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Manufacturing tip 'confirms' 3G iPhone chip

updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed April 16, 2008

UMC Making 3G iPhone Chip

The Taiwan-area Economic Daily News paper today appeared to confirm claims of a specific 3G chipset being used for the iPhone by naming the company assigned to manufacture it. Factories for United Microelectronics Corporation have reportedly been contracted to produce the PMB8878 Infineon chipset (incorrectly labeled as PMB878 in the article) at one of the former's more advanced, 65 nanometer process facilities. The move is described as a switch from Taiwan Semiconductor, which is known to manufacture an Infineon chip for the current model, according to the report.

The selection, while itself unconfirmed, doesn't provide a date for when production will begin but supports the initial discoveries made in the iPhone's latest beta firmware that revealed the new Infineon hardware. As the iPhone's baseband chip, the PMB8878 (referred to as SGOLD3 in Apple's code) would manage cellular functions for the handset and is known to support 3G Internet access over HSDPA, the format used by AT&T and Rogers in North America as well as sufficiently upgraded carriers in Europe and other parts of the world. This includes newer networks (including portions of Rogers' service) that support double-speed 7.2Mbps downloads, although AT&T doesn't currently support such speeds on its network.

However, the chipset also omits the full HSPA spec for 3G, which allows for faster upload speeds than download-oriented HSDPA services. AT&T has said it would introduce HSPA to the US on portions of its network over the course of 2008.

If accurate, the choice of chipset is nonetheless essential to the introduction of the iPhone to countries such as Japan and Korea, which often depend heavily on WCDMA (also included in the Infineon technology) for phone service and typically don't offer GSM phone service.

PMB8878 is also considered a general application processor and can support both higher resolution 5-megapixel cameras as well as two-way video calling and general media decoding, though it's not known if Apple can or will take advantage of these extra features in any future iPhone designs.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2002

    0

    OMG! OMG! OMG!

    ...the G5 laptop is coming, too...

  1. imagine engine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    voice & data

    I do hope that the new iPhone will be released soon and include HSPA, video calling, UMA, 802.11n and a higher resolution camera such as 5 MP with L.E.D. flash for low light conditions.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: g5 laptop

    Get over it, the G5 laptop will never see the light of day!

    However, this is proof that the G5 iPhone is just around the corner!!!!!

  1. koolkid1976

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003

    0

    re: re: g5 laptop

    Well it's not gonna jump from a 3G iPhone to a G5 iphone. It'll likely become a G4 first ;).

  1. Hobeaux

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    G5 laptop

    Oh, they made a G5 laptop alright--but it got so hot that it burned through the table and embedded itself into the melted floor below. They just put a table cloth over it and put a vase of flower nearby to distract the casual observer and then went sheepishly back to the drawing board... and made a -real- computer.

  1. Robb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2000

    0

    re: g5 iphone

    Just as long as it supports Classic, I'll be happy.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: g5 iphone

    My sources tell me that the iPhone now supports classic, but Apple won't release it. Something about accounting methods or some such nonsense.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    W-CDMA?

    Hm. Here in the US, Verizon uses W-CDMA. I wonder if you could use Verizon for data in areas where AT&T has poor service...

  1. syzygi

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    :)

    Sounds like some people have iPhone envy.

  1. michaelper22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    No video sharing?

    The lack of HSUPA support probably menas that Apple won't be providing access to AT&T's video calling service, which also probably menas that there won't be a video camera on the next iPhone model.

    Apple seems to make the carriers upgrade their networks for the device maker's new features, but then not support features that the carrier already supports. Shame on Apple.

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