1.13 billion in 2012.

            Digitimes Research estimates that the China handset market reached some 390 million units in 2011, representing 16% growth on 2010; the market is likely to grow to 430 million units in 2012, representing further growth of 9%. Thanks to the expansion of 3G service coverage and further falls in budget smartphone prices, the share of the handset market accounted for by smartphones is likely to reach 32% or around 143 million units, 70% of which will be Android handsets.

            Digitimes Research believes that market share rankings for the China smartphone market will change significantly during 2012. Samsung and Apple will take the top two places, while the big four China-based brandsHuawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad – will take third to sixth places, while Nokia will drop to seventh; these seven firms will collectively account for 85% of shipments.

            In other words, the many other brands hoping to seize a share of the market will essentially be confined to competing for a potential market of just 15% of overall shipments or around 21 million handsets. Given such a situation, Digitimes Research projects that many of China’s best known smaller brands such as Xiaomi, TCL, Gionee, Tianyu, Oppo and BBK will see shipments of no more than a few million handsets.

            End of updates

            China-based white-box vendors expected to ship 200 million smartphones [DIGITIMES, April 17, 2012]
            China-based white-box vendors, mainly due to the availability of inexpensive new chip solutions, have been increasing the production of smartphones, with the total shipment volume expected to reach 200 million units in 2012, according to industry sources in Taiwan.
            Taiwan-based MediaTek is offering the makers its MT6575 a chip solution for use in entry-level smartphones in the first quarter of 2012 and will offer the MT6577, a solution for high-level smartphones, in the middle of the third quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. MediaTek will ship 50-70 million chips to China-based white-box vendors to account for nearly 30% of smartphones to be shipped by these vendors in 2012.
            In addition, Qualcomm has strengthened its marketing in the China market by offering turn-key solutions to white-box vendors, with prices for a chips lowered to US$6, the sources cited eMedia Asia as indicating.
            China-based white-box vendors sell more than 60% of their smartphone output to overseas markets, including 2.5G models for markets where deployment of 3G networks is not mature yet, the sources indicated. White-box vendors are expected to see larger market demand if their production costs for entry-, medium- and high-level smartphones drop to US$60, US$85 and US$130 respectively, the sources pointed out.

            Huawei adopts MediaTek dual-core chip for smartphones, says report [DIGITIMES, June 27, 2011]

            MediaTek’s new MT6577, which uses a dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 CPU, has been adopted by China-based Huawei for as many as four of its upcoming smartphone devices, according to a Chinese-languageCommercial Timesreport.

            The new MediaTek MT6577 solution is scheduled to enter volume production starting July, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN)reported last week (June 22). The chip is built using 40nm process technology.

            MediaTek previously upward revised the prediction for its total smartphone-IC shipments in 2012. The firm now expects to ship about 75 million smartphone chips this year, compared to the 50 million estimated initially.

            From:

            MediaTek Launches Dual-Core MT6577 Smartphone Platform [MediaTek press release, June 27, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability of the MT6577, a dual-core platform developed specifically for sub-$200 smartphones, the fastest growing segment of the global smartphone market. The MediaTek MT6577 features a dual 1GHz Cortex™-A9 application processor from ARM, a PowerVR™ Series5 SGX GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies, MediaTek’s proven 3G/HSPA modem, and runs the latest Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system. By integrating a dual-core application processor architecture widely deployed in the majority of today’s premium smartphones, the MT6577 boosts application and browser performance by up to 40% compared to single-core platforms, bringing unprecedented levels of user experience to mid- and entry-level smartphones.

            “MediaTek’s existing HSPA smartphone platforms – the MT6573 and MT6575 – have been extremely well-received by customers and consumers worldwide, and are currently shipping with major international brands such as Lenovo, TCL/Alcatel, and other top tier Chinese OEMs,”said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek. “The MT6577 adds the next level of performance and enhanced user experience to the MediaTek smartphone family, delivering enhanced user interactivity, mobile connectivity and rich multi-media experience previously only available on high-end devices. Consumers everywhere will now benefit from the affordable, high-performance devices enabled by the MT6577. MediaTek is proud to be in the vanguard of companies enabling the democratization of smartphones.”

            “Dual-core processors account for over 20% of current smartphone processor shipments, with these devices being mostly in the premium segment and addressed by standalone application processors. MediaTek’s new MT6577, with integrated dual-core processors and 3G/HSPA modem is well suited to bringing similar user experiences to the fast-growing mid and entry smartphone segment which is forecast to grow from under 200 Mu in 2012 to over 500 Mu in 2016” said Stuart Robinson, Director, Handset Component Technologies service at Strategy Analytics.

            The MT6577 is designed to deliver rich multimedia experiences, with an 8MP camera, support for up-to high-definition 1080p video playback and the ability to support high-resolution displays up to HD720 (1280×720) resolution. The platform also pre-integrates MediaTek’s leading 4-in-1 connectivity combo that provides support for dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, BT4.0, GPS and FM. The MT6577 is pin-to-pin compatible with the previously released MT6575, allowing handset manufacturers to easily produce multiple tiers of devices leveraging a single PCBA hardware development effort.

            The MT6577 dual-core platform is currently being incorporated into smartphone devices by MediaTek’s leading global customers, and the first smartphone models based on this new chipset are expected to ship commercially in Q3 2012.

            MediaTek MT6577 [MediaTek100 YouTube channel, July 19, 2012]

            MediaTek expects increase in smartphone chip sales [Taipei Times, June 14, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chairman Tsai Ming-kai (蔡明介) said yesterday that he still expects an increase in demand for smartphone chips in the second half of this year, despite a slowing global economy.

            Last year, faced with competition that was fiercer than ever, MediaTek posted NT$13.62 billion (US$454 million) in net profit, or NT$12.35 earnings per share (EPS), down sharply from the NT$30.94 billion in net profit, or NT$28.44 EPS recorded in 2010.

            Tsai said the worst phase was almost over for the IC designer and the company was gearing up to broaden its product portfolio and win orders to strengthen its profitability.

            On the back of robust demand for smartphones, MediaTek has forecast smartphone chip shipments in the second quarter would range between 18 million and 20 million units, up sharply from the 10 million recorded in the first quarter.

            For all of this year, the IC designer anticipates smartphone chip shipments to touch 75 million units from rising demand from China and other emerging markets.

            MediaTek president Hsieh Ching-jiang (謝清江) said at the shareholders’ meeting that the company would not focus just on the Chinese market, but also target global demand, while operating a total of 23 offices worldwide.


            About the just four months old MT6575-based market

            ZOPO ZP200 3D Movie Playing [AndroidSale YouTube channel, March 22, 2012]

            http://android-sale.com/zopo-zp200-3d-phone.html | Zopo zp200 is the cheapest glasses-free 3D Android smartphone, with 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP camera.

            image
            Source: MTK6575 Cpu Andorid >> on fastcardtech.com

            Note that even for global wholesale there are much more products of the above kind, as you could see from the table below (the ones which are also on the above diagram are highlighted in yellow). Click here for a PDF version in case you want to click on the links:

            image

            There are a couple of recent Chinese startups capitalising on the MT6575 opportunity. The most successfull among them is probably ZOPO Mobile Communications-equipment Ltd. in Shenzhen, China, introducing itself as:

            ZOPO Company is founded in 2012, which engages in research, development, produce, marketing and service of mobile intelligent terminal products. The ZOPO ZP200 model as” The China‘s first Glasses-Free 3D dual sim smart mobile phone ” has been a hot Star in China mainland.

            Zopo ZP100 MT6575 4.3″ qHD $174 street price [ARMdevices.net YouTube channel, April 9, 2012]

            The MediaTek MT6575 is out of the gate. ARM Cortex-A9 invades the low cost Shenzhen Smartphones market. http://www.zopomobile.com opened their first store on the Huaqiangbei Shenzhen Smartphones market street, to sell their new ZP100 smartphone at 1099rmb (USD$174). It’s got an awesome 4.3″ qHD 960×540 LCD capacitive screen made by Sharp, a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera/camcorder made by Sony, the MT6575 makes it support Dual-sim WCDMA/3G/Data and GPRS/Voice at the same time. And it’s got a removable 1650mAh battery, MicroSD slot and Micro-USB that does not double as an MHL output. Of course I bought one because I want to test the MT6575 processor. Let me know in the comments what you would like to see me test on this and other upcoming MT6575 Smartphones.

