Mobile Computing | News

Broadcom Intros 150 Mbps 4G LTE Chip

Broadcom today debuted a new mobile 4G LTE chip that sports an LTE category-4 modem, with speeds of up to 150 Mbps, and that takes up less space and consumes less power than current-generation modems used in smart phones.

The BCM21892 uses 35 percent less board space and consumes 25 percent less power than is typically used in data transmissions, according to Broadcom. It supports all 3GPP specifications "and performs seamless hand-offs between the various 4G LTE, 3G and 2G interface technologies," Broadcom reported. It also supports high-definition voice over LTE, which, according to Broadcom, "consumes approximately 40 percent less power than a comparable WCDMA voice call."

150 Mbps performance is achieved either through a 20 MHz carrier or by aggregating multiple, smaller carriers.

The BCM21892 is currently in the hands of Broadcom's early access customers for sampling and is being shown off this week at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month. It's expected to go into full production in 2014.

Broadcom is not the first manufacturer to announced a 4G LTE category-4 modem. Broadcom's major competitor in the cellular modem market, Qualcomm, which owns about 86 percent of the LTE modem market, was at the sampling stage with its Gobi LTE chips back in November 2012. Those chips, which could surface in tablets this year (by one account), offer the same theoretical maximum speeds as the Broadcom chip.

Additional details about the BCM21892 can be found on Broadcom's site.

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David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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