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QUALCOMM Thinks Double for New Mobile Chips

QUALCOMM Thursday announced a slew of new chips for next generation cell phones to better handle MP3 playback, streaming video and video telephony. Samples are expected to ship next year.

The San Diego-based wireless giant said its new MSM7000 family will be a dual-CPU architecture with one processor -- one designed for multimode modems and time-sensitive functions, the second as a closely-coupled general purpose processor.

The MSM7000 will support current 3G wireless standards, including CDMA2000 1X/1xEV-DO and WCDMA (UMTS) modes, and are fully compatible with GPRS, GSM and IS-95 standards. New chipsets will also internally support CDMA2000 Revision D, High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), 802.11 and integrated GPS.

The company said its general-purpose side will handle more of the graphics as well as its Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) application environment and third party operating systems.

Based on the ARM11 design, the MSM7000 family is expected to run at processing speeds ranging from 300 MHz to 1GHz, and a new generation of QUALCOMM's high-speed, multi-MAC QDSP5000 Digital Signal Processor . The series will also handle large-format, high-resolution Quarter Video Graphics Array (QVGA) and Video Graphics Array (VGA) displays.

Moving beyond the usual phone capabilities, QUALCOMM said the MSM7000 chipsets could even handle Mobile Display Digital Interface (MDDI) to drive a PowerPoint file on an external display or a video projector from the handset.

"The 7000 series addresses the growing consumer demand for higher- performance wireless devices delivering high-quality audio-visual and 2D/3D gaming, as well as the emerging wireless enterprise data market," QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies president Sanjay Jha said in a statement. "This new family of complete solutions ensures reduced design and development times, stimulating a greater number of affordable, high-end devices to spur mass-market adoption of wireless data services."

Building its existing MSM6000 family, QUALCOMM also announced three new chipsets due out next year. The upcoming products include the MSM6025 chipset, which is designed for data-enabled, entry-level CDMA2000 1X devices; the MSM6700 CDMA2000 1X Revision D chipset and system software; and the MSM6275, which will support HSDPA, a next-generation feature of the WCDMA (UMTS) standard.

Push to Talk
Seeing the popularity of rival technologies like Nextel's Direct Connect walkie-talkie feature, QUALCOMM stepped it up a notch to release its own version.

The company said it has successfully demonstrated push-to-talk (PTT) initial call set-up over CDMA2000 infrastructure and handsets between dormant mobiles, with its QChat technology.

QChat uses voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technologies to enable ubiquitous, efficient and virtually instantaneous PTT functionality on wireless devices based on CDMA2000 and other CDMA 3G networks.

QUALCOMM said it is continuing discussions with CDMA operators outside the United States regarding QChat and to date has signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with two unnamed operators. The company said it expects to announce commercial trials and demonstrations of QChat in the second half of this year.