            I’m back in Shenzhen! Here getting ICS installed on my Zopo ZP100 MT6575 [ARMdevices.net YouTube channel, April 9, 2012]

            As I am going to be video-blogging the latest advances in Linux on ARM at the Linaro Connect Hong Kong conference next week, I just landed a few days early so that I can now video-blog again video-blog the latest news out of Shenzhen. It’s appropriate for me to video-blog the latest news in Shenzhen monthly don’t you think? In this video, I got the Zopo staff at the Zopo store on Hua Qiang Bei Shenzhen to update the firmware on my Zopo ZP100 MT6575 ARM Cortex-A9 based phone because I had a hard time figuring out how to do it looking at the Chinese-only http://bbs.zopomobile.com ICS seems to be extremely smooth on the MediaTek MT6575, I’m going to ask Zopo in the days to come what they expect to do about reaching the European, US markets and worldwide with this phone. Check back in the days to come for the latest news from Shenzhen as I’m hearing about an upcoming Dual-core MediaTek MT6577 to be in an upcoming Huawei 4.5″ low cost super phone, the i.MX6 is being worked on by Shenzhen based PCB design houses, Rockchip is very close to take large market share for tablets out of Shenzhen with their new Dual-core RK3066 platform. Check back onhttp://ARMdevices.net for a lot of new videos about those. Let me know in the comments what you would like me to film and do in Shenzhen. I have some big plans to finally do something about group buys (through reliable and trusted Shenzhen based device makers and sellers) and I plan to launch some new special features here on http://ARMdevices.net during the next few days so check

            The author of the above videos (Nicolas Charbonnier, aka Charbax, see also a recent interview with him about his videoblogging) went through quite a tour about the new MT6575-based entries in the first half of April:
            $158 5″ WVGA MT6575 Cortex-A9 Smartphone presented by www.yooe.com.cn
            Zhenai A900 waterproof MT6575 smartphone
            $79 3.5″ MT6575 Orient Smart Development Ltd
            MT6575 phone shown by Quality Industrial Co Ltd
            $142 Galaxy Nexus clone, runs ICS on MT6575, with 4.65″ LCD
            Hyundai Brilliant H950, 5.2″ MT6575 phone runs Ice Cream Sandwich at the HKTDC Electronics Fair
            $140 5.2″ MT6575 Android phone by Daza Electronics at the HKTDC Electronics Fair
            ICS on 5″ MediaTek MT6575 Dolphin A80 phone [from Yooe] (note that this is represented on both the above diagram and the table)
            Shenzhen Factory Entrance (note that this is also where Yooe is manufacturing, quite likely)
            The Shenzhen Speakers Factory (the same factory was manufacturing speakers during the visit)
            Then he returned in the end of May with these video reports:
            Yooe MT6575 phone now selling
            MT6575 Cutepad 5″ phone

            He was showing off some of the latest gadgets that he found in Shenzhen in this video as well: Interview with Nicolas Charbonnier at Linaro Connect, Hong Kong [jasonderose YouTube channel, June 4, 2012]


            MediaTek provided general MT6575 information

            MT6575 [MediaTek product page, March 29, 2012]

            Dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid and entry level market

            MT6575 is MediaTek’s new dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid- and entry-level smartphone markets. Enabling browsing, gaming and multimedia features that will delight consumers, support the latest Android releases and the industry’s best dual-SIM performance for voice and data calls, the MT6575 is MediaTek’s most advanced and competitive smartphone platform to date.The MT6575 combines a software and hardware reference design solution to enable dramatically faster time to market at a highly competitive price point. The MT6575 is set to redefine the performance of mainstream smartphones.

            Features

            • 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 CPU allows for outstanding web browsing and application performance
            • High-performance 3D gaming and UIfeatures enabled by PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU
            • High-definition 720p videoplayback and record
            • Per-packet Rx antenna diversity
            • 8 MP camerawith enhanced image processing capabilities
            • Up to high-resolution qHD (960×540) displays
            • Supports both portrait and landscape display modes by built-in dedicated HW
            • Features stereo 3D video playback and advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion
            • No lost calls on either SIM – even with active data transmission on either SIM
            • Better Power Efficiency – Up to 500 hours of standby and over 8 hours of talk-time on 3G, 45 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of 3D gaming.

            MediaTek – MT6575 [a featured product page, July 5, 2012]

            Redefining performance of mid/entry smartphones in 2012

            Overview

            MT6575 is MediaTek’s new dual-SIM smartphone platform for the mainstream mid- and entry-level smartphone markets. Enabling browsing, gaming and multimedia features that will delight consumers, support the latest Android releases and the industry’s best dual-SIM performance for voice and data calls, MT6575 is MediaTek’s most advanced and competitive smartphone platform to date.

            Key Features

            The MT6575 platform offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM-A9 processer for outstanding web browsing and application performance, a proven 3G/HSPA modem and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. Other key features include:

            ♦  Superior CPU, GPU, and System Performance
            – High-performance 3D gaming and UI features enabled by PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU
            ♦  Richest Multimedia Features
            – High-definition 720p video playback and record
            – 8 MP camera with enhanced image processing capabilities
            ♦  World-First Integration Of Stereo 3D Display Controller And 3D Video Processing
            – Features stereo 3D video playback and advanced 2D-to-3D image/video conversion
            ♦  Best Display Picture Quality
            – Brings the same level of LCD-TV picture quality to mobile devices
            ♦  Leading Dual-SIM Features and Performance
            – No lost calls on either SIM
            ♦  Lowest BOM costs
            – Highly integrated platform includes the world’s smallest 4-in-1 connectivity combo (MT6620) that allows for small size and lower BOM costs
            ♦  Better Power Efficiency
            – Up to 500 hours of standby and over 8 hours of talk-time on 3G
            – Up to 45 hours of audio playback and 6 hours of 3D gaming
            The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform have already hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.

            MediaTek – MT6620 [a featured product page, Sept 21, 2011]

            Highly Integrated 4-in-1 WLAN/Bluetooth/GPS/FM Combo Solution

            Overview

            MediaTek MT6620 integrates WLAN, Bluetooth, GNSS and FM, to provide the best performance and most convenient single chip. MT6620 implements advanced and sophisticated Radio Coexistence algorithms and hardware mechanisms. MT6620 also supports a single shared antenna (2.4 GHz antenna for Bluetooth and WLAN, 5 GHz for WLAN and 1.575 GHz for GPS).

            Enhanced overall quality for simultaneous voice, data and audio/video transmission on mobile phone and tablet PC can be achieved. The small size with low power consumption reduces PCB layout area. The software package “Symphony” comes with many advanced features.

            Key Features

            • Low power, small size and high performance
            • WLAN/Bluetooth/GPS/FM solution WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band single stream (20/40MHz) with dual band LNA and 2.4GHz PA integration
            • Bluetooth 3.0+HS and V4.0 Low Energy support with LNA and PA integration
            • Support GPS/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS with -165dBm tracking sensitivity FM Tx/Rx with RDS/RBDS support
            • Support Wi-Fi Direct and WAPI hardware encryption
            • Support FM over Bluetooth
            • PLC (Packet Loss Concealment) technology for superior audio quality
            • Advanced AlwaysLocateTM location awareness technology with ultra low power consumption
            • Flexible host interfaces support include single SDIO interface for all wireless functions

            MediaTek Launches MT6575 Android Platform [MediaTek press release, Feb 13, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced the availability of the MT6575, its 3rd generation platform for mid and entry‐level Android smartphones. The MT6575 platform offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM‐A9 processer, a proven 3G/HSPA modem and runs the latest “Ice‐Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release.

            “We expect significant growth in entry and mid‐level smartphones, with wholesale prices under US$190, over the coming years. We forecast that this segment will almost triple in size from 191 million shipments in 2012 to 551 million by 2016. At that time, we also expect approximately 75% of those entry and mid‐level smartphones to ship to emerging markets” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director, Global Wireless Practice, at Strategy Analytics. The MediaTek MT6575 platform is ideally suited to cater to a wide range of smartphone devices that target this growing segment in multiple markets around the world.

            “Leveraging the energy‐efficient, high‐performance Cortex‐A9 processor in Android smartphone applications is an extremely compelling proposition and a great proof point for the scalability of the ARM architecture. During 2011 the Cortex‐A9 processor has powered many of the most up‐to‐date and highest performance smartphones. The proliferation of Cortex‐A Series processors into lower cost, mainstream mobile devices will deliver a significant uplift in the user experience,” said Laurence Bryant, Director of Mobile, ARM.

            For mid‐range smartphones, the MT6575 platform supports 720p high‐definition video playback and recording with an 8MP camera and qHD (960×540) high‐resolution displays via a PowerVRTM SGX Series5 GPU (graphics processing unit) from Imagination Technologies. In industry‐standard benchmark testing, the MT6575 offered over 35% improvement for browser applications and over 20% improvement in graphics capabilities for gaming when compared to competitors’ best offerings in these segments.

            Additionally, the MT6575 platform provides built‐in support for advanced features such as integrated capabilities to drive 3D displays and proprietary algorithms for mobile display picture processing. In sum, the MT6575 provides DTV‐grade picture quality on a smartphone by leveraging MediaTek’s proven technology as a world‐leading DTV platform provider.

            The MT6575 platform also supports entry‐level smartphones with smaller display sizes, lower resolution, less memory and reduced multimedia requirements. In addition, the MT6575 boasts the world’s lowest power consumption and most comprehensive integration of hot swap dual‐SIM capability compatible with the Android platform. With the MT6575 dual‐SIM solution, consumers will no longer have to worry about dropped calls while active data transfer is happening on either SIM card, and will experience automatic resumption of data exchange once calls on the other SIM card have ended, in addition, with the hot swap feature enabled, the SIM card can be inserted without switching off the mobile.

