Qualcomm Unveils Next Generation Gobi Chips That Could be Used in 4G LTE iPhone & iPad

BY Jason

Published 22 Feb 2012

Qualcomm today unveiled the launch of its fifth generation Gobi embedded data connectivity reference platform for mobile devices, which supports multiple LTE bands with backwards compatibility to existing 2G/3G technologies.

Qualcomm announced:

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced its fifth generation Gobi™ embedded data connectivity reference platform for mobile devices, including thin form factor laptops, tablets and convertibles. Based on Qualcomm’s Gobi 4G LTE wireless baseband modems, the MDM9615™ and MDM9215™, the technology delivers fast LTE connectivity on FDD and TDD networks worldwide, with backwards compatibility to both HSPA+ and EV-DO networks. This will allow support for regional LTE frequencies with backwards compatibility to existing 2G/3G technologies, allowing Gobi 4G LTE devices to connect to the faster LTE network locally and stay connected to the Internet globally on 3G networks worldwide. 

Qualcomm’s latest Gobi 4G LTE connectivity reference platform includes embedded GPS capability and features an application programming interface (API) with LTE extensions, which is compatible with leading connectivity standards, including CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B, HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and LTE, with integrated backwards compatibility to HSPA and EV-DO. 

There were some rumors last year that claimed that Apple’s fifth generation iPhone (iPhone 4S) will support 4G LTE networks. However, industry experts had pointed out that it was highly unlikely as Apple was looking for a solution where chips support 4G and 3G/2G on a single chip so that the 4G LTE iPhone is as thin or thinner than iPhone 4 and it doesn’t consume too much battery life. The chips that would meet Apple’s requirement were expected to be available only in 2012.

Apple executives had also indicated that they’re not willing to take a lot of design compromises, which are enforced by the last generation 4G LTE chipsets.

With the launch of Qualcomm’s fifth generation Gobi chips, 4G LTE iPhones and iPads in 2012 now becomes quite a distinct possibility. We won’t have to wait too long as Apple is expected to unveil iPad 3 – their highly anticipated third generation iPad on March 7th, which will give us a glimpse of what to expect in the next iPhone.