Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mediatek trumps Qualcomm in RF with world’s smallest transceiver

USA: ABI Research finds that Mediatek has delivered the world’s smallest multimode transceiver. Coming just a week after Qualcomm announced its intentions to produce RF front ends for high tier LTE smartphones, Mediatek releases the world’s smallest RF transceiver which is also the world’s first 40nm transceiver.

The transceiver (MT6167) accompanies the widely publicized MT6589 quad-core application processor/3G modem and the MT6320 power management unit (PMU). The transceiver measures less than 7sq mm and supports 2G and 3G protocols. The norm for transceivers with this functionality is above 20 sq. mm. Qualcomm’s current solution measures in slightly above 25

Jim Mielke, VP of engineering at ABI research, notes: “This sharp contrast in die size reflects on more than just design expertise though, it gives a glimpse into the company’s mindset. Qualcomm continues to push the technology envelope (additional computing power, higher data rates, etc.) while Mediatek follows slightly behind, aiming for the most cost effective and power conscious solutions.

“Qualcomm will remain the leader of the pack as long as additional technology is required but once the mobile device reaches a point where consumers are satisfied with performance, watch for Mediatek and companies with the same mindset to come on very strong.”

The MT6589 chips also perform well. The chipset measured 40 percent less power in 2G talk modes and 30 percent less in 3G talk modes compared to the prior MT6577 solution (as measured in ABI Research’s teardown laboratory). The quad core A7’s provide a smooth UI and plenty of mobile power.

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