            The 3G/HSPA modem integrated in the MT6575 platform has been qualified at major 3G operators world‐wide.

            The MT6575, delivered in 40nm CMOS technology, builds on the proven track record of the 2nd generation MT6573 platform – i.e., the platform that powers the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub‐RMB 1000 (approx. $160 USD) smartphone category.

            “We are very excited by the prospects of the MT6575 platform. It combines MediaTek’s innovative chipset technology with our proven reference design and complete software solution model. We believe this platform is ideally suited to enable our customers to address mid and entry‐level smartphone cost and performance needs on a global basis – today and tomorrow,” said Ching‐Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.

            The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market in the first quarter of 2012.

            MediaTek’s Full Line of 3G Platforms Aims to Address Mid to Entry-Level Smartphone Market [MediaTek press release, Feb 27, 2012]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions today announced the availability of the MT6515, its next generation TD smartphone solution for China sub-RMB 1000 (approx. $160 USD) smartphone market. The MT6515 TD smartphone platform solution integrates a powerful 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 processor, 3D hardware, and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. MediaTek’s latest foray into the 3G smartphone market enables high system performance with low power consumption and high cost-performance ratio that raises the bar for what consumers will come to expect from a TD-SCDMA smartphone experience.

            According to a recent report released by the market research firm, Strategy Analytics, in the 3rd quarter of 2011, China overtook the US as the world’s biggest smartphone market. Sub-RMB 1000 smartphones were one the fastest growing segments of this market, due in large part to multiple purchases of these models by China’s three major operators in response to consumer needs. As a result, China has seen a sharp rise in smartphone sales starting in the beginning of 2011. MediaTek, with its years of experience serving the industry, attention to continuous innovation, and recent investments in the arena of 3G technologies, has been perfectly poised to meet the growing needs of this new market. With its cost effective, yet high performance smartphone platforms, MediaTek, along with industry partners (i.e. mobile device manufactures and operators), has emerged as a leader in the recent explosion of popularity of mid and entry-level smartphones.

            As a member of China’s TD Industry Alliance (TDiA), MediaTek has invested heavily in the R&D of TD chipsets following the initial release of the TD-SCDMA standard. MediaTek’s signature high integration, yet low power consumption platforms have been introduced into TD operators’ handset customization strategies, and MediaTek currently offers a TD mobile device platform series uniquely customized to meet the needs of the Chinese market. As such, it is little surprise that among the mobile devices included in China Mobile’s multiple terminal procurement lists, one finds a variety of end user products that run on MediaTek-driven TD platforms.

            Today, MediaTek announced the availability of the MT6515, its next generation TD smartphone platform for the sub-RMB 1000 smartphone market. The platform offers a powerful 1GHz ARM CortexTM-A9 processor, 3D hardware, and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. Multi-media applications and Internet speed have also been optimized. Additionally, the MT6515 TD-SCDMA offers a complete China Mobile 3G package, thus helping increase the speed in which manufacturers can get their products to end-users.

            In the field of WCDMA and 3rd generation wireless standards, MediaTek has continued to build upon its proven track record of offering complete mobile device solutions. Worthy of note is the MT6573, MediaTek’s 3.75G smartphone platform released last year. This platform powered the Lenovo A60, China Unicom’s top selling handset in the sub-RMB 1000 smartphone category, and an important factor in the uptick of popularity in phones within this market segment.

            Building on the success of the MT6573, MediaTek has released the MT6575, which is designed to run on the latest Android driven platforms. The MT6575 offers a 1GHz ARM® CortexTM-A9 processor and runs the latest “Ice-Cream Sandwich” Android 4.0 release. The platform supports dual-SIM solutions, and its web performance, power consumption rates, and multimedia features all meet or exceed industry-leading benchmarks, thus guaranteeing that the MT6575 will deliver a significant uplift in the smoothness of user experience. The MT6575 is currently being incorporated into the latest smartphone offerings by many of MediaTek’s leading customers and the first smartphone models based on this new platform will hit the market at the end of this month.

            “Using innovative products to help our customers accurately reflect the needs of the market has always been one of MediaTek’s greatest strengths, and we have continued with this tradition of excellence as we expand into the growing smartphone market. MediaTek’s innovative chipset technology, with our proven reference design and complete software solution models, will ensure that our customers find a place in the growing mid and entry-level smartphone market of tomorrow where, along with power and functionality, cost effectiveness has become a must-have feature,” said Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.

            MediaTek Announces World’s Smallest 4-in-1 Combo Chip Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS/FM Solution [press release, July 21, 2011]

            MediaTek Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its most advanced wireless combo chip designed to enrich multimedia experience with small footprint and long battery life for smartphones, tablets and portable devices. The MediaTek MT6620 integrates 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, GPS, and FM transmitter/receiver on a single chip with superior size and power benefits, making it the best solution for smartphones, tablets, and portable devices.

            Bringing connectivity features to mainstream products such as smartphones, tablets, portable media players (PMPs), gaming devices, and personal navigation devices (PNDs), the MediaTek MT6620 integrates Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and FM, to provide superior performance and rich features. The MT6620 implements advanced and sophisticated radio coexistence algorithms and hardware mechanisms to enhanced overall quality for simultaneous voice, data, and audio/video transmissions. Its small size significantly reduces PCB layout area and simplifies design efforts. In addition, the MediaTek Symphony™ software package supports all advanced wireless features on the Android operation system. BlueAngel™ Bluetooth software currently can support up to 15 profiles to fulfill most user scenario and bring customer product differentiation.

            The MT6620 supports all the leading standards: dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi with WiFi Direct and Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0+HS for simultaneous dual mode Bluetooth BR/EDR/HS and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) operations, GPS with Galileo/SBAS/QZSS and patent pending AlwaysLocate™ technology, FM radio with both transmitter and receiver, making the MT6620 ideal solution for portable devices that require superior performance and long battery life. The MT6620 passes 802.11n WiFi certificate including WPS2.0, WAPI and Bluetooth 4.0+HS on both the controller and MediaTek BlueAngle™ host software.

            SR Tsai, General Manager of the Wireless Connectivity Business Unit at MediaTek said, “MediaTek is one of few in the industry to offer 4-in-1 SoC solution for a wide range of mobile applications. As a result of this attention to mobile device manufacturers’ needs, the MT6620 was designed to meet strict requirements, such as low power modes to conserve battery life, a reduced footprint to fit into small, sleek handset designs, and low cost to enable mass market mobile Wi-Fi enabled handsets. We believe that the MT6620 is optimized for mobile devices at the hardware, firmware, and driver levels to speed time to market of innovative designs.”

            The MT6620 has entered mass production and is shipping to lead customers in sizable quantities now.

            MT6620 Product Highlights:
            – Low power, small size and high performance Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS/FM solution
            – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band single stream (20/40MHz) with dual band LNA and 2.4GHz PA integration
            – Bluetooth 4.0+HS support with PA integration
            – Supports GPS/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS with -165dBm tracking sensitivity
            – FM Tx/Rx with RDS/RBDS support
            – Supports Wi-Fi Direct and WAPI hardware encryption
            – Supports FM over Bluetooth
            – PLC (Packet Loss Concealment) technology for superior audio quality
            – Advanced AlwaysLocateTM location awareness technology with ultra-low power consumption
            – Flexible host interfaces including single SDIO for all wireless functions


            Some history leading to MT6575

            Stephen Elop’s (Nokia CEO) “Burning Platform” memo leaked by Engadget [Feb 8, 2011]:

            In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally – taking share from us in emerging markets.

            White-box handset makers gearing up smartphone and 3G handset production, MediaTek to benefit [DIGITIMES, Dec 3, 2010]:

            White-box handset makers in China are gearing up their production of in-house designed smartphones and 3G handsets, a trend which will benefit Taiwan-based IC design house MediaTek. China’s white-box handset industry in 2010, has begun to place more emphasis on upgrading specifications and added value to enter the high-end segment, and has allocated more resources on development of intellectual property.

            Even the China government has voiced its support for the white-box industry. Yang Xueshan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), recently said that the government will support the white-box business model as long as there is no infringement of IP.

            Yang pointed out that from imitation to innovation is a process white-box handset makers have to go through, citing China-based telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies as a success story. Huawei’s foray into the handset sector began with low-cost products and the company now has research and development capability, he said.

            Supporting the white-box business model, given that no patents are infringed, is a good way to protect intellectual property rights as well as provide the most cost-effective products to consumers, Yang added.

            More information: MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem
            section within Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Experiencing the Cloud, Feb 21, 2011]

            Look at the MTK History :MTK6575 Heading Toward 1Ghz smartphone for below $200? [Lady Panda, April 14, 2012]

            Let’s look at the MTK History:

            They first created chipsets for general phone such as MT6225, MT6235 based on their own MTK RTOS. MTK RTOS is known for fast, features rich and very customizable interface with most features support such as Dual SIM Dual Standby, Dual Camera(Front/Rear), ,MicroSD-HC up to 16-32GB, WiFi, Bluetooth (A2DP/Stereo and most other profiles), Very good J2ME support, Analog/digital DVB, FM Radio. A lot of features rich and very affordable handsets become to appear on marketfor prices below $100.

            Then they were one of the first to create a dual SIM WCDMA chipset MT6268 which had even better J2ME support and also 3g features such as WCDMA data and 3G Video calls support. A lot of Dual SIM 3G handsets started to appear for about $150. They all were fully unlocked by default and without any contracts. It provided handsets with a lot of features for a very low price.

            Then back in 2009 they have decided to enter the smartphones market with the new MT6516 chipset which provided a solution for fully featured yet low price Windows Mobile 6.5 and Android 2.2. handset with a price tag of below $150 while maintaing the popular Dual SIM Dual Standby Quad Band GSM feature, TV, FM, Bluetooth,GPS/AGPS, HQ Youtube playback, Capacitive Multi-touch screen, Dual Camera with flashlight,Android Market, Voice Search. This chipset was not a high performance gaming chipset, But it’s performancewas surprisingly well and exceeded even a lot of high end expensive chipsets.

            Then in 2011 they have released the new MT6573 chipset. Now the MT6573 Android 2.3.4 phone cost $150-$210 and they still maintain the Dual SIM Dual Standby with Quad Band GSM and WCDMA/HSPA support. This chipset, Which main ArmV6 core is clocked at 600-650Mhz, integrate the PowerVR Series 5 GPU so it can run fluently games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Asphalt 5 and many more games. Most of them have 5-8MP back camera with HD video shoting and flashlight supported, HD Videos decoding. Still maintain the analog tv, Capacitive Multi-touch screen, FM Radio, 32GB MicroSD Slot,Bluetooth, GPS/AGPS, WiFi, Voice search and a lot of other advanced smartphonefeatures. The performance is very impressive for such a low price.


            Turmoil on the H1CY12 market in China:
            International and local brands, as well as white-box vendors are repositioning for the most lucrative CNY500 (US$79) to CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone market of H2CY12 and on

            Digitimes Research: Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad to take 40% of China smartphone market in 2012 [June 27, 2012]

            The development of China’s smartphone market has drawn much attention, particularly in 2012, during which the local brands Huawei Device and ZTE will make it to the global top-10 smartphone vendor list. Digitimes Research expects two other brands, Lenovo and China Wireless Technologies (Coolpad), to see their smartphone shipments surpass the 10 million mark in 2012.

            In the domestic market, Huawei and ZTE both have been trying to expand their share in the mid-range to high-end segments, resulting in a decline in shipments of low-priced models. While smartphone shipments by Huawei and ZTE will continue increasing in 2012, the two vendors are expected to see the ratios of their shipments to total smartphone shipments in China decline to 12% and 9%, respectively in 2012 from 16% and 11% of a year earlier.

            Lenovo, which has been maintaining a close relation with chipset solution vendor MediaTek and has been focusing on the entry-level segment, is expected to ship 12 million smartphones in 2012, Digitimes Research estimates.

            Coolpad is migrating to the smartphone sector rapidly and is likely to ship 11.1 million smartphones this year, accounting for 70% of its total handset shipments.

            Digitimes Research predicts that shipments of smartphones in China will top 140 million units in 2012, with Samsung and Apple accounting for a combined 40% share. Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad are expected to together take up another 40%, limiting the development potential of other brands.

            Taiwan IC designers looking to orders from China-based white-box smartphone vendors [DIGITIMES, June 20, 2012]

            Taiwan-based IC design houses have rekindled their hope that they can cooperate once again with China-based white-box handset makers to make a strong presence in China’s smartphone market thanks to the offering of inexpensive chipset solutions from MediaTek and MStar Semiconductor and the rising popularity of smartphone models priced at around CNY1,000 (US$158), according to industry sources.

            The availability of the mature and inexpensive chipset solutions and reference designs has lowered the barriers for white-box makers to also jump into the smartphone segment, the sources indicated.

            Taiwan-based IC design houses which made a fortune previously by supplying related 2.5G ICs to the white-box manufacturing sector, have begun building up their inventory to meet anticipated demand from China-based white-box makers, noted the sources.

            Given that international handset brands have a tendency to cooperate with a limited number of IC vendors, shipments to white-box handset makers in China will serve as a growth driverfor Taiwan-based IC vendors in the second half of 2012, said the sources.

            Taiwan-based LCD driver IC vendors Novatek Microelectronics, ILi Techonology (Ilitek), Sitronix Technology, Orise Technology, and controller IC vendors Elan Microelectronics, Egalax-empia Technology (EETI), as well as analog IC makers Richtek Technology, Global Mixed-code Technology and Anpec Electronics will bebenfit from the re-rise of white-box handset makers, commented the sources.

            China market: Small-scale makers and retail channels to stage comeback in smartphone segment [DIGITIMES, June 15, 2012]

            Small-scale handset makers as well as retail handset channels in China may stage a comeback in the smartphone segment optimizing the availability of low-priced models, according to industry sources.

            Under the aggressive marketing strategy and heavy subsidies launched by telecom carriers, sales of smartphones have been strong in the replacement market, said the sources, but added that the top carriers have been dominating the market with their customized models, affecting sales in retail channels, said the sources.

            However, the availability of reference designs for the production of smartphones has enabled a large number of small- and medium-size handset makers in China to also jump into the segment, triggering a sharp decline in prices of smartphones, noted the sources.

            Prices of unlocked smartphones are expected to drop to below CNY500 (US$79) soon, making it affordable for consumers to pick up smartphones at retail shops without signing subscription contracts with carriers, the sources commented.

            China market: Qualcomm pushing sales of 3G solutions to small- to medium-sized handset makers [DIGITIMES, June 12, 2012]

            Qualcomm has geared up efforts to push sales of its smartphone solutions to small- to medium-sized handset makers in China, attracting a number of vendors shifting away from the comparable solutions offered by Taiwan-based MediaTek, according to industry sources.

            To counter Qualcomm’s strategy, MediaTek has also stepped up sales of its 3G solutions to first-tier handset makers in Chinainstead of its previous focus on small- and medium-sized vendors, the sources indicated.

            In addition to Qualcomm and MediaTek, other chipset vendors including ST-Ericsson, Intel, Spreadtrum Communications and MStar Semiconductor, are exerting all-out efforts to grab the handset solution market in China, said the sources, adding that competition between Qualcomm and MediaTek is the fiercest.

            But a large number of branded and white-box handset makers in China still prefer Android- and 3.5G-enabled solutions as well as dual-core solutions from MediaTek, since they have established mature business relationships with MediaTek, the sources commented.

            Digitimes Research: Smartphones to take 32% of China handset market in 2012 [June 8, 2012]

            Digitimes Research estimates that China handset shipments will grow to 430 million units in 2012, with smartphones likely to take 32% of the market, equivalent to 143 million handsets. Given that China already accounted for 22% of global handset shipments in 2011 and the country’s mobile user base is projected to hit 1.13 billion people in 2012, the potential of the country’s smartphone market is staggering.

            The boom in China’s smartphone market that began in 2011 was sparked by the expansion of 3G service coverage and falling budget smartphone prices. Carriers have driven this change in an attempt to bolster flagging ARPUs, which stood at just CNY37 (US$6) per month for 2G users of China Unicom in 2011; the ARPU for the carrier’s 3G subscribers was a much more respectable CNY110, according to an upcoming Digitimes Research Special Report on China’s smartphone market.

            Carriers have been able to entice China’s price-conscious consumers to make the 3G switch chiefly by offering extremely cheap smartphones priced at around CNY1,000, a figure which could yet fall as low as CNY599 in 2012. This concentration in the low end of the market is a major contributing factor to the dominance of Android in China.

            However, consumers in this sector are not willing to spend heavily on profitable 3G services and ARPU for 3G users is already falling steeply. At the current rate of decline, the 3G ARPU will fall to an estimated CNY82 during 2013. China’s smartphone switchover may therefore not prove to be quite as lucrative as the country’s carriers had hoped.

            Android 4.0 in entry-level to mid-range smartphones to rise in 2H12 [DIGITIMES, June 7, 2012]

            While Android 2.x versions take up about 90% of Android-based smartphones, Qualcomm and MediaTek have begun to offer Android 4.0 common chip solutionsfor smartphone vendors and therefore version 4.0 is expected to be widely adopted for entry-level to mid-range smartphones in the second half of 2012, according to industry sources.

            Because Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG Electronics and other vendors have launched Android 4.0 smartphones, and have offered upgrades for older models in the second quarter of 2012, the penetration rate of Android 4.0 has risen from 2.9% in April to 7.1% currently, the sources indicated.

            China market: Entry-level smartphones to feature dual-core CPUs in 2H12 [DIGITIMES, June 5, 2012]

            Smartphones featuring dual-core CPUs are expected to begin penetrating into the CNY1,000 (US$157) smartphone segment in China in the second half of 2012 thanks to dual-core reference designs offered by MediaTek and Qualcomm, according to industry sources.

            Other chipset solution vendors such as ST-Ericsson are also expected to enter the dual-core segment soon, indicated the sources.

            Dual-core smartphones may even become the mainstream white-box models in the second half which will squeeze market share from single-core models, and hence triggering a price war, the sources said.

