A Look at ST-Ericsson's THOR M7450 Category 4 LTE Modem with Carrier Aggregationby Brian Klug on February 26, 2013 4:39 AM EST
Earlier this morning we stopped by ST-Ericsson to talk about their SoCs and modem platforms, and took a look at their new Thor M7450 baseband which includes both support for 10 MHz + 10 MHz carrier aggregation to realize full category 3 and 4 speeds, and of course category 4 support. M7450 is built on a 28nm LP bulk process, though I'm told that there will be future parts also supporting FD-SOI similar to the new L8580. This is the same IP block integrated into ST-E's L8580 SoC, and includes support for both TDD and FDD LTE alongside WCDMA/HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and GSM, all the 3GPP suite. ST-E believes its modem architecture in M7450 is very different from traditional designs, as it leans more towards being an SDR than most.
We had a chance to see M7450 demonstrating both UE Category 4 speeds and carrier aggregation on a number of different band combinations, interestingly enough 4 + 17 (AT&T), 4 + 13 (VZW), and 2 + 17 (AT&T) in addition to a few others. M7450 of course supports 5+10 and 5+5 aggregation as well.
Anand and I also got a chance to check out M7450 doing a VoLTE voice over IMS call running AMR-WB on the platform, which touts power consumption on a VoLTE call at levels equal to or less than a WCDMA call. There was a visualization showing the platform performance on the current VoLTE call versus WCDMA (for the same platform) which was at the same level or below basically the entire time. M7450 is currently sampling and expected to be in devices by the end of the year.