Even as Cortex-A12 dual-core SoCs offer better energy efficiency and performance, quad-core Cortex-A7 ones look better on specs-sheets, and are here to live on. With the likes of MediaTek and Qualcomm making a killing out of selling them to entry-level smartphone and tablet makers, Broadcom jumped in for its slice, by unveiling the BCM23550.
Designed for devices targeted at value-conscious markets, BCM23550 integrates a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU clocked at 1.20 GHz, VideoCore IV graphics capable of playing back 1080p video, an image signal processor capable of handling cameras with up to 12 megapixels resolution; and a soft-modem capable of HSPA+ (21.1 Mbps down / 5.76 Mbps up data), NFC, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, GPS/Glonass, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for ARM TrustZone.
The first of these chips should begin sampling in Q3, that's before October.
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, today announced a quad-core HSPA+ processor designed for high-performance, entry-level smartphones. The BCM23550 is the company's newest smartphone platform optimized for the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system (OS). For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.
According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the first quarter of 2013 marked the first time that smartphones comprised more than half of all phones shipped globally.1 This growth is driven by mass market consumers who demand affordable devices that deliver increased functionality and a level of performance that was previously available only in higher-end superphones. The BCM23550, and its turnkey design, are powered by a quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz, VideoCore multimedia and an integrated HSPA+ cellular baseband that provides enhanced, power-efficient features for entry-level smartphones.
"Broadcom's new quad-core solution allows OEMs to deliver the multi-tasking, graphics-rich capabilities required in today's smartphones, while still appealing to consumers seeking superior performance at affordable prices," said Rafael Sotomayor, Broadcom Vice President, Product Marketing, Mobile Platform Solutions. "By combining the performance benefits of a quad-core solution with high-end features like 5G WiFi, globally certified NFC technology, and advanced indoor positioning technology, the platform offers device manufacturers a flexible and cost-effective path to address the affordable smartphone segment."
The BCM23550 supports "dual HD," allowing users to simultaneously share high-definition content from a small handheld screen to a larger, Miracast-enabled display. It includes leading VideoCore technology for fluid, responsive graphics and incorporates power management techniques to optimize battery life and reduce power consumption without compromising the user experience. The platform provides an integrated Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports up to 12-megapixel sensors with advanced imaging capabilities such as blink and smile detection, face tracking, red eye reduction, fast shot to shot (burst capture), zero shutter lag, and best picture selection. With contactless terminals proliferating worldwide, the BCM23550 platform also integrates NFC with native support for simplified connectivity and mobile payments systems like QuickTap from China UnionPay.
The new quad-core solution is coupled with Broadcom's connectivity suite, which includes Broadcom's leading 5G WiFi technology, multi-constellation GNSS support, and advanced indoor location capabilities to enable ubiquitous positioning both indoors and outdoors. Together, the BCM23550 offers a complete, integrated turnkey solution that enables OEMs to expedite production of full-featured, high-performance 3G smartphones while lowering development costs. Additionally, it is pin-to-pin compatible with BCM21664T, a dual-core HSPA+ platform, allowing handset manufacturers to leverage existing designs and accelerate time to market.
"Since the primary use of mobile phones has evolved from making calls to serving as pocket-sized computers, users have grown to expect fast computing power. Premium features, such as Broadcom's quad-core platform, offer a compelling user experience and will further spur the adoption of entry-level smartphones," said Les Santiago, IDC Research Director, Wireless Semiconductors.
- Quad 1.2GHz A7 CPU with ARM NEON technology
- 21 Mbps (Megabits per second) of HSPA+ downstream connectivity, 5.8 Mbps of upstream connectivity
- Dual HD display support with 720p LCD and external HD panel via Wi-Fi Miracast-capable displays
- High-performance graphics based on VideoCore IV multimedia technology, for enhanced 3D gaming and other graphics-rich applications
- Integrated image signal processor (ISP) with support up to 12 megapixels
- High quality H.264 full HD (1080p30) camcorder and video playback
- Power management techniques that increase efficiency of cellular RF chip and optimize performance based on workload demands
- HD voice support for high-quality voice calls with advanced dual-mic noise cancellation technology
- GPS/GLONASS, WLAN , MEMS, and Cell ID for the best indoor/outdoor location
- NFC solution supports all major NFC specifications including NFC Forum, EMVCo, and the China UnionPay QuickTap mobile wallet
- Industry-leading, lowest power 3G/2G dual SIM-dual standby to enable global markets
- Compliant with ARM TrustZone and GlobalPlatform for system-level security
The BCM23550 is currently sampling with production expected in the third quarter of 2013.