            In addition to pushing the clock speeds of CPUs from 1GHz to 1.2GHz, China-based handset makers will also adopt 4.3-inch displays for mainstream entry-level and mid-range modelsinstead of the prevailing 4-inch screens, added the sources.

            Prices of single-core smartphones in China are likely to fall below CNY500 in the second half, which may result in a dumping of entry-level and mid-range smartphones by China-based handset makers in the global market, the source commented.

            Qualcomm scores points in promoting QRD in China [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]

            Qualcomm began to offer Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD), a platform for developing smartphone components including memory, sensors, touch screens, cameras and RD devices as well as application software, for vendors and makers in China two years ago and has made significant achievements in boosting inexpensive smartphones by helping its China-based partners, according to company senior vice president and Greater China president, Wang Xiang.

            QRD aims to reduce input of resources in development and time to market for China-based smartphone vendors and makers, Wang said. 28 models of smartphones have been launched by 17 vendors under QRD, and more than 100 models are being developed for launch in 2012, Wang indicated.

            Qualcomm has set up four China branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xi’an and two R&D centers in Beijing and Shanghai, according to company senior vice president and QRD director, Jeff Lorbeck.

            Qualcomm will focus promotion of QRD in China to reduce component costs in 2012 and plans to help China-based partners tap emerging markets in India, Latin America and Southeast Asia through providing technical support in 2013, Wang said.

            Lenovo aims to triple smartphone shipments in 2012 [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]

            Lenovo plans to launch as many as 40 new models of smartphones in 2012, aiming to ramp up its smartphone shipments to 18 million unitsin the year compared to six million units shipped in 2011, according to the company.

            Lenovo aims to roll out a lineup of smartphones with different price tags to meet demand from all segments of customers, the company said. Smartphone models priced below CNY1,000 (US$157) currently account for 30% of smartphones sold in China, models priced at CNY1,000-1,499 take another 30%, and those priced above CNY1,500 make up the remaining 40%, Lenovo indicated.

            Lenovo saw its smartphone shipments in China grow 21-fold on year in the first quarter of 2012, enabling the company to take up a 10% share in the quarter compared to just 1% a year earlier. The vendor also captured the fourth-rank position in the smartphone segment in China in Aprilwith a 10.21% share, said China-based Sino Marketing Research.

            WCDMA models account for 49% of all smartphones sold by Lenovo currently, followed by CDMA EV-DO models at 26% and TD-SCDMA models at 18%, the company noted.

            Lenovo also plans to roll out dual-core models in the second half of 2012, using MediaTek’s MT6577 solutions and Qualcomm’s QRD 8×25 and 8×26 solutions, according to industry sources.

            Lenovo’s handset OEM partners, including Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), Compal Communications and Wistron NeWeb, are expected to benefit from increasing shipments by Lenovo, the sources indicated.

            China market: China Unicom gearing up for sub-CNY800 WCDMA smartphones [DIGITIMES, June 4, 2012]

            China United Network Communications (China Unicom), the only WCDMA mobile telecom carrier in China, will promote sale of WCDMA smartphone models priced at below CNY800 (US$127) to attract 2G subscribers to shift to WCDMAin the China market, according to the company.

            Of handsets sold at CNY599 or below in the China market in April 2012, TD-SCDMA models took up 24%, CDMA2000 EV-DO models 15% and WCDMA models 1%, according to China-based Sino Market Research. Of handsets sold at CNY600-799, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000 EV-DO and WCDMA accounted for 20%, 10% and 6% respectively, Sino indicated.

            The demand for smartphones in the China market in 2012 is forecast at 200 million units and 44% of which, that is, 88 million units, will be sold at below CNY800, meaning big opportunities for China Unicom, the company said.

            In addition to inexpensive smartphones, China Unicom has cooperated with international vendors including LG Electronics, Nokia, HTC, Motorola Mobility as well as China-based vendors K-Touch and Xiaomi Technology to launch mid- to high-level models in the China market for market segmentation, the company noted.

            China Unicom has been upgrading HSPA+ service and has deployed 21Mbps HSPA+ networks in 56 cities in China, the company said. While there have been 245 models of HSPA+-enabled terminal devices around the world, China Unicom plans to launch price-competitive models of such devices, the company indicated.

            China market: First-tier local brands shifting focus to CNY1,000-1,500 smartphones [DIGITIMES, June 1, 2012]

            First-tier local brand handset vendors in China have begun adjusting their strategy to focus on marketing mid-range smartphoneswith prices ranging CNY1,000-1,500 (US$157-236) instead of the previous focus on sub-CNY1,000 models, according to industry sources.

            The launch of sub-CNY1,000 smartphones by the top-3 telecom carriers as well as the roll-out of CNY500 models by second-tier handset makersin China has induced top-tier vendors to shift their focus, said the sources.

            The second-tier handset makers have been engaged in cut-throat competitionin order to win open bids released by the top-3 telecom service companies, noted the sources, adding that China Mobile has even launched a sub-CNY200 model.

            Top-tier vendors, including Coolpad, ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo, are expected to reduce the number of their the sub-CNY1,000 smartphones and will be more active to participate in bidding for CNY1,000-1,500 models, said the sources.

            The move by China-based top smartphone brands to the mid-range segment will see them take on some international players including Samsung Electronics, HTC, Nokia, Motorola Mobility which have ventured into the CNY1,000-2,000 segment, the sources commented.

            Rumor: China’s Smartphone Prices to Drop to RMB 600 [Marbridge Daily]

            Southern Daily, 5/31/12

            Industry sources claim that China’s smartphone prices could drop to RMB 600 in H2 2012 due to increasing availability of low-priced smartphone chips. Smartphones featuring Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek’s (MTK) MT6573 processor are available on B2C e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Paipai for RMB 800 and below. MediaTek’s MT6575 chipset, released in March, has already appeared in handsets from domestic handset vendors such as Lenovo (0992.HK), Gionee, ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ), and Yulong (Coolpad), as well as foreign brands such as Motorola. The MT6575 is currently available for between RMB 1,000 to RMB 1,500. Taiwanese chipmaker MStar Semiconductor plans to release its first dual-core chipset solution for RMB 1,000 smartphones next week.

            According to a source within Lenovo Mobile, ST-Ericsson released its U8500 dual-core chipset platform in Q1 2012, and handset models using the platform are available from overseas brands at prices no higher than RMB 2,000. Domestic brand handset models featuring the chipset are expected to reach the market in Q2 and Q3 priced at approximately RMB 1,500. Chinese internet company Shanda Interactive will soon release its own branded smartphone using the U8500 priced at RMB 1,199. In addition, Qualcomm will launch its MSM7x27A and MSM7x25A low-priced chipset platforms this year, which will feature in a number of RMB 1,000 smartphones from domestic handset manufacturers.

            China-based smartphone vendors to compete with big players with ultra-thin models [DIGITIMES, May 29, 2012]

            China-based handset vendors have ventured into the production of ultra-thin smartphones, enhancing their strength to compete with international brands in the global market, according to industry sources.

            China-based vendor Oppohas highlighted this manufacturing trend in China by releasing the Finder recently. The Android 4.0-based Finder has a thickness of only 6.65mm.

            The Finder also features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB ROM, a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, for a suggested retail price of about CNY3,500 (US$555)in China.

            Oppo, one of the top-10 local brandsin China, focuses on the production of smartphones priced above CNY2,000 instead of the prevailing sub-CNY1,000 models, the sources noted.

            Thickness of ultra-thin models by brands

            Vendor
            Model
            Thickness
            OS
            Oppo
            Finder
            6.65mm
            Android 4.0
            Huawei
            Ascend P1 S
            6.68mm
            Android 4.0
            Motorola
            Razr XT910
            7.1mm
            Android 2.3
            HTC
            HTC One S
            7.95mm
            Android 4.0
            LG Electronics
            Prada 3.0
            8.5mm
            Android 2.3
            Samsung
            Galaxy S III
            8.6mm
            Android 4.0
            Apple
            iPhone 4S
            9.3mm
            iOS5

            ST-Ericsson seeking cooperation with China-based low-cost smartphone vendors, says paper [DIGITIMES, May 28, 2012]

            ST-Ericsson has won adoption of its U8500 chip solution by China-based Shanda which will launch a smartphone for sale at about CNY1,000 (US$158) in the China market on June 6, according to China-based 21st Century Business Herald.

            ST-Ericsson is seeking adoption of its chip solutions by more China-based vendors looking to launch smartphones priced at CNY1,000-2,000, the paper indicated. Smartphones for sale at CNY1,000-2,000 accounted for about 50% of all smartphones sold in the China market in 2010 and 2011, with ZTE, Huawei, and Coolpad the leading vendors, the paper said.

            China market: 4 local vendors amid top-5 in 3G smartphone market in April [DIGITIMES, May 25, 2012]

            In the China market, Samsung Electronics recorded the largest market share of 22.75% for 3G smartphones in April 2012, followed by four China-based vendors — Coolpad with 11.17%, Huawei with 10.92%, Lenovo with 10.21% and ZTE with 9.28%, China Economic Netcited China-based Sino Market Research as indicating.

