© nickondr Business | July 30, 2013

The WiFi battles continue……And here comes Qualcomm

The guys from Chipworks have targeted Qualcomm’s RF360 family of RF devices for smart phones and connected tablets.
"These devices promise to be a game changer for Qualcomm as these devices will allow Qualcomm to increase the total number of their own chips in smart and feature phones thus increasing their total overall mobile device revenue", so the reasoning.

While looking for these RF360 family members, the analysts stumbled across another Qualcomm device, the WCN3680 WiFi SoC feature single stream 802.11ac, BT 4.0 and FM. This socket has been historically held by Broadcom with their BCM43xx series WiFi SoC’s. This socket numbers in the hundreds of millions if not billions per year and is a very lucrative socket. Broadcom has been the incumbent now for the better part of three years. "We have seen the likes of Texas Instruments and MediaTek take a shot at winning this socket, but BCM always seems to stay on top."

However, in Samsung’s latest Galaxy Phablet line, the GT-I9205 and the GT-I9200 it is a different story. These phones feature a huge 6.3” screen and Samsung’s Android OS. But they also contains the new Qualcomm WCN3680.

Both the BCM4335 and the WCN3680 feature 802.11 ac, FM and BT 4.0. But the Qualcomm is significantly smaller in die area. The BCM4335 comes in at nearly 26 mm2 and the WCN3680 comes in at 14.4 mm2. Will the reduction in die area (and therefore die cost), and the power of going with an all Qualcomm chipset entice phone OEM’s to think twice about using the tried and true BCM solution, or will they switch over to Qualcomm’s WiFi solution?

More can be found here.


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