Qualcomm bringing LTE-A to low-cost phones

Qualcomm bringing LTE-A to low-cost phones

Dylan Bushell-Embling and Stefan Hammond

Chipmaker Qualcomm has unveiled new products aimed at bringing LTE and carrier aggregation functionality to entry-level smartphones as well as tablets.

At an event in Hong Kong, the company announced the Snapdragon 210 processor, a low-cost chip that nevertheless features multimode 3G/LTE and LTE Dual SIM support.

The chip also supports LTE-Advanced Cat 4 CA as well as LTE-Broadcast. It uses a quad-core CPU and Adreno 304 graphics chip capable of delivering full 1080p video playback.

Also on display was the company's first reference design for LTE-equipped tablets, as well as 28nm transceivers optimized to support LTE and LTE-Advanced at the entry and mid-level device tiers.

“The smartphone is an ever-moving target—we must upgrade our roadmap and have something disruptive out there,” said Cristiano Amon, EVP, Qualcomm, and co-president, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, said at the event. Cristiano said the Snapdragon 210 would be sub-$100, the world's first LTE chipset at that price-point.

“We've focused on 4G for years,” said the Qualcomm EVP. “If you believe that the entry-level market will benefit from 4G, we have a good position.”

He described his firm's investment in LTE as “early and pervasive,” and predicted that wearables, automotive devices and the IoE would bring an “increasing cadence of new products.”