POST A COMMENT

39 Comments

Back to Article

  • drexnx - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    I find it unusual that Intel, who has a generational process advantage in its foundry division, is subbing fabrication on these out to TSMC? Reply
  • Egg - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    "The transition of modem to Intel Architecture (away from two different DSP architectures) also remains to be seen, and I'm told it will be two to three years before Intel's modems are ready to intercept the Intel fabrication roadmap and get built on Intel silicon instead of at TSMC. Either way I’m glad Intel Mobile Comms is being much louder about its modem strategy."

    I'm not 100% sure what this means, but I think the gist of it is that right now it's easier to fab at TSMC (I'm guessing that's what Infineon was using before?) than at Intel.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    You pretty much nailed it. Existing Infineon IP was always fabbed at TSMC, so it continues to be. It takes a lot of engineering time and resources to port to another process entirely, but what has changed is SoC process coming earlier at Intel to make porting to it happen faster. 2-3 years is still a lot until we see that happen, and yes the immediate Intel modem roadmap is still at TSMC.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • tuxfool - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    It should be noted that the fabrication processes for digital and RF are quite different. Analogue design requires different elements, with much more attention paid to noise, gain etc. I gather intel has Fabs capable of producing RF silicon, but those I imagine don't have much of a process lead vs. the competition... Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    Interestingly enough, Intel claims it doesn't use the RF libraries for its transceivers, (which include the caps and magnetics) since they're expensive. Instead they design around them and just use the normal libraries.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • tuxfool - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I always thought that was their endgame. It was on this site that I read about their desire to wean themselves off analogue RF libraries, but they weren't quite there yet. Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - link

    All intel fabs produce both logic and analog devices, even the D1D/D1X R&D facility. The problem here is that you would have to literally redesign the entire IC from the ground up for an intel process as opposed to just running it on the process it was designed for at TSMC. Reply
  • YawningAngel - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    My guess is it's a time-to-market issue. Intel still doesn't have any major SoC wins (if we ignore the as-yet-unreleased Galaxy Tab 3), and isn't likely to get many until they can ship an SoC with an LTE modem; they're not cheap enough to compete at the low end, and LTE is expected at the high end. This being the case, I imagine Intel would rather spend resources on getting the features their modem needs to score design wins now and worry about process optimization later; an imperfect part now is more valuable to them than a much more power efficient one that they can't ship for two years. Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    The integration of LTE in the Soc is not a concern. Frankly speaking Intel doesn't need of Merrifield so much. All the top selling phones have not LTE integrated on Soc, they have a discrete modem and a Snapdragon with the build in modem disabled or absent. Qualcomm too says that only selected Socs have LTE on Soc... for the simple reason OEMs do not want them, likely cause the lower performance of the integrated hardware.
    Intel main goal is to have the LTE modem, now has it and it seems pretty good indeed.
    I pretty believe Intel will ship to phone markers baytrail Z series with XMM7160 in bundle; this sounds good because Qualcomm is doing the same thing right now.
    Finally some serious competition against Qualcomm monopolistic behaviour
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    > Finally some serious competition against Qualcomm monopolistic behaviour

    Now now, no need to bash... Its not Qualcomm's fault everyone else rushed very hot A15 cores instead of properly designing a tailor-made ARMv7 implementation for the target markets... It's called a design win for a reason....
    Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    No, the real winner is the Soc+LTE modem bundle, trust me.
    The discount is HUGE
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    >Qualcomm too says that only selected Socs have LTE on Soc... for the simple reason OEMs do not want them, likely cause the lower performance of the integrated hardware.
    You got links to back that up? Because everybody else says the opposite, on SoC LTE is a major selling point for Qualcomm
    Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Maybe u need to read some reviews on this site....or if you prefer go to Qualcomm site and read well the hidden lines.
    Anyway Galaxy S4 has discrete modem,Galaxy Note has discrete modem, HTC ONE has discrete modem, Nexus has discrete modem......emmm Iphone 5 has discrete modem...and a bunch of other best selling phones.
    An integrate modem is a damnation in this moment, LTE is only at the beginning and every country has its own standards. Only a discete full feature modem can manage this situation.