            Other international vendors’ market shares were 8.52% for Apple, 4.14% for Motorola Mobility, 3.95% for Nokia and 2.82% for HTC, the report indicated.

            The increased market occupation by China-based vendors was mainly due to selling of their entry- to mid-level 3G smartphone models through contract-bundled sales by China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the report said.

            MediaTek lands 2.5G handset solution orders from Nokia, say sources [DIGITIMES, May 21, 2012]

            MediaTek reportedly has landed orders for 2.5G handset solutions from Nokia with shipments to begin in the third quarter of 2012, according to industry sources. MediaTek declined to comment.

            Given that global demand for 2.5G handset solutions still reaches one billion units a year, there is room for MediaTek to further expand sales in the segment although the company’s sales of 2.5G solutions have been turning weak recently, indicated the sources. MediaTek shipped 550 million 2.5G solutions in 2011.

            With a revised goal of shipping 75 million 3G solutions in 2012, mostly to first-tier handset makers in China, MediaTek is expected to post strong revenue growth in the second half of the year, the sources noted.

            Smartphone vendors considering other chip sources due to short supply of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 [May 15, 2012]

            Qualcomm has seen supply of its Snapdragon S4 processors fall short of increasing demand and the situation has pushed international smartphone vendors, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC and Sony Mobile Communications, to consider other suppliers, according to Taiwan-based handset supply chain makers.

            The short supply of Snapdragon S4 is because Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 28nm foundry capacity is not sufficient and/or the yield rate of the process is not high enough, the sources pointed out.

            MediaTek looks to ship 75 million 3G solutions in 2012 [DIGITIMES, May 9, 2012]

            MediaTek is expected to ship 75 million 3G handset solutions in 2012, a 50% increase from 50 million units it projected earlier, according to industry sources.

            Insufficient capacity of the 28nm process at Qualcomm has forced China-based Huawei Device and ZTE, in addition to existing client Lenovo, to source 3G solutions from MediaTek, contributing to a sharp increase in orders for the IC design house, indicated the sources.

            Huawei’s and ZTE’s 3G smartphones built based on MediaTek’s MT6575 solutions are expected to hit the market at the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2012, said the sources, adding that the new M6575 models from Huawei and ZTE will directly take on Lenovo’s comparable model, the A750, in the China market.

            Meanwhile, MediaTek has reported consolidated revenues of NT$7.942 billion (US$269 million) for April, decreasing 3.48% on month but increasing 4.19% on year. For the January-April period of 2012, consolidated revenues amounted to NT$27.557 billion, up 0.25% on year, said MediaTek.

            China-based white-box vendors expected to ship 200 million smartphones [DIGITIMES, April 17, 2012]

            China-based white-box vendors, mainly due to the availability of inexpensive new chip solutions, have been increasing the production of smartphones, with the total shipment volume expected to reach 200 million units in 2012, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

            Taiwan-based MediaTek is offering the makers its MT6575 a chip solution for use in entry-level smartphones in the first quarter of 2012 and will offer the MT6577, a solution for high-level smartphones, in the middle of the third quarter of 2012, the sources indicated. MediaTek will ship 50-70 million chips to China-based white-box vendorsto account for nearly 30% of smartphones to be shipped by these vendors in 2012.

            In addition, Qualcomm has strengthened its marketing in the China market by offering turn-key solutions to white-box vendors, with prices for a chips lowered to US$6, the sources cited eMedia Asia as indicating.

            China-based white-box vendors sell more than 60% of their smartphone output to overseas markets, including 2.5G models for markets where deployment of 3G networks is not mature yet, the sources indicated. White-box vendors are expected to see larger market demand if their production costs for entry-, medium– and high-level smartphones drop to US$60, US$85 and US$130 respectively, the sources pointed out.

            China market: Motorola moving into CNY1,000 smartphone segment, says paper [DIGITIMES, April 13, 2012]

            Motorola Mobility has ventured into the CNY1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment in China with the launch of its XT390 smartphone in cooperation with China Unicom, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Timesreport.

            The XT390 is also the first Android-enabled smartphone rolled out by Motorola using MediaTek’s 6575 chipset solution, indicated the paper.

            Motorola has outsourced the production of the XT390 to Arima Communications and may place orders for up to one million smartphones with the Taiwan-based handset ODM in the second quarter of 2012, said the paper.

            China market: Top-4 local vendors to keep entry-level smartphone prices around CNY1,000 in 2012 [DIGITIMES, March 30, 2012]

            The top-4 China-based branded handset vendors – Huawei Device, ZTE, Lenovo and Coolpad – will continue to develop the CYN1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment in China in 2012 and will prevent their channel operators from engaging in price-cutting competition with white-box vendors, according to industry sources.

            More newcomers have entered the smartphone sector in China, propelled by the launch of related reference designs for smartphones by MediaTek, MStar Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum Communications, raising the possibility that prices of the entry-level smartphones may drill downward to a range of CNY400-700 compared to the prevailing prices of around CNY1,000, the sources noted.

            Despite increasing pricing competition from white-box handset makers as well as international brands including Nokia and Samsung Electronics, the top-4 local brand vendors are unlikely to lower their prices further until makers in the handset component supply chain are able to reduce their quotes substantially, said the sources.

            To maintain competitiveness and brand images, the top-4 vendors are expected to roll out models with higher hardware specifications for the CNY1,000 segment, the sources commented.

            Shipments of smartphones in China are expected to grow 40-60% on year in 2012, the sources estimated.

            China-based white-box handset players may face bankruptcy [DIGITIMES, March 29, 2012]

            China-based white-box handset players are suffering as larger local players ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei are aggressively entering the CNY1,000 (US$159) smartphone segment, while first-tier smartphone brands such as Samsung Electronics and Nokia are also reducing their prices. White-box players are expected to see a 30% drop in their overall sales in 2012 with several hundred expected to go bankrupt, reshuffling China’s handset industry, according to sources from smartphone players.

            As consumers in China have increasing demand for Internet connectivity, while their recognition of brand names is also rising, the white-box handset market in China, which is mainly focused on low price and design flexibility, is shrinking rapidly.

            Since China-based telecom carriers are aggressively providing subsidies to ZTE, Huawei and Lenovo to allow these players to lower their smartphone prices, while white-box players are losing their advantages in price as they are unable to acquire cheap components due to their shipment scale, it has helped larger smartphone players to narrow the price gap with white-box handsets.

            With more brand vendors pushing into the mid-range and entry-level smartphone market, the average price of entry-level smartphones is expected to reach CNY700 (US$100), a level almost the same as cost. In addition, white-box players’ advantages in design flexibility is also no longer attracting consumers as the size of the touch screen has already become the major criteria for consumers.

            China market: Chip vendor competition heating up for 1GHz processors used in inexpensive smartphones [DIGITIMES, Jan 17, 2012]

            As China Mobile, China Telecom and China United Network Communications will procure large volumes of inexpensive smartphones equipped with 1GHz processors, there is increasing competition among handset chip vendors Qualcomm, Taiwan-based MedaTek, Broadcom and China-based Spreadtrum Communications, according to Taiwan-based handset makers.

            While the four vendors and others have offered 1GHz chip solutions supporting 3.5G, Android, multimedia and dual-mode functions, the Qualcomm-developed MSM7227A [Cortex-A5 based @ upto 1GHz]solution has gained the upper hand, followed by MediaTek-developed MT6575, the sources indicated. In contrast, Spreadtrum and Broadcom are competing for orders by virtue of differentiation in function, with the former focusing on TD-SCDMA, a China-developed 3G standard, solutions and the latter’s solutions featuring integration of NFC (near field communication), Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n and GNSS (global navigation satellite system) functions, the sources pointed out.

            In the China market, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Sony, HTC as well as China-based vendors Huawei Device, ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Haier and Hisense will launch inexpensive entry-level smartphones equipped with 1GHz processor in 2012, the sources noted. China-based vendors are expected to release ODM or EMS orders to Taiwan-based makers, the sources indicated.

            MWC 2012 day 1 news [Feb 27, 2012]: Samsung and Nokia

             

            Samsung had a number of enhanced GALAXY products (see them in the “Details for Samsung” section below). The really strong message from innovation point of view from them has, however, been (considered by them as “hidden gems”):
            Samsung Mobile – Beyond Product [ YouTube Channel]

            Tour the Samsung Mobile booth at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. Find out more about our new innovations, from AllShare Play and Control through Smart Driving and Smart School to NFC mobile payments.

            UPDATE: for Nokia the major competition is the overall Android ecosystem, and not only in the proper smartphone market as:
            – repeatedly stressed by Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia:

            Our number-one focus is competing with Android. [see here and here]

            The principal competition is Android, and then Apple. [see here]

            – indicated in relevant excerpts from the Nokia 2011 fiscal year report [March 8, 2012] as:

            Market overview

            … Today, however, the distinction between these two classes of products is blurring. Increasingly, basic feature phone models, supported by innovations in both hardware and software, are also providing people with the opportunity to access the Internet and applications and, on the whole, offering them a more smartphone-like experience.

