OUT OF ALL OF ARM’s partners, Broadcom is the one that so far has been the least competitive in the smartphone market space in terms of its own SoC solutions, but this looks set to change with the introduction of the BCM28150 which is a dual core ARM Cortex A9 SoC with an integrated baseband chip as well as a HSPA+ modem. Another advantage of Broadcom’s solution is that the company has an entire reference platform based around its own components which means that partners can source almost an entire device from Broadcom.
The BCM28150’s dual core Cortex A9 cores are clocked at 1.1GHz, somewhat faster than competing solutions to date and Broadcom has also integrated ARM’s NEON 128-bit SIMD engine which helps speed up things like Adobe’s Flash. Broadcom has also integrated its own VideoCore IV vector processing unit which offers 1Gpixel/s fill rate and supports 3D resolutions of up to 1080p for mobile games at “high frame rates” which we presume means 30fps or better. It will also handle 1080p60 video playback and it supports 1080p HDMI output for both 3D and video content.
The integrated HSPA+ modem is capable of download speeds of up to 21Mbit/s and upload speeds of 5.76Mbit/s. The BCM28150 also supports camera sensors up to 20Megapixels as well as multiple camera inputs for stereoscopic 3D image capture and gesture recognition. Video can be encoded in 1080p30, although the press release didn’t mention what resolution it’ll capture 3D video at. All of this is packed into a 12x12mm PoP memory package which includes dual channel 400MHz LPDDR2 memory.
Broadcom is set to show off its reference platform next week at the MWC which features a 4.3-inch WVGA screen, a 12Megapixel camera and Android 2.3. Additional features that will be demoed include GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth solutions from Broadcom as well as various other parts such as a power management solution and a radio frequency IC. We’ll make sure we take a closer look at the show and give you our impressions of the new platform. The bad news is that it’ll take at least a good six months before we’re likely to see any retail devices based on Broadcom’s new platform, as such is the smartphone business.S|A
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