Nuviphone - who is inside?

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Nuviphone has stirred my curiosity on one other front - the silicon inside the phone. The question I am itching to know - whose chipset forms the basis for the phone? Who is to the Nuviphone what Infineon is to the iPhone?

This also gives rise to other related questions like-
  • Who is the GPS chip provider?
  • Who provides bluetooth and WiFi capabilities for the phone? Is this a single-chip solution?
  • Whose chip does the phone use for touch-screen controls?
As an open fan of Qualcomm's engineering leadership, I like to look at the Snapdragon platform as the panacea for all integration woes and perhaps the heart of the Nuviphone. Here is an excerpt from my July 07 integration article -

"Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform has 3G cellular capability along with GPS functionalities. Plans are on to incorporate WLAN and blue-tooth into this platform. The company is already pitching this as the ultimate dream-solution for any dream-phone. The idea is fairly clear, provide to the phone manufacturers, this all-in-all solution at a cost they cannot resist."
The diagram above seems to illustrate everything that QCOM's all-in-all chipset has to offer. What is more, this is a superset of features that the Nuviphone advertises. The QSD8250 platform supports HSDPA, is GPS, WiFi and bluetooth capable. The GPS and bluetooth will come from its Snaptrack and RFMD bluetooth acquisition respectively. I am, however, not sure if the WiFi capabilities will come from Airgo, or if it is using the mobile WLAN players to reduce the time-to-market. Besides, the platform has a 1 GHz ARM-based processor and a 600 MHz DSP processor that will together make the phone a true mean machine. The chipsets are already shipping to customers. HTC seems to be one of its customers.

As far as the Snapdragon matching the Nuviphone's needs, I do not have visibility into the OS requirements for Garmin. The Nuviphone runs on Garmin's proprietary OS. The literature suggests that the Snapdragon is customizable for Windows mobile and Linux. I am guessing that if need be, writing the drivers for a new OS may not be an issue for QCOM.

Well, that is just my wishful thinking for the moment. I want the Nuviphone to be a great phone and cannot think of a better partner than QCOM for the venture.

Posted by Vijay Nagarajan at 7:00 PM  


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