            Whether smartphones or feature phones, mobile devices geared for Internet access and their accompanying Internet data plans are also becoming increasingly affordable and, consequently, they are becoming attractive to a broader range of consumer groups and geographic markets. A notable recent development has been the increased affordability of devices based on the Android platform, which has enabled some vendors to offer smartphones for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been dominated by more basic feature phone offerings.

            ….

            Competition

            …  some competitors’ offerings based on Android are available for purchase by consumers for below EUR 100, excluding taxes and subsidies, and thus address a portion of the market which has been traditionally dominated by feature phone offerings, including those offered by Nokia. Accordingly, lower-priced smartphones are increasingly reducing the addressable market and lowering the price points for feature phone. …

            Principal Factors & Trends Affecting our Results of Operations

            Devices & Service

            Increased Pervasiveness of Smartphones and Smartphone-like Experiences Across the Price Spectrum

            During the past year, we saw the increasing availability of more affordable smartphones, particularly Android-based smartphones, connected devices and related services which were able to reach lower price points contributing to a decline in the average selling prices of smartphones in our industry.

            This trend affects us in two ways. First, it puts pressure on the price of our smartphones and potentially our profitability, as we need to price our smartphones competitively. We currently partially address this with our Symbian device offering in specific regions and distribution channels, and we plan to introduce and bring to markets new and more affordable Nokia products with Windows Phone in 2012, such as the Nokia Lumia 610 announced in February 2012. Second, lower-priced smartphones put pressure on our higher-end feature phone offering from our Mobile Phones unit. We are addressing this with our planned introductions in 2012 ofsmarter, competitively priced feature phones with more modern user experiences, including software, services and application experiences. In support of our Mobile Phones business, we also plan to drive third party innovation through working with our partners to engage in building strong, local ecosystems.

            Full information is in the Nokia’s strategy for “the next billion” based on software and web optimization with super low-cost 2.5/2.75G SoCs [Feb 14 – March 8, 2012] post on this blog.

            END OF UPDATE

            For Nokia, accordingly, a number of innovations have already been introduced on the MWC 2012, from the hardware level up to the services which surround all that. So for Nokia I will provide a video-based overview here well before going into the “Details for Nokia” section in the very end:

            Nokia Press Conference Highlights from MWC 2012 [ YouTube channel]

            Key points: Nokia Lumia 610 is announced. Award-winning Nokia Lumia 900 will become available in various markets outside the US. Nokia PureView elevates industry standard in smartphone imaging. New Asha feature phones and services grow increasingly ‘smarter’.

            Nokia Lumia 610 Hands-On Video [ YouTube channel]

            The funky Nokia Lumia 610 http://nokia.ly/AztJvZ is the most affordable Lumia phone yet, but it delivers everything you need in a smartphone. The People Hub pulls family and friends’ contact details in one place, along with Facebook and Twitter feeds. A choice of colours, with metallic trim, makes the phone an individual style statement. [$254 (€189). Has a 3.7” 800 x 480 WVGA LCD display.]

            The Windows Phone Xbox tie-in and 5-megapixel camera add to the funky package. And Nokia Music, with Mix Radio (availability may vary by market), Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Reading – make this phone unbeatable value.

            UPDATE: the Nokia Lumia 610 won Tom’s Hardware Best in show and Best Budget Smartphone from Laptop. See here.

            Introducing the White Nokia Lumia 900 – Live Large [ YouTube channel]

            Meet the new Nokia Lumia 900 with Windows Phone http://nokia.ly/zoyq6L Find out how fast amazing can be. And social. And beautiful. With its award winning design including front facing camera and Live Tiles, keeping in touch with friends, and the entire Internet, has never been so easy. [$645 (€480). Has a 4.3” 800 x 480 WVGA AMOLED ClearBlack display with Gorilla Glass.]

            Experience The Amazing Everyday.

            First Look at Nokia Reading on Nokia Lumia [ YouTube channel]

            In this hands on video, Rhidian from Nokia talks about Nokia Reading, a premium e-book and audio experience service announced at Mobile World Congress 2012, and shows how it works on Nokia Lumia.

            Nokia Reading will be available for Nokia Lumia handsets from April and will first launch in six markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia) with more to follow.

            UPDATE: Nokia Reading: Get gripped by a great book [Nokia Coversations blog, Feb 28, 2012]

            Nokia Reading follows the same simple and elegant panorama design we’ve become used to with other services, delivering the whole experience through a beautifully designed “reading hub.”

            Nokia is working with some of the world’s biggest publishers, including Penguin and Hachette, and Pearson to launch a world class e-book and audiobook experience that’s been designed specifically for the Nokia Lumia.

            Using a single, simple app you can choose your own favourite authors, or select bestselling novels and the top local books in your own language. If you’re not sure that you’ll like a book, Nokia Reading lets you browse some sample pages before you buy. Or you can download and read one of the thousands of classic works of literature that will be available for free.

            Once you have chosen a book, large, clear, smartphone screens like those on the Nokia Lumia make reading an enjoyable experience – and you can switch to ‘night mode,’ change the font or adjust brightness, if your eyes get tired in the evening. It’s also great on an underground train or plane, because you can read everything offline after downloading beforehand over WiFi or mobile network

            In coming months you’ll also be able to create a personalized magazine page (called “news stream”) that updates content across the most popular categories, and adds web content from your chosen sites.

            Nokia 808 PureView – The next breakthrough in photography [ YouTube channel]

            The game changer! Nokia 808 PureView http://nokia.ly/xz6mhS takes every bit of image goodness captured by a 41MP sensor and Carl Zeiss lens and turns it into beautifully detailed images and Full HD videos. Be ready to shoot and share with friends in an instant. [$605 (€450). Has a 4” 640 x 360  16:9 nHD AMOLED display.]

            The Nokia 808 PureView also features exclusive Dolby Headphone technology, transforming stereo content into a personal surround sound experience over any headphones and Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 channel surround sound playback.

            UPDATE: Zooming in on Nokia PureView [article on the Nokia Conversations‎ blog, Feb 29, 2012]: meet the brains behind Nokia PureView Eero Salmelin and Juha Alakarhu, and also learn the history of this 5 years long journey that lead to the delivery on MWC 2012

            UPDATE: Nokia 808 PureView partner makes it unbeatable [Nokia Conversations blog, March 1, 2012]

            Dolby reveals audio secret of new phone’s success

            Taking pride of place at their stand, the world’s best camera phone owes much to Dolby technologies for helping to make it an HD mobile entertainment device.

            For the PureView is also about pure audio thanks to its high-definition Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel surround sound which plays on HD TVs, and home theatre systems, and when combined with Dolby Headphone technology – also built into the PureView – provides a personal 5.1 surround experience over any headphones.

            Nokia is also bringing the Dolby experience to other smartphones with Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 software upgrade for the Nokia 700, Nokia 701, and Nokia 603, also displayed on the Dolby stand.

            Mobile Sales Director Shawn Richards talked us through the tech on a Nokia 700 with a demo from Batman movie The Dark Knight.

            He explained that the Dolby Headphone upgrade transforms stereo content into a personal surround sound.

            “You get a more natural, engaging, and authentic sound,” he said. “Good audio is even more important when you are watching a movie on a small screen. And Dolby Headphone creates a totally immersive feel.”

            UPDATE: Nokia 808 Pureview – Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2012 [ YouTube channel, March 1, 2012]

            Nokia 808 PureView wins top MWC award!
            Our awesome camera phone scoops the top award from Mobile World Congress 2012 judges.

            UPDATE: Damian Dinning explains Nokia PureView technology [ YouTube channel, Feb 29, 2012]

            Nokia’s imaging expert Damian Dinning explains the breakthrough camera technology behind Nokia 808 PureView.

            You could also check out the gorgeous photos taken with Nokia 808 PureView from the flickr.

            UPDATE: Nokia PureView Q&A with Damian Dinning [interview on the Nokia Conversations‎ blog, March 1, 2012]

            Nokia Stereo Bluetooth Headset BH-221 – See what you hear [ YouTube channel]

            The new Nokia Stereo Bluetooth Headset BH-221 comes with an integrated FM radio and OLED display. It as excellent audio quality and NFC for easy pairing with your phone. Learn more at: www.accessories.nokia.com

            Nokia Asha 302: Meet the designer [ YouTube channel]

            Nokia Asha 302 http://nokia.ly/xXK4kV was designed with one simple goal in mind – to design the best looking QWERTY phone for today’s urban professionals. The metallic touch points, bold and sophisticated colors and smooth edges help users stand out and project success giving the phone a great premium feel. [$128 (€95). Has a 2.4” 320 x 240  QVGA TFT display.]

            UPDATE: The Nokia C3-00 won Best Feature Phone or Entry Level Phone at the GSMA Awards 2012 in Barcelona. Blanca Juti, VP for Mobile Phones Product Marketing said to Nokia Conversations after collecting the prize: “It’s great for our products going forward, because the Nokia Asha 302 we launched yesterday is pretty much the successor to C3 which has had an amazing run in the market.” See here.

