Feeds

Qualcomm paints Gobi as WiMAX successor

Rushing in where Intel failed to tread

High performance access to file storage

Chip giant Qualcomm reckons its new Gobi chip will provide the standard connectivity that Intel planned, and failed to deliver, with WiMAX.

Not that the new Gobi3000 incorporates any new networking technology, though it does provide HSPA at twice the download rate of its predecessor while still supporting CDMA and earlier generations of telephony. Rather it enables manufacturers to buy a standard module, from multiple suppliers, which can be dropped into a computing device to provide connectivity anywhere in the world - just like including Wi-Fi, and just what WiMAX was supposed to be.

The other thing about the Gobi3000 is that OEMs won't have to buy it from Qualcomm – modules incorporating the chip will be manufactured by Huawei, Novatel, Option, Sierra Wireless and ZTE. The idea is to make manufacturers more comfortable with embedding cellular networking as a standard feature. Without Gobi the manufacturer has to know where the kit will end up being used, but with Gobi the same module can be dropped into every device and work everywhere.

Which sounds top, but things are about to get a lot more complicated. 3G technologies are already being deployed in newly deregulated frequencies, and 4G networks appearing right across the radio spectrum.

Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm's VP of Cellular, is clear that the challenges of multi-frequency LTE will sort the men from the boys, in terms of their radio-skills, with not all the boys surviving the process. It's not just multiple frequencies that LTE radios will have to cope with, it now looks like we're going to end up with a hodgepodge of time and frequency divided LTE services (the former sending and receiving on the same band, alternately, the latter requiring a pair of frequencies). Chuck in support for today's 3G networks, and 2G legacy support, then add the complexity of handing off between every combination of the above and it's clear things are going to get very complicated indeed.

Which doesn't worry Amon, who reckons the industry can lose a little chaff as the less skilled companies fail to keep up. He anticipates a return to the time when only a handful of companies had the skill to create working radio circuits, and is confident that Qualcomm will be amongst that number. He's probably right, but with increasingly complicated radios the network operators are going to have to start testing handsets properly again - not just rubber stamping them once they're operable on a competitor's network, as that network could be entirely different when we get into 4G technologies.

That's all for the future: Gobi will support LTE at some point, but for the moment it's a 3G chip designed to be dropped into 3G modules which are themselves embedded into consumer electronics for shipping anywhere in the world – a process that Qualcomm is hoping will become standard practice before it becomes a lot harder to do. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.