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Broadcom Unveils Affordable Android Processor

Dual-core chip aims to bring advanced applications to low-cost, mainstream smartphones.

Broadcom has released a dual-core processor with HSDPA modem- and Android-ready capabilities aimed at helping create a new generation of affordable smartphone designs.

The BCM2157, announced Tuesday, contains proven mature technologies, Broadcom said, indicating that the new device is primarily distinguished by its low price point that will bring advanced smartphone applications to a wide range of global users.

"We've maximized the functionality of our new Android-processing baseband platform to enable our partners to deliver the most popular features in more affordable designs," said Scott Bibaud, executive VP & general manager of Broadcom's mobile platforms group.

Based on dual-core ARM processors with 500-MHz processing, the BCM2157 includes Wi-Fi capability, multi-touch screens, 5-megapixel digital camera capability, dual SIM card slots, and other advanced features normally associated with more expensive smartphones. The firm did not release precise pricing details, other than to say the new platform is "affordable" and will contain features that "will help handset makers drive these features to a larger tier of users."

The processor's 3G HSDPA modem features 7.2-Mbps downstream connectivity and the device's mobile hotspot functionality will enable users to connect simultaneously with as many as eight devices via Wi-Fi.

Broadcom said the device has been sampling to early access customers, who are expected to launch smartphones commercially in the first quarter of 2011. That timetable means new handsets based on the BCM2157 could be introduced during the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

In another announcement Tuesday, Broadcom said it is sampling an ultra-high performance, dual high-definition, set-top box, system-on-a-chip video gateway solution. The BCM7422 combines a 1.3-GHz MIPS processor with several popular video standards and features full HD 3D TV that helps enable video gateways with streaming IP video.


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