Monday, April 14, 2008

iPhone 3G

There were a lot of rumors about 3G iPhone. Now, in the latest beta firmware, Zibri has found a proof of 3G chipset in the design. In the current design, the GSM/EDGE chipset comes from Infineon: SGOLD2 (PMB8876). In the code found by Zibri, there is a trace of a SGOLD3 chip.

The SGOLD3 comes in two flavours: PMB8877, an GSM/EDGE chip, and the more powerful 3G HSDPA SGOLD3H PMB8878. All people likes to see the SGOLD3H as the 3G solution, pointed by the code. There is no need to change to the SGOLD3 PMB8877 because the new features are not used by the iPhone, with its own multimedia Samsung processor. That's why I think that the SGOLD3H could be the chip in the already coming (June) 3G iPhone.

I think that all the delay in the launch of the 3G iPhone was related to power consumption and battery life. The iPhone has a lot of processors inside to make it modular and fast to market, but that leads to power hungry designs. It is not the best possible design. With 3G, it is even worse. It seems that the solution comes from the display and the 3G iPhone will come with an OLED display, that consume less power than conventional TFTs, and Apple has finally get the correct numbers.

Nowadays, hardware designs are more modular, and less optimized. It is the same that happened to software design a lot of years before. To get to market on time with complex design we relay in already working modules. That leads to big, plenty of processors, power hungry designs. Continuous improvement in circuit integration makes that work, the same way that continuously more power hardware computers make possible to use non optimized software in the past.

The important thing is to get to maket on time, but sometimes it is not so easy, and the long road could lead you to destiny first.