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Cincinnatus

Cincinnatus
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  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    Thanks Ashraf. Looks like South Korea, and I just saw something about a release in Singapore pending.
    Aug 21 03:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    "getting a 16nm FinFET with integrated baseband is out of reach for them for at least two+ years."

    Spoke too soon. It'll take them to 2016 just to get a Snapdragon out without integrated baseband on 16nm FinFET. Snapdragon with integrated baseband is 2017 or later.
    Aug 21 01:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    David,
    It's meaningless to say baseband processors are "all analog" or "all digital". If it's a digital baseband processor that's converting analog to digital it contains circuits for handling both.

    Take a look at page 6 of your Qualcomm tutorial.
    http://bit.ly/XCXt2b
    There's a box on the right side "Functions normally included in modem devices such as MSM6050 or MSM6100". That box points to a blue line that surrounds the functional blocks that one finds in a baseband modem. Within that blue box you'll the "ADC circuits" block inside the modem. It's not in the RF transceiver functions, which are within the light and dark purple boxes on the top-left of the slide.

    Qualcomm does put those analog-to-digital circuits within the baseband modem, because they just told you so in that slide. The reason this is important is that going forward Qualcomm is going to have a devil of a time trying to do a Snapdragon apps processor with integrated modem on a FinFET process. I predict just like the Snapdragon 805, that initially, and likely for some time, once Qualcomm transitions to 16/14nm FinFET that they won't be able to do an integrated baseband modem. They'll be doing what they did with the Snapdragon 805, which is require it to be paired with a discrete modem, and that discrete modem will be on 28nm or 20nm planar.

    P.s. Qualcomm said in a November 2013 press release that the Snapdragon 805 was "expected to be available in commercial devices by the first half of 2014." So far I've not seen a commercial device available with the Snapdragon 805 and it's late August. The signs are there that they're devices are already getting too big to manufacture economically, and that's even without an integrated baseband modem. Getting a 20nm device out with integrated baseband is an even bigger challenge, and getting a 16nm FinFET with integrated baseband is out of reach for them for at least two+ years.

    http://bit.ly/1nff2ec
    Aug 21 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    David, here's from your Electronic Design link. Note the first sentence of the second paragraph. I don't know how this can be made more clear. "demodulated by the baseband" and "into digital data" in the baseband modem means it wasn't digital data (i.e. a digital bit stream) until the baseband modem did the analog-to-digital conversion. Your source is correct, you just don't understand what it's telling you.

    "The transceiver converts the received, amplified, and filtered RF signal to modulated I/Q signals, which are demodulated by the baseband. Each transceiver is optimised for the particular frequency, bandwidth, data-rate, and modulation scheme used by the application. In general, today’s devices require multiple transceivers to support the multiple applications deployed on each device.

    The baseband modem converts the transceiver’s modulated I/Q signals into digital data, which it can process and act upon. The baseband runs call control algorithms and sets up any input/output to the device user (i.e., voice, video, data)."
    Aug 21 12:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    David, that Intel link is showing the Rosepoint concept for a digital RF transceiver. So obviously it's going to be showing D/A and A/D converters in the block diagrams. However right now Rosepoint isn't a product, and we're still at the stage where we have separate RF transceivers and baseband modems as separate chips.

    As I pointed out to you previously Intel has a separate XMM 7260 RF transceiver chip to pair with the XMM 7260 baseband modem. It's indicated at the bottom of this fact sheet.

    http://intel.ly/1liCCvQ

    "The XMM™ 7260 RF front end, single chip multi-mode RF transceiver"
    Aug 21 12:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    "Intel showed off a mostly digital transceiver a couple of years ago, but even then it was partially analog and a wifi not cellular radio."

    It is a digital RF transceiver. Again, a digital RF transceiver doesn't mean it's not partially analog, any more than a digital baseband modem means it's not partially analog. The "digital" refers to converting to/from a digital bit stream. Any digital RF transceiver is going to be processing analog.

    The advantage in a digital RF transceiver is you can now combine separate RF transceiver and baseband modem chips into one chip, as well as integrate all of it into an SoC die, which is what Intel showed with the Rosepoint SoC. The end goal is you're now scaling your RF transceiver with your logic process, and enabling more compact mobile and wearable devices.

    "Intel builds 'can't be built' working digital RF transceiver chip"
    http://bit.ly/18qiE5g
    Aug 21 11:39 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    TechResearch, when you used to comment under the "raghunathan78" pseudonym you made the prediction that AMD would have ARM based SoCs in smartphones in 2014. How is that prediction coming along?

