updated 02:00 am EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Marvell PXA1802, PXA1202, PXA2128 at MWC
Marvell helped kick off Mobile World Congress with a pair of important cellular chipsets and a new mobile processor to match. The PXA1802 is one of the first cellular chips that can talk both to a conventional 4G LTE base station as well as the TD-LTE used on China Mobile and some North American carriers, even up to LTE's peak 150Mbps speed. It can connect to TD-SCDMA for China Mobile smartphones, although Marvell told Electronista it could also be used for pure data on a hotspot or tablet.
Both the PXA1802 and the more frugal PXA1202 can use the relatively new dual carrier TD-HSPA+ format for 3G. While far from the 21Mbps of most HSPA+, at 8.4Mbps it's multiple times faster than the 2.8Mbps of TD-HSPA or 4.2Mbps of single-carrier TD-HSPA+. It should be about three times faster downstream than EVDO, the company's Mobile Products director Lu Chang said.
As it only uses a 5MHz channel, TD-HSPA+ has the separate advantage of either letting carriers run 3G on narrow network resources or stack multiple channels to handle a large number of people. Much HSPA+ and LTE in the US uses 10MHz or 20MHz to hold on to the connection.
The processor, the PXA2128, is targeted at high-end smartphones. Marvell was short on most details, but promised that it was faster than many other multi-core smartphones through its use of symmetric multiprocessing that more effectively juggles the workload between the cores.
Arrival dates for Marvell's technology will depend on when customers implement it and ship it.