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Broadcom Creates Integrated Android ICS Chips

March 1, 2012

Broadcom is flexing its semiconductor muscles as it makes an entrance to the increasingly competitive SoC business. The company has just introduced the BCM 21654G, BCM28145 and 28155 processors – all optimized for smartphones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The first is the BCM21654G chip that is designed for mid-end smartphones with its 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, integrated HSPA modem and VGA video support. The next two, BCM28145 and 28155, come with dual-core processors that go as high as 1.3GHz, HSPA+ modems and support for HD 720 and 1080p video. The dual-core variants also come with a “third processing core” dubbed as the VideoCore, which helps offload the application process when playing HD video, and Image Signal Processor chip that supports up to 42-MP camera.

Handset OEMs can make use of the BCM4334 combo chip offered by the platform that enables simultaneous Internet connectivity, support for WiFi Direct and WiFi Display, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Included in the platforms is GNSS solution that supports both GPS and GLONASS. The platforms also come with low-power NFC chip that supports secure mobile payments and other innovative applications of the technology. Those who like to keep their professional and personal life separate would welcome the fact that the platforms support active dual-SIM capability.

With smartphones sales forecasted to hit 3.8 billion units in 2017, as per ABI Research, it’s not a wonder how the industry has attracted more players to dip their toes in. Earlier in the week, Huawei announced to the world it has decided to fly solo and use the company’s own branding of K3 processor for its latest Android phones. Samsung is also known to use proprietary processor every now and then for its Galaxy line-ups. With NVIDIA and Qualcomm dominating the Android scene, having an industry veteran such as Broadcom jumping into the SoC game makes it an even more interesting race to watch.