updated 11:40 am EST, Fri February 24, 2012
LSI chips will allow for multi-network modems
Japanese wireless provider NTT DoCoMo has teamed up with hardware makers NEC, Panasonic, and Fujitsu on developing a rare large-scale integration (LSI) chip for modems that supports GSM, WCDMA, HSPA+, and LTE networks. The companies have developed both the software and hardware intellectual property. An engineering sample of the chips exists, and testing on major mobile networks has been completed.
This means future smartphones and tablets that use the chip won't require two for connecting to multiple mobile standards. It also touts lower production costs and 20 percent lower power consumption when in communication and stand-by modes.
The LTE band has Frequency Division Duplexing support that's used by DoCoMo and some US carriers. Time Division Duplexing LTE is also present and should be adopted by Chinese carriers and some more recent North American LTE networks.
The companies involved are trying to commercialize the chip in Japan and other countries as quickly as possible. Plans are in progress for a chip that supports LTE-Advanced networks.