Broadcoms's Dual ARM Mobile Solution Powers Through 3D, Gaming

It may be because Mobile World Congress is starting up next week, but it's probably more than that. We're talking about the increase in mobile-related news lately. In the past, mobile devices had their place, but they weren't all the rage. Now, mobile has infiltrated the mainstream, and smartphones (and wireless mobile broadband) is hotter than ever, not to mention gaming on the go, tethering, and tons of other advanced mobile features that are only enabled by cutting-edge processors.

Qualcomm, Texas Instrument, Marvell and Broadcom are some of the bigger names out there trying to force their way into each and every smartphone, slate and tablet PC, with the latter introducing a killer new chip that'll certainly give existing CPUs a run for their money. The new BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband integrates a Broadcom Merlyn applications processor with the latest VideoCore IV mobile multimedia/graphics technology, which leads to a high powered, energy efficient silicon chip that could be found in your next smartphone. It's specifically designed to power tomorrow's best Android devices, combining ARM Cortex A9 power with Broadcom's low-latency bus architecture.

The accompanying reference platform includes the 40 nanometer (40nm) BCM28150 HSPA+ system-on-a-chip (SoC) smartphone processer, the BCM2091 radio frequency IC, the BCM59056 advanced power management unit (PMU) with charger and audio support, and a full complement of Broadcom's world-class connectivity technologies. More important to you is this: there are dual ARM Cortex A9 cores at 1.1GHz each, that incorporate the ARM Neon 128-bit SIMD engine. That means that gaming and Flash videos won't be a problem. There's also an integrated HSPA+ modem that supports 21Mbps of downstream activity. The solution will be shown next week at MWC, though it'll still be months before this can make its way into an actual, shipping phone.

Broadcom Announces Smartphone Baseband Chip with HSPA+ Cellular Modem and Merlyn™ Applications Processor Capable of 1080p Video and Graphics
New Smartphone Baseband Integrates Merlyn™ Dual ARM Cortex A9 Apps Processing, Unrivaled Multimedia Performance, and HSPA+ Modem

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced a new baseband processor for affordable and high performance smartphones. The new BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband integrates a Broadcom® Merlyn™ applications processor with the latest VideoCore® IV mobile multimedia/graphics technology. This new baseband offers customers one of the highest performance, smallest footprint size and lowest power smartphone solutions available for Android™ and other open operating systems.

Broadcom's new Merlyn applications processor technology is integrated into the BCM28150.  Merlyn processors combine ARM Cortex A9 class processors with Broadcom's high performance low latency bus architecture and world class multimedia to create a scalable processing engine for all future Broadcom basebands targeted at smartphone applications.

The accompanying reference platform includes the 40 nanometer (40nm) BCM28150 HSPA+ system-on-a-chip (SoC) smartphone processer, the BCM2091 radio frequency IC, the BCM59056 advanced power management unit (PMU) with charger and audio support, and a full complement of Broadcom's world-class connectivity technologies. Broadcom will be demonstrating its new BCM28150 smartphone processor reference design at next week's 2011 Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, from February 14th through February 17th.

Highlights/Key Facts:

    * The BCM28150 HSPA+ baseband processor integrates the Broadcom Merlyn applications processor technology, providing an optimal combination of high performance and low power applications and multimedia processing power for smartphones. Key features of the BCM28150 SoC include:
          o Dual ARM Cortex™ A9 cores at 1.1 GHz frequencies that incorporate the ARM Neon™ 128-bit SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) engine, which is vitally important for delivering flexible, powerful acceleration and low power operation for consumer multimedia applications such as Adobe® Flash®.  
          o An integrated HSPA+ release 8 category 14 modem that supports 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) of downstream connectivity, as well as Class 33 EDGE support for greater flexibility and worldwide roaming.
          o Broadcom's industry-leading VideoCore IV with vector processing unit (VPU) offering a 'third processing core' for offloading MHz from the Cortex A9 cores, reducing power consumption while improving the Android user interface experience. VideoCore's high performance graphics engine supports powerful shaders and over 1Gpx/s fill rates and can render 3D mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution at high frame rates which, in combination with a HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs.
          o Advanced imaging with support for 20Mpx sensors and multiple camera inputs for stereoscopic (3D) capture and gesture recognition with advanced ISP feature support (red eye, face tracking, smile detection, etc.).
          o A small 12x12 PoP memory package.  
    * The BCM21850 baseband reference platform has been tailored to deliver the most advanced smartphone features along with built-in HSPA+ connectivity, enabled entirely with Broadcom silicon to ensure the highest level of integration and seamless functionality across its various components.
          o Installed with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and support for popular audio and video codecs, including VP8 and Vorbis audio for support of HTML5.
          o Other platform features include:
                + 4.3-inch WVGA TFT LCD with capacitive touch screen
                + 1080p30 camcorder using Broadcom's integrated ISP
                + Simultaneous LCD and 1080p60 HDMI output with 3D graphics
                + High quality 3D gaming and graphics at 1Gpx/s
                + Blu-ray-quality 1080p60 video playback at very low power levels
                + 12 megapixel camera imaging (up to 20Mpx)
                + Release 8 Category 14 (21 Mbps) HSPA+ modem support
    * The reference platform also incorporates Broadcom's industry-leading wireless connectivity technology:
          o Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and other connectivity options are pre-integrated into the platform, enabling OEMs to efficiently add best-in-class wireless technologies and expanded functionality for next generation smartphones.
                + BCM4329 for best-in-class integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and FM technologies
                + BCM47511 GPS transceiver with integrated support for GLONASS, providing a high-performance solution with access to the widest possible constellation of satellites for improved location performance
                + Broadcom's InConcert® co-existence technology is also featured within the Merlyn platform, applying interference mitigation techniques to make Broadcom's leading wireless technologies work better together and with less interference.