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    "For the phone market AMD's ARM based SOCs in 2014 will be suitable."

    TSMC 16nm FinFET Plus is going to be late, just as TSMC announced that 16nm FinFET is delayed to a production start in late 2015 with volume ramp in 2016. Intel will have 14nm Trigate SoCs by the end of 2014 not only in production, but available at retail. Anybody waiting on 16nm FinFET Plus is waiting for a product that will be available in 2H 2016 at best.
    Aug 21 11:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    David,
    The Anandtech figure and description are correct. They didn't just make it up, and you can find other sources for the same info. The problem is you don't understand the basics of what modulation means, or what a modem is.

    http://bit.ly/XCST43
    "Modulation basically is used to convert information (digital bit stream or analog audio signal) in the form that can be physically transmitted over the air or cable."

    http://bit.ly/XCST47
    "The aim of digital modulation is to transfer a digital bit stream over an analog bandpass channel, for example over the public switched telephone network (where a bandpass filter limits the frequency range to 300–3400 Hz), or over a limited radio frequency band."

    So the reason we're speaking of digital baseband modems is not that they don't contain analog, which they do, it's that they're doing modulation/de-modulation on a digital bit stream, as opposed say to an audio signal.

    You're right that the RF transceiver (which is a separate chip), is also analog, but that doesn't mean the modem isn't dealing with analog signals as well.
    Aug 21 10:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    "I don't think Intel is even working on cellular front end."

    What do you mean they're not working on a cellular front end? What is the XMM 7260 RF then?

    http://intel.ly/1liCCvQ
    Aug 20 11:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    "SoFia is supposed to be launched with 3G first and then LTE baseband in H1 2015. BOTH will be fab'd at TSMC. The baseband is all digital."

    Proof? I don't think you understand what baseband modems typically do. Check out the Anandtech link and where the D/A and A/D conversions are done in the figure provided. They're not done in the transceiver.
    Aug 20 11:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    "The baseband is not analog."

    David, this is likely as accurate as your claim that the Snapdragon 805 has integrated baseband. Everything I've read says they do mixed signal processing in the baseband modem. You're free to provide proof of otherwise.

    I'll go with what I've read, such as the following:

    http://bit.ly/17XGGr9
    "I’ve seen people refer to this as digital baseband, baseband processor, and modem interchangeably, it’s the same part they’re referring to. It’s this baseband which, at the end of the day, converts that RF signal into bits for the AP (Application Processor) to deal with."

    I think you're getting confused by the term "digital baseband". It doesn't mean it's all digital, and that it doesn't contain mixed signal processing functions.
    Aug 20 11:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    Saterley, you've got it backwards. Intel has many times in the past outsourced chipsets. If there are technological and economic reasons to do so Intel has done it. For 3G it simply made sense to stay with TSMC 28nm. It would make no sense for Intel to port to 32nm planar - it would have been a waste of time and money. Given the timing of the Infineon acquisition and integrating Infineon, it's perfectly reasonable that they never tried to target 22nm Trigate. Clearly they're targeting 14nm Trigate for 4G LTE, but everybody acknowledges that anybody is going to be challenged trying to do baseband modems on a FinFET process, and if anyone is going to pull it off it will be Intel first and foremost.
    Aug 20 10:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    trader, I thought you had figured out this analog/mixed signal issue on FinFETs?

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    Aug 20 05:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Is Finally At Qualcomm's Doorstep [View article]
    trader, you're right with regards to microcontrollers. Think everything from toaster ovens, microwave ovens, programmable crockpots, and a wide variety of industrial applications. This is a market that TSMC should do well in for a long, long time to come on older process nodes.

    General purpose computing is another universe. It's the defining characteristic of the semiconductor industry over the last 40 years that Intel's general purpose processors have won out over specialist competitors. It's all about massive manufacturing scale. The so-called ARM ecosystem is all about fragmentation among specialist designs targeted at the mobile segment. In the beginning this works, as it has numerous times in the past in other computing segments. But in the end it's going to be about scale and forced consolidation.

    The one enabler that Intel didn't have and has had to work on is the ability to take that massive scale and bolt on external IP for the mobile space. This is something that Intel's been working on a number of years now and we should see evidence of it in Broxton. They'll only get better at it going forward.
    Aug 20 12:55 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel: How Would You Use $50 Billion Of The Best Semiconductor Capacity On Earth? [View article]
    Are you Russell Fish of Venray Technology?

    http://bit.ly/Xv8Uc8
    http://bit.ly/1ldnkbG
    Aug 18 12:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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