Friday, September 30, 2011

Avago and Skyworks Modules Show Up in Droid Bionic

I like to see the smartphone teardowns for the major new phone introductions to see who the RF/microwave winners are for the high visibility products that will represent significant volume. The latest (long anticipated) smartphone is the Motorola Droid Bionic with market leading specs in many areas. ABI Research (and a few others) have done teardowns and found some interesting findings.

According to ABI Research vice president of engineering James Mielke, “Motorola has mixed some of the latest technology with quite a few components now considered the norm and a few that have not been seen in phones for years.” One of the newer components, the OMAP4430, scored well in performance testing but not quite high enough to top the leaderboard.

Major changes include:

LTE modem designed by Motorola
• A new LTE transceiver from Intel (Infineon)
• An interesting RF configuration supporting more than the advertised CDMA/LTE support
• Transition from Nvidia Tegra II to OMAP4430 application processor

But for us RF folks, the most interesting is the Avago Quad Band GSM/EDGE PA (ACPM-7868) indicated by red arrow and Skyworks 700 MHz LTE PA module (SKY77483) indicated by the red arrow. According to the Avago datasheet, the PA is a linear quad band/multi-mode PA for both GMSK and 8-PSK modulation schemes. There are two amplifier chains, one is to support the GSM850/900 bands and the other is to support the DCS1800/PCS1900 bands.

The LTE RF module is a Skyworks 700 MHz LTE load insensitive PA with an integrated coupler. ABI also noted that there is a ceramic filter which has not been really seen in modern handsets. I am guessing it might be to prevent interference with the many frequency bands near the LTE signals (could be from Trans Tech which Skyworks owns?).

Let me know if you have further information on these parts. Photo courtesy of ABI Research.

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