[svlug] 3G for smartphones has "monstrous patent issues"

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Apr 6 17:18:25 PDT 2009

Chris wrote:

> I thought they based their reference design on some gps unit they
> added a radio to. It had a lot of electronics that could have been
> combined in a modern system on chip (like the msm7k on the g-1) so
> reworking the board could have just been too costly when compared to
> starting anew.

I'm kinda out of my depth on cell-phone ASICs, but FWIW the GSM-related
(including GPRS) circuitry consists of a TI "Calypso"-family D751992AZHH 
ASIC, a TI TWL3014 analogue baseband chip, and a TI TRF6151 RF
transceiver chip.

> So in my mind mechanicals don't justify a wholesale, or even retail, 
> of 500$.

Yeah, I honestly have no idea what's going on with that -- but, just to  
be clear, they weren't _proposing_ a price like that, just saying they 
wanted to avoid one.  The firm's only sporadically informative to
outsiders about its doings, and I just don't follow them very closely. 
It looks like Raster does, though, so I might ask him.

Anyway, I do welcome their working to make the current FreeRunner
hardware's software build a bit better, as their immediate priority.  On
the other hand, it sounds from the current LWN discussion as if there
are current builds with reliable suspend/resume, which is the main thing
it needs:  http://lwn.net/Articles/327405/#Comments

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