Broadcom smartphone baseband chip with HSPA+ modem and Merlyn Apps processing

broadcom-logo.jpgWe’ve heard that odd tablet enthusiast bugging us on how ‘tablets are eventually going to kill the smartphone and netbook market’. There’s no denying that mobility has taken a sharp turn today, but there’s much we think in store for the small form factor before the devices actually fizzle out. Take for instance, Broadcom’s revelation of the new BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband incorporated with its Merlyn applications processor. The technology hits on high performance yet affordable smartphones becoming a reality.

The 40nm BCM28150 HSPA+ system-on-a-chip (SoC) smartphone processer is included with the BCM2091 radio frequency IC and the BCM59056 advanced PMU as part of the reference platform. The baseband has been fashioned to proffer what the company claims to be the highest performance in an ultra-small footprint size. It will further deliver one of the lowest power smartphone solutions for Android and other mobile platforms. The BCM28150 SoC features dual ARM Cortex A9 cores running at 1.1GHz. The cores incorporate the ARM Neon 128-bit SIMD engine that should be optimized for high performance with low power for applications like Adobe Flash.

Rafael Sotomayor, Marketing Vice President, Broadcom’s Mobile Baseband Line of Business mentioned, “Broadcom is one of the few technology companies that can bring together all the key market proven, advanced technologies required for smartphones that will capture the imaginations of mainstream consumers. Our BCM21850 processor and its Broadstone™ reference platform make it easier than ever for OEMs to bring to market all the smartphone features that people want in an affordable handset designs.”

The included HSPA+ release 8 category 14 modem is enabled for 21Mbps of downstream connectivity along with Class 33 EDGE support. It further features Broadcom’s VideoCoreIV with VPU that offloads processing from the Cortex A9 cores while also lowering the power consumed and boosting the Android user interface. This graphics engine has been tailored to lend a helping hand to robust shaders along with more than 1Gpx/s fill rates. These attributes are said to work in favor of employing 3D mobile games natively with resolution of up to 1080p for a console like gaming experience.

Support for 20Mpx sensors, multiple camera inputs for not just 3D capture but also gesture recognition and improved ISP support the imaging enhancements in the pipeline. A tiny 12×12 PoP memory bundle will be included while it should also feature Android 2.3 along with back up for popular audio and video codecs. The platform will additionally pack in a punch with a 4.3” WVGA TFT LCD with capacitive touch screen, simultaneous LCD and 1080p60 HDMI output with 3D graphics, Blu-ray-quality 1080p60 video playback at extremely low power levels and 12MP camera imaging.

The platform is pre-loaded with other connectivity options like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and FM courtesy of the BCM4329. The BCM47511 GPS transceiver will come with integrated support for GLONASS. What’s more, there’s space for Broadcom’s InConcert co-existence technology too in the Merlyn platform. The technology is known to harmonize the working of wireless support with minimum interference.

The Broadcom BCM28150 smartphone processor reference design is slated to be displayed at the upcoming MWC.