Qualcomm cracks the LTE code, phones that could work on Verizon, AT&T and Clearwire 4G coming by year-end

Qualcomm cracks the LTE code, phones that could work on Verizon, AT&T and Clearwire 4G coming by year-end
The almighty Qualcomm revealed it is working on an LTE radio chip that will support three frequencies below 1GHz, three above, and one in the high range, like Clearwire's upcoming 2.5GHz 4G network.

This will eventually solve the interoperability problem of the US LTE operators, but the worldwide carriers are using a lot more and different spectrum bands for LTE, so the new radio won't be a global 4G cure-all.

The chip that can support 7 LTE frequencies in total is with the MSM8960 design and will be done with the 28nm process, of course, ensuring lower power consumption. Qualcomm said these radios will be shipping to customers in July, and phones with them are likely to appear by year-end. 

Surprisingly, the chip maker also said it is against an FCC mandate for LTE interoperability, and that the government should let the free market decide which bands to pair, now that there is a chip that can cover so many different network scenarios:



1. Xperia42

Posts: 60; Member since: May 30, 2012

That's cool!


Posts: 1461; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

This should help Sprint with their 850 1900 and 2500 LTE frequencies am I correct.

9. theoak

Posts: 324; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

2500 is Clearwire ... which Sprint owns something like 54% of. This is where WiMAX runs now. Unfortunately 2500 does not have the greatest building penetration. Either way though ... this is great news for Clearwire when their LTE turns on next year with the gobs of nationwide spectrum that they have.

38. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Clearwire's LTE network will be based on TD-LTE technology, not FD-LTE like the current carriers (At&T, Sprint & Verizon) have. TD-LTE is interoperable with FD-LTE and is also MUCH better at building penetration in high requencies such as 2500 used by Clear. So, from what I have read, it won't be a problem.

3. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I think the real reason they dont want the mandate to go through is that they might be forced to FRAND out their LTE signal tech, which is the main reason the Crapdragon chips sell at all.. If Nvidia, Samsung, and TI all had access to the same radio tech, many manufacturers would go with them over Qualcomm for chips... as proven by the constant need to switch chips to qualcomm when bringing a phone to america. Great for the consumer, bad for QC.

4. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

Qualcomm is showing that it's ahead of the curve. Their dual core S4 processor performs very closely with the quad exynos, therefore it is fair to say any outperformance by the other chip manufactures will be short lived as their products continue to improve. You will say Crapdragon no more.

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the S4 crapdragon is nowhere near the 4412 when the Vsync FPS limiter is off. Its not ahead of the curve, it owns the LTE curve, which is again why they DONT want to share the tech. If it gets mandated, it will probably get mandated that they have to share the tech. If that happens, their sales of CRAPDRAGON chips will sink. The ONLY reason crapdragon sells so much is because other chips cant do on board LTE or HSPA+42mb and crapdragon can. dont tell me what i will and wont say. Once crapdragon can beat exynos or TI in a full on head to head fight with the SAME generation chipsets, then I will stop calling it crapdragon... and not a moment before.

7. poddey

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Yeah but Samsung is also moving to an A15 based CPU with only 2 cores with the the Exynos 5 whereas Qualcomm have already brought that to market with their S4. However, the E5 will be made using 32nm process instead of 28nm for the S4.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

qualcomm DOES NOT use an A15. They SAY its an "A15 equivilant" which is just marketing mumbo jumbo. In reality its an A9+. It barely edges out the 40nm T3, and doesnt even come close to the 32nm Exynos 4412 when the gloves are off. When the Pro version comes out, it will be much stronger, but spec to spec its still not as strong as the Exynos 5250 with mali600. If the American SGS3 was coming with the S4 pro with Adreno 3xx , I wouldnt be complaining. The worst part about the regular S4 isnt the chip itself, its the lackluster and under-performing Adreno 225 chip that comes with it, thats still not as strong as last year's GPU offerings.

29. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

LOL... There's no arguing with Remix. It's like arguing with Taco. Only more rational and with better grammar. Either way, here's a comparison for all of you of the current generation of chips. http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9300_galaxy_s_iii-review-761p5.php Benchmarks including the One S with S4 of course, SGS3 & One X with Exynos/T3 & S4 and iPad/iPhone for comparisons of CPU & GPU processing performance.

33. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

oh, you can argue with me, but you need to come up with hard facts. Im no stranger to changing my mind or being wrong. But I dont back down until proven that way. Here is my go to for specs comparisons between the chips for this moment in time: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5810/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-performance-preview If you look, the only time that the scores on most tests are close is when the GPU is FPS capped like in vellamo and a few others. When they are uncapped (offscreen), the SGS3 runs circles around them. In real life, most apps and games are uncapped. ALL the chips these days are strong. But when I speak, I speak in pure comparison between chip generations. Its not fanboyism or favortism. It purely is what it is. Poddey seems to be the only one that has figured that out. And for pure reference, check out the OneX international and OneX ATT versions on that test for a pure chip to chip comparison of the S4 and T3.. since all things are exactly the same otherwise.

36. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Meh, I used to go to Anand for all things cpu/gpu related but they've gone the way of CNet in quite a few of their reviews so I haven't visited them in quite a while. There's no denying that Exynos would trump the S4 though, but S4 is no slouch either. Worst factor to that equation is that damned Adreno GPU, even with 28nm architecture, and there are some things that quad will always excel at better than dual. They could've used some of that die shrink to beef up the Adreno GPU as that's what Samsung clearly did with the Mali-400, but I suppose that's what Adreno 320 will bring. As far as raw, uncapped performance, I'm not too much concerned with it at this point with as powerful as mobile processing is getting. I was more disappointed with the fact that this iteration of Exynos wasn't going to have an integrated LTE radio.

8. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

once again ypu dont know what you are talkung about. the IT chipset has alway been very close to the snapdragon. Please show me proof that the TI beat the S3 by a large number

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

go look it up yourself. its widely available. in the last generation it was exynos> OMAP > T2 > crapdragon S3. Are you really so in love with qualcomm your fighting well known year old stats? give it up child.

15. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

again you have no proof and just say what you want to hear. I ask for proof but you give me nothing, it us funny because when ever anyone call you out one anything you ask for proof, but anyone else say something you backpadel and ask us to do it overself. I am not in love with a chipset or have a hatred for one. The fact that my 3D with stock HTC kernel score higher then nexus with ics and rlsony does too show that in fact they are even for the most part

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

no fool, the proof is all over the place. You want to argue over something that was settled last year. So go find last year's tests, and get to it. I have no interest in having the same conversation over and over again. If u want someone to have the same argument over and over again, go talk to taco.

22. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Actually, it goes: Exynos>Snapdragon>OMAP>T2. I've videos of devices that have single core processors clocked under 1GHz beat a similar device with a T2.

13. tomn1ce

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

You just shot yourself on the foot. If Qualcomm can make the chip compatible with LTE that suggest that they are ahead of the curve like dcgore pointed out.

14. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

it suggests nothing. did you not read my comment before commenting on it? Radios and Chips are 2 seperate issues. They OWN the radio tech market. And they dont want to share. Did you ever stop to wonder WHY No one else can get American LTE on their chips? QC owns the tech and refuses to licence it. It is the anchor that forces manufacturers to use Crapdragon chips. Do you really think HTC WANTED to make 2 versions of the OneX? Obviously they wanted it to have the T3 in it, or they wouldnt have made the international version with the T3 instead of the S4. Do u think Samsung wants to trade out the exynos for the S4 in the SGS3?? Stop and think for a moment how many phones have to have their chips switched out to work in America and other LTE heavy places. The vast majority of the top end phones (by sales, not individual designs) have a chip switch. Manufacturers DONT WANT to chip switch.. especially Samsung. It forces them to use other's products and pay more than they do for designing their own exynos chips. Manufacturers DONT have a choice right now. If you read the article, it says multiple times about how qualcomm is fighting this type of tech to become a legislated standard. If that happens, they will more than likely be forced to FRAND out their radio tech, which loses them a HUGE edge on people buying crapdragon chips. Good for us, bad for them.

16. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

They don't own any the patent for lte so how are they cornering the market it is other chipmakers fault

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

they are the ONLY ones that have gotten LTE ON the SoC. That is their tech. no one else has made it work properly without stepping on their patents for that. Is it really so hard for you?

20. dcgore

Posts: 234; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

Remixfa, let me try get this. QC is the only one who has been able to get LTE on the SoC, because of this they own the patents. If this is the case, how is it that they aren't ahead of the curve?

26. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

in RADIO tech, I've said multiple times in this thread that they OWN the curve.. they ARE the curve. Radios are QC's bread and butter.. always have been... long before the crapdragon came out. However, that does not translate to processor power. That curve belongs to Samsung for the time being.

30. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

the Nexus has an TI 4460 with LTE. The other chipset can have non-integrated LTE modern if they want too. Is that really so hard for you to understand?

47. Joshua9007

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

I will point out that price has more to do with what chip they use for their international phones. If they were able to get the chips at the same price, they might have had the S4 in the international versions, but since they don't need them outside the US, why pay more. I agree that Qualcomm is basically forcing these manufacturers to use their chips right now because they want to have LTE products for sale now and not wait to develop around qualcomm. I always feel that competition makes better products, so I am not happy that they are doing this, but I feel that it won't last. Samsung would much rather make their own processors, but in the interest of releasing the GS3 in time to compete with the One X (and other competitors) they opted to just use the S4 chip. I will be interested in seeing how the new qualcomm 7 frequency LTE radio with the 28nm process will be integrated in the new iPhone5, as they use samsung to manufacture the phones. This will probably be the way that most of the new LTE phones operate in the future. And for my 2 cents: I want a phone that works well from the time I buy it to the time it is up for upgrade. I don't care what processor it has as long is its able to handle my daily multi-tasking usage without slowing down or crapping out. I would say that most of the mainstream customers agree with me. It's only nerds trying to overcompensate for something where a slightly better score matters. I don't care if it can pull 100 frames per second off screen... I'm just wanting to watch a movie, as long as it is smooth, I'm happy.

19. sniper1087

Posts: 537; Member since: Dec 31, 2011

you are aware that exynos is quad core and S4 is dual core right?, compare it with Snapdragon quad core vs exynos quad core and you will see the difference.

21. poddey

Posts: 77; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

He is only interested in raw performance figures (evidence: he just compared the S4 to the quad core T3 and concluded that the S4 only barely edges out the T3 like its a bad thing even though the S4 is 'only' a dual core). remixfa you're right the S4 is handicapped by the Adreno GPU. The Mali is what is saving the Exynos' bacon right now. :)

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the Mali is the big difference. In pure CPU clock numbers, the Exynos still edges out the S4, but its not nearly as much of a difference as the GPU side of things. There are some things like multithreading that are handled better on quad cores than they are on dual cores, no matter what people tell you. That video window feature of the SGS3? Thats something I'm going to be paying close attention to when the American SGS3 gets reviewed, since thats a heavy multithread application that hasnt been attempted on a dual core SoC yet. stuff like that is going to weigh heavily on which version I buy. Thats why they added more RAM to the american version to try to bypass some of the power deficiencies of the S4 chip.

31. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

proof please

39. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

That video window feature app in the SGS3 is called Super Video, its available free in the Play Store and runs just fine on the EVO 4G LTE with other running tasks, no lag at all.

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