    Moreover many top phone manufacturers are going to proprietary Soc solutions next year, slowly leaving Qualcomm away for economic reasons.
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I think Galaxy S4 and HTC ONE use seperate LTE chip because Snapdragon 600 has only LTE cat 3 built in. Snapdragon 800 has LTE cat 4. If you look at all the new phones with the 800 they all have the msm8974 chip - that's the version with LTE. Now, if they were'nt going to use the LTE they would be using the MSM8074 chip Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    No, a phone can not manage all that bandwidth, it's useless........it is only a new feature to satisfy the gadget desire of some peoples. Moreover very hardly the carriers will are able to give that connection speed at this level of congestion in the cells. Cat.3 is well enough for all present and future applications.
    About the new phones, we'll see :) i haven't seen a serious review yet, only some preview on tablets....nothing more. I have LTE Cat.3 on my PC thanxs to a fast usb cellular modem, still the carrier isn't able to give me the contractual bandwidth, why?? One thing is theory, another one the pratice.
    Snap 800 is a little compressed in a phone, likely the power constrains of the designs will give a major hurt on available performance.
    Anyway.....Galaxy S5 will have a proprietary Soc, with a discrete modem.
    Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Galaxy S4 has MDM9x15 that is Cat.3 :), HTC One too. Reply
  • YawningAngel - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    If it's not a concern, why did Motorola not just ship a Razr i in the US? I'm fairly sure there's a reason that Medfield only found its way into non-LTE markets. Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Intel had not an LTE modem for Razr, simple and plain.
    Now has it....finally.
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    One thing I don't understand is why didn't Intel just use a LTE chip made by some other company?
    Apple's SoCs work with a LTE chip not made by Apple, so why are Intel SoCs are only compatible with Intel LTE chips?
    Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Marketing ??? Can you image an Intel Soc paired with a Qualcomm modem and transceiver??? Reply
  • drexnx - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    if Moto really wanted the RAZR i to have LTE, they could have used their homegrown LTE chipset, the "Wrigley" Reply
  • SunLord - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Just imagine how much less power a modem built and optimized for Intel's 22nm process could of been when compared to everyone else if they actually had one to ship today... Instead by the time Intel transitions to inhouse the industry should be mostly caught up. It also unlikely intel will have the spare fab capacity to able to use say 14nm or even 10 nm for modems until several years into the it's life cycle... Reply
  • iwodo - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    People should finally learn, Intel is only good, or the best at designing and Fabbing High Performance Desktop / Notebook Processors. Designing and Fabbing Low Power SoC, RF, and many other sorts of things are VERY different.

    Intel is still playing catch up, even with Intel's resources they will still need a year or two. And their competitors ( Qualcomm ) aren't standing still either.
    Reply
  • gilgaroth - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    The main difference between desktop and notebook processors are the transistor types employed. SoC's use lower power transistors but also require more integration. RF requires more analog circuitry but still employs plenty of transistors. Bottom line, they all need transistors, and Intel makes the best transistors around. Yes, they're playing catch up, but it's not fair to say these things are all completely different. Reply
  • Gondalf - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Ummm Qualcomm is in a bad situation now.
    At least in designing Low Power Soc it seems has lost the war definitively.
    Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    You guys are on a quest to push all Intel all the time.Every few days now Intel talks something. There is no shame anymore. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    It's funny, I'm pushing Qualcomm when I write about their modem announcements, I'm pushing NVIDIA when I write about their modem announcements, and I'm pushing Intel when I write about their modem announcements, so which is it? :P

    Spoiler: none of the above.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    In that case it's obvious you're an AMD shill when not being an iFan. Reply
  • Mondozai - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    He doesn't personally acuse you, Brian, but that last interview was essentially an Intel puffpiece/promotion.
    Which is why he said "you guys" as in "this site". But I still think he's wrong since he ties this story into that interview while I see them as two different kinds of stories. One is a PR/puffpiece, this one is just straight reporting.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    The context of the videos were that it was an on the record version of the conversation we had at MWC.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I still LOVE your lament on the last podcast "Stop lying to meeee...". Its a sentiment I share too, and tbh, the traditional PC vendors are quite a lot more open than most of the mobile people... Compare Intel, and to a lesser extent Nvidia to the mobile guys like Samsung and MediaTek... I guess one set of companies have learnt from the years of abuse journalists heaped on them... Reply
  • gilgaroth - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Not true. You're the one with no shame, accusing a neutral and informative article of bias. Hell, all the components here are even made by another manufacturer ... Reply
  • BMNify - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    Correction: It is Nokia Asha not Aisha. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    Oops, fixed.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • gilgaroth - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    This is pretty shocking to see 2-3 years until 4G manufacturing by Intel. It's perfectly understandable, but still seems practically sacrilegious. They were further behind on this than I thought.

    On the other hand, I guess the scaling advantage really doesn't matter as much until they go all digital radio, where it will really make the difference.
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Okay, no. There have been a bunch of uninformative fluff videos about Intel lately. This makes you look biased.

    I'm sure it's not completely intentional, but that's how it appears to many readers.
    Reply
  • gilgaroth - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I'm just curious who are these "many readers" you speak of? Are you sitting around a table with 10 other guys looking at AnandTech and moaning all together at the same time? Reply
  • lefty2 - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I was just thinking, maybe this is the reason Intel bought Fujitsu's wireless, because Infineon aren't able to get LTE working on 22nm Reply
  • SydneyBlue120d - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I wonder if we will ever see the the "digital radio" (AKA Intel Rosepoint platform) for LTE modems, what do You think? Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now