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Qualcomm chipset to cut handset cost

August 23, 2006 11:57 IST

In a move that would help lower handset prices below the present $40-45 range, CDMA technology developer Qualcomm is working towards rolling out a chipset that would soon be available for commercial use.

The introduction is under the CDMA developer's effort to provide ultra low cost handsets across the emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India & China among others.

"We already have the technology and it can be offered to original equipment manufacturers. This would enable in increasing telephony penetration as total cost of voice services would come down, while the operators would be able to provide services without compromising on quality," Qualcomm India Director (Product Technologies) Vishal Gupta told Business Standard on Tuesday.

However, the rolling out of the chipsets will depend on the telecom manufacturers, as Qualcomm is a chip-designer and not a manufacturer.

This would be a single chipset, like the Qualcomm Single Chip and would help OEMs in reducing the cost per handset due to the reduction in numbers of the chipsets.

This would enable in cutting down the size of the handset, in turn, resulting in huge manufacturing costs, he said.

The new chipset would be stripped of certain features that are not required for entry-level users, like colour display support and other high-end capabilities. However, it will support polyphonic ringtones and data operations that are normally supported by a entry-level phone.

Qualcomm would also roll out its QSC, another single chipset, for mobile phones by the end of the year. Normal cell phones has four chipsets in it that performs various functions, and reducing the number of these chipsets helps in saving of silicon and, in turn, reduction of prices.

The QSC would also enable companies to shrink costs and size of the handsets, with company claiming it to be slimmer than an iPod nano.
Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai