Qualcomm Announces Data Modem Chipset, Capable of 84 Mbps HSPA+ Speeds

Qualcomm, you are on fire today! First we heard about several new chipsets for mobile devices with Krait 28 nm micro-architecture and capable of up to 2.5 GHz speeds, and now we just got word that Qualcomm has now announced a new mobile data modem (MDM) chipset called the MDM8225 which will support HSPA+ release 9.

Release 9 is the fastest tier of speeds currently possible using HSPA+, maxing out at 84 Mbps down and 23 Mbps up. This chipset is primarily aimed at T-Mobile, which is partnering up with Qualcomm to make these speeds possible on T-Mobile’s 4G network. T-Mobile is currently at a max of 21 Mbps speeds, though this number will double to 42 Mbps in the second half of this year. Qualcomm aims to have this chipset ready and working sometime in 2012, with samples available in Q4 of this year.

(pictured above: Qualcomm MDM6600)

The 4G race is getting better and better every day, and it appears that T-Mobile’s goal is to prove it doesn’t need to be the first kid on the block with LTE to be the fastest data network in the US.

One of the keys to making these speeds possible is the use of dual-carrier technology, which means it has to use multiple frequencies at the same time. In this case, it would operate on both T-Mobile’s 1700MHz and 2100 MHz ranges simultaneously.

The MDM8225 chipset will also feature a new Qualcomm Interference Cancellation and Equalization (Q-ICE) receiver, which decreases interference in a cellular network and thus increases overall network capacity to help reduce dropped calls and poor network service.

Press Release:

BARCELONA, Spain – February 14, 2011 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today introduced its newest Mobile Data Modem™ (MDM™) chipset for use in mobile broadband data devices, the MDM8225™. This new MDM will support HSPA+ Release 9, the latest version of the popular mobile broadband standard, which incorporates technology enhancements that help the chipset deliver data rates of up to 84 Mbps on the downlink. The MDM8225 will be fabricated using the 28nm technology node.

“Dual-carrier HSPA+ has proven to be a popular standard with mobile network operators who are now looking to improve their wireless networks’ performance by adopting the latest version of the technology,” said Cristiano Amon, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm. “Qualcomm’s new chipset will allow device OEMs to develop high-performance, low-power and small-form factor devices, such as USB modems or portable WiFi hotspots that take advantage of the higher data rates provided by HSPA+ Release 9. We are excited to be working with T-Mobile USA to deliver 84 Mbps HSPA+ capability in 2012 with the MDM8225.”

“Qualcomm is one of T-Mobile’s key strategic partners that supports our ongoing drive to take the HSPA+ ecosystem to 84 Mbps and beyond,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. “We look forward to continuing to work with Qualcomm to stay at the forefront of wireless innovation with new and compelling 4G devices and services.”

The new chipsets will support HSPA+ MIMO antenna technology simultaneously with HSDPA carrier aggregation on the downlink to deliver higher data rates to users. The dual-carrier HSDPA feature will also support aggregation of carriers from different frequency bands and will give network operators greater flexibility in the use of their allocated radio spectrum to deliver doubled data rates for faster mobile broadband connectivity. Additionally, MDM8225 will support dual-carrier HSUPA operation to double uplink user data rates. The MDM8225 chipsets will support the latest Qualcomm Interference Cancellation & Equalization (Q-ICE) receiver, a feature that removes interference in a cellular network to increase network capacity and enhance the mobile broadband user experience.

The new chipsets will integrate a dedicated processor that will allow OEMs to develop new product classes and services at a lower cost. For example, OEMs will be able to develop WiFi hotspot products without requiring an external application processor. The MDM8225 will pair up with the WTR1605 radio frequency IC and PM8018 power management IC to provide a highly integrated chipset solution.

The MDM8225 chipset will support all major 3GPP radio bands, including the 1800 MHz band. As operators plan to refarm their 1800 MHz spectrum to provide for additional data capacity, the MDM8225 will add to Qualcomm’s family chipsets that will support HSPA+ in the 1800 MHz band.

Samples of the MDM8225 are anticipated to be available in Q4 2011.

Author: Brad Molen

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