Broadcom Targets Low-End Smartphones with New LTE Chipsets
Broadcom on Monday announced new high-speed LTE chipsets that target the growing demand for sub-$300 smarpthones.
In a press release, Broadcom said the new turnkey reference platform supports Android KitKat and utilizes the company's pin-to-pin compatible dual-core M320 or upcoming quad-core M340 LTE System on a Chip (SoC).
According to Broadcom, OEMs can develop multiple devices with the same platform design while lowering engineering costs and accelerating time to market. The new chip designs support FDD-LTE and TD-LTE modes and boast 150Mbps LTE radios.
The new chipsets are not commercially available yet, but the company says it is already shipping samples.
The lower-priced smartphone market is booming these days, with entrants like Motorola's Moto G selling for $99 off contract. In an effort to keep prices down, the Moto G only supports 3G. However, a low-cost solution like Broadcom's could make cheaper LTE-capable phones easier to come by.
According to Strategy Analytics, emerging markets are driving sales of low-cost smartphones.
Ken Hyers, of Strategy Analytics pointed out in a blog that TCL-Alcatel, of China, grew 48 percent annually to ship 18.3 million units globally in the fourth quarter of 2013, thus becoming the world’s fifth largest mobile phone vendor for the first time ever during the quarter.
"A portfolio of low-cost smartphones and feature phones in Latin America and Europe is driving the growth," Hyers wrote.