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LG pushes Qualcomm chip for advanced features

Posted: 20 Nov 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:QVGA; RFL components; NAND flash memory 

By The LG Electronics Cyon LG-KP4000 is a CDMA2000 hybrid cell phone. It offers a number of interested in features, which are uniquely accessed through the handset's up-and-down slider. For example, to make a call, the slider goes up to reveal the keypad. The 1.3-Mpixel camera is accessed by moving the slider down.

The handset has GPS capabilities operating on a mobile-based GPS system to provide navigation without the need for separate equipment such as a cradle or a GPS antenna. The GPS information is displayed on the QVGA (320- by 240-pixel) display (Fig. 1). Along with an FM tuner, the phone can play back MP3 files. Music can be downloaded via Broadcom's single chip HCI Bluetooth solution, the BCM2035. Having both the GPS and music functionality make this an appealing phone for runners.

If you consider that the handset operates on the CDMA2000 network, it should come as no surprise that Qualcomm components are used. Note that Qualcomm has been in the news of late, as they are in litigation with Nokia (see Qualcomm claims Nokia is infringing its GSM patents and Nokia derides Qualcomm patent suit)

The specific Qualcomm devices in the handset are the MSM, RFT, RFR, and RFL components (see the table)). The MSM family offers a single chip solution for video, audio, gaming, and GPS services for handsets operating on the CDMA2000 1x network. It drives the camera, supported by the Panasonic MN39910 CCD image sensor, and offers easy-to-use MP3 playback.

1. The LG LG-KP4000 is a CDMA2000 handset that has a camera and the ability to play MP3 files.

While Semiconductor Insights is currently analysing the MSM6800, it's important to look at devices that have successfully been adopted in consumer products. The Qualcomm MSM6100 is an efficient, feature-rich part that's driven by several powerful processing cores ((Fig. 2). An ARM926EJ-S and two QDSP4000 DSPs provide considerable processing ability and are supported by a large amount SRAM and ROM. By using a stacked-die approach, Qualcomm elected to use the smaller secondary die for analog circuitry while concentrating on the efficient placement of digital circuitry on the larger main die. In the KP4000 specifically, the MSM6100 connects to Elpida TY8000B410BMGF mobile RAM and a 1-Gbit Toshiba NAND flash memory.

2. The Qualcomm 000 is a CDMA2000 handset that has a camera and the ability to play MP3 files.

To operate both the transmit and receive portions of the handset, LG chose to continue the use of Qualcomm devices with the RFT6100 and RFR6000. It's typically not a difficult decision to remain with the same vendor for various inter-related components for a few reasons. First, it's often possible to get better pricing when you're purchasing multiple components. Second, the parts are all designed to work together, so reference designs will be available, reducing the handset's time to market. As well, the components can be optimised, typically resulting in a smaller form factor. This also includes enhancing the functionality without difficulty, such as GPS location. Finally, support will be easier, as one call should be sufficient to find an applications engineer familiar with all of the associated components.

Gregory A. Quirk
Technology analyst
Semiconductor Insights

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