            Nokia Asha 302: Premium All Round QWERTY [ YouTube channel]

            Nokia Asha 302 http://nokia.ly/x5m2zm is a QWERTY phone with great value for money. It is packed with a 1 Ghz processor and is great for social networking, Email, Instant messaging, supports Mail for Exchange and has a premium design with stunning looks.

            Nokia Asha 203: Simply touch, connect and play [ YouTube channel]

            The Nokia Asha 203 http://nokia.ly/x78ZBe is a touch phone with a traditional keypad, offering fast and affordable access to the internet, easy access to email and social networks as well as a 40 EA games gift offering. [$81 (€60). Has a 2.4” QVGA display.]

            Nokia Asha 202 Dual SIM: Simply touch, connect and play [ YouTube channel]

            The Nokia Asha 202 http://nokia.ly/yOGbDA is a touch phone with a traditional keypad, offering fast and affordable access to the internet, easy access to email and social networks as well as a 40 EA games gift offering. Plus it comes with Easy Swap Dual SIM.  [$81 (€60). Has a 2.4” QVGA display.]

            After exactly a year from the announcement of their new strategic set-up and direction it is quite obvious from all that above that Nokia is well on to realizing the corresponding transition. In fact they are redefining themselves which is well described by this video just published 2 days before the start of MWC 2012:

            The New Essence of Nokia  [ YouTube channel]

            We believe that everybody can have a richer, fuller life every day, everywhere. That means upgrading an ordinary moment to an exciting one or finding an unexpected experience to share with others. Intuitively, fast and easy. This is Nokia’s new mantra, this is the new essence of Nokia.

            I see this overall brand message fitting rather well with their new and enhanced portfolio as you could judge for yourself from the above video presentations. In this way they have proceeded quite well from the disastrous situation they were a year ago, and which had been described quite extensively in the following post on this blog: Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Feb 21 – March 25, 2011].


             Details for Samsung

            This is the first hands-on video of GALAXY Beam from the Mobile World Congress 2012. GALAXY Beam is Samsung’s new projector smartphone that allows you to display and share multimedia content or business information instantly no matter where you are. For more information: http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/2012/02/26/GALAXY-Beam
            MobileBurn.com – Samsung had relatively few things to announce at MWC 2012 this year, but one of them was the Galaxy Note 10.1, a larger version of the original Galaxy Note. The Note 10.1 uses the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) as its design inspiration (it looks nearly identical), but it adds S Pen capabilities to draw and notate on the screen. The Note 10.1 is powered by a dual-core, 1.4GHz processor and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung’s TouchWiz enhancements. More info: http://www.mobileburn.com/18681/gallery/samsung-galaxy-note-101-live-impressions

            Details for Nokia

            All the launches: Nokia at Mobile World Congress [Nokia Conversations‎ blog]

            BARCELONA, Spain – Nokia announces six new phones and an array of new and updated services, advancing its new strategy and setting the pace for 2012.

            Here’s our star-studded line-up for Barcelona 2012.

            Nokia Lumia 610

            The Nokia Lumia 610 is our most affordable Windows Phone to date – and the fourth we’ve brought to market. It’s aimed at young people who want access to a smartphone experience at the right price. Offering access to social networking, games, Nokia Maps and navigation, web-browsing and Nokia Music, the Lumia 610 comes in four bright colours. It will cost just €189 [$254] before taxes and subsidies, and starts shipping in April.

            Nokia Lumia 900

            First announced in January for AT&T’s LTE network in the US, the Nokia Lumia 900 will now be available worldwide in an HSPA+ edition. The Dual Carrier HSPA phone will allow for downloads up 42.2 Mbps. With a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, mobile media never looked so good, while an upgraded battery means there’s no compromise on longevity.

            [Lumia 900 [DC-HSPA variant] $645 (€480) according to the press release]

            Read the full story

            which one is your favourite

            Nokia 808 PureView

            The Nokia 808 PureView extends our leadership in camera phones, with an amazing 41-megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss optics and brand new pixel over-sampling technology. This means pin-sharp pictures, great low-light performance, yet with the ability to save your images in a suitable file size for social media, MMS and email. Also watch out for full 1080p video recording and exclusive Dolby Headphone technology to enrich the sound of any stereo content.
            [The Nokia 808 PureView has a current price of €450 [$605]. It will be hitting stores in Q2 2012. – according to a press report]

            Read the full story

            Nokia Asha 302, 202 and 203

            We’re also introducing three new Nokia Asha mobile phones with new capabilities to bring them to smarter heights than ever. Aimed at urban consumers across the world, the Nokia Asha 302, 202 and 203 offer more than ever in terms of work and play. The Asha 302 is a QWERTY phone with support for Microsoft Exchange synchronisation, a first for Series 40 phones. The Asha 202 and 203 bring touch screens to a lower price point than ever and come with a massive entertainment bundle.
            [Asha 202/203 $81 (€60), Asha 302 $128 (€95) according to the press release]

            Read the full story 

            New-Capabilities

            Super Services

            Not satisfied with six new phones, there’s a whole raft of new and improved services. Nokia Drive for Windows Phone will now offer full, offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation. In addition, there’s Nokia Reading, the best e-book experience for Nokia Lumia. And Nokia Life bringing life skills, parenting, education, agriculture and entertainment services to Series 30 and 50 phones in India, China, Indonesia and Nigeria.

            Read the full story

            Click through for all the in-depth stories from today’s press conference. We’ll be bringing you even more detail, hands-on experiences and interviews with the brains behind these beauties over the course of the week.

            Nokia 808 PureView

            Remember that Nokia PureView tease from a few days ago? Well, suddenly it all makes sense. We are indeed looking at an imaging flagship phone and a true successor to the N8. It’s called the 808 PureView and it’s expected to reach Europe in the next quarter for a price of 450 Euros. Before we move on to its craziest feature — the camera, of course! — let’s run down the other key specs: The OS is Symbian Belle; the engine is a 1.3GHz single-core chip; the display is 4-inches corner to corner but its resolution is a Nokia-style 360 x 640 (nHD). There’s 512MB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage that is thankfully expandable via microSD. A Pentaband modem increases the chances of getting a signal while globe-trotting, while data speeds will top out at plain HSPA 14.4Mbps. Now that Carl Zeiss-lensed camera: it handles continuous-focus 1080p, but is claimed to have an incredible sensor resolution of over 41-megapixels when shooting stills — or 34-megapixels for 16:9 images. It’s achieved by some clever sub-pixel interpolation jiggery-pokery that entails five pixels being merged into one to produce a final image with a max resolution of 8-megapixels, but we’ll dig deeper very soon. It’s expected to arrive in May at a price of €450 and if you’re curious, we’ve got a gallery of hands-on images and video for your viewing pleasure. Just follow the break for our first impressions. If you haven’t been sufficiently smacked in the face with the Nokia 808 PureView’s primary selling point, let’s settle the score right now: it’s a phone for camera enthusiasts. As niche devices often go, the sheer optical goodness will come with a few sacrifices. First and foremost, we’re a bit puzzled by Nokia’s choice of Symbian for the phone’s OS. That’s not to say that Belle isn’t a fine operating system, but it’s certainly a polarizing decision — not to mention perplexing, given the company’s ‘all-in’ approach to Windows Phone. Secondly, the 808 PureView is rather chunky, which is emphasized by the bulbous camera pod on the rear. In many ways, Nokia’s phone more closely rivals a point-and-shoot camera in size than a smartphone. That said, it’s still an infinitely pocketable handset, but there are certainly many other high-quality camera phones on the market that don’t demand such sacrifices. If you’re able to move beyond these two major caveats, the 808 PureView is likely a handset that many will come to adore — even if the fondness is learned over time. It features a lovely ClearBlack display, and while it’s decidedly low-res, it’s more than sufficient for Symbian Belle and its associated apps. Below the phone’s screen, users will find an extended rocker that provides access to the home screen, dialer and on / off switch. These physical buttons are combined with additional navigation options that are situated directly above on the touchscreen. The phone also features a headphone jack, micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports along the top — each recessed into a pod of their own — and the volume rocker, screen lock slider and dedicated camera button along the right-hand side. Via engadget

            Nokia Lumia 610 and 900 [DC-HSPA variant]

            Live from MWC 2012 Phonearena presents Nokia Lumia 610 demo. A heavily rumored handset, the Nokia Lumia 610 was finally announced today here at MWC 2012. As expected, the 610 is the first real budget-friendly Windows Phone, expected to retail for about $255 (EUR 189), which is pretty decent for a Windows Phone. For the full details, see our Nokia Lumia 610 Hands-on Review from MWC 2012 at: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Nokia-Lumia-610-Hands-on-Review_id27389

            Nokia Asha 302, 202 and 203

            PhoneArena live from MWC 2012: Nokia Asha 302 Hands-on Review. The Nokia Asha 302 is the full QWERTY business class addition to the extremely affordable Asha lineup based on Series 40. For the full details, see our Nokia Asha 302 hands-on from MWC 2012 at: http://www.phonearena.com/news/Nokia-Asha-302-Hands-on-Review_id27399

            Super Services