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Return to high pass 5g baseband! Will the iPhone 12 signal get better

via:驱动之家     time:2020/10/15 15:41:03     readed:289

After the release of the iPhone 12, many netizens thought it was not too innovative. In fact, the A14 bionic chip and 5g support are the biggest highlights of the iPhone 12.


A14 bionic chip was unveiled at the September launch iPad, And this time, Apple also calls it another milestone in iPhone history. A14 is the world's first mobile phone chip with a five - nm process, Integration of 11.8 billion transistors, New 6-core CPU and Apple's latest 4-core GPU, are introduced Running speed and image processing speed are increased by 50. Compared to competitors' smartphones, iPhone 12 CPU and GPU are the fastest.

The performance and strength of A14 bionic chip can be intuitively obtained according to the running points. What about the 5g level of iPhone 12?

How about Apple's first 5g mobile phone?

IPhone supports 3G, 4G and 5g for about a year later

In June 2008, Apple launched its first 3G mobile phone, the iPhone 3G, but in June 2007, there were 200 million 3G users worldwide. According to GSA data, 190 3G networks covered 40 countries and regions in December 2007.

In September 2012, Apple's first 4G mobile phone iPhone 5 was launched. In April of the same year, Samsung launched the first 4G LTE mobile phone Galaxy S Aviator before apple. Looking back, HTC Evo 4G, the world's first 4G mobile phone, was launched in June 2010.

In October 2020, Apple's first 5g mobile phone was launched, and its competitors, Huawei, Samsung, oppo, vivo, etc., have been competing to sell 5g phones in 2019.


So neither from 3 G to 4 G, nor from 4 to 5 are the first apples

At night, consumers who dare to try first test the water, the market's first five G of mobile phone shortcomings gradually revealed, short life, signal instability, frequency band is exposed

iPhone12 are mobile phones that currently support up to G 5 bands

Arun Mathias, vice president of Apple's wireless technology and ecosystem division, said at the press conference that Apple started with hardware design and customized 5g antenna and radio components to accurately determine how to perform the best operation in the whole system, and to cover the largest 5g frequency band while saving space.


Pictures from Qualcomm

Worldwide, 5g is deployed in sub-6ghz and millimeter wave. The United States has more millimeter wave deployment, while other countries mainly deploy in the medium and low frequency band, that is, in the sub-6ghz band. As early as the end of 2018, the Ministry of industry and information technology issued licenses for the use of low and medium band test frequencies of 5g system to three major operators. According to the frequency band number, the 5g frequency band number of China Telecom and China Unicom is N78, and the frequency band number obtained by China mobile is n41 and N79. In addition, China Radio and television also obtains the frequency band number of N79.

This means that a 5g mobile phone with full Netcom needs to support n41, N78 and N79 at the same time. There are some 5g mobile phones on the market, which do not support the N79.


According to Apple's official website, in addition to the n41, N78 and N79 mentioned above, the 5g NR Band supported by iPhone 12 series phones also includes 14 other bands, far exceeding the mainstream Android phones on the market.However, it is worth noting that, considering that the domestic millimeter wave deployment is not mature, only the US version of the iPhone 12 supports millimeter wave.

In view of the high power consumption of 5g, apple officially said that it has built a highly integrated and complete system for iPhone 12 series phones. For example, by optimizing the IOS architecture, all kinds of apps can benefit from 5g without using more power. The new smart data mode can automatically switch to LTE mode when iPhone does not need 5g to save power.

In terms of weight, the iPhone 12 Mini is also the thinnest 5g phone on the market.

However, some analysts believe that the current 5g network deployment is not mature enough, and the iPhone 12 is in an awkward situation, just like a Ferrari running on a village road.

On the one hand, according to the research company IHS Markit its RootMetrics department, testing 5 G networks in 125 parts of the United States, in the middle and low frequency band, the speed of 5 is only slightly faster than 4 years from the speed promised by mobile phone operators. In high frequency millimeter wave, although the 5 G network is much faster, but the signal will deteriorate rapidly; On the other hand, applications that use 5 G to provide new features have not been developed, as in the 4 G era, mobile applications drive 4 G.

As for whether Apple's first 5g mobile phone is really the strongest 5g mobile phone, and where it will eventually go, it needs to be evaluated in the actual experience of end users.

Back to Qualcomm, can iPhone12 solve

In addition to waiting for 5g network deployment to be more mature, another important reason for apple to launch its first 5g mobile phone in October this year is that it has reconciled with Qualcomm and used its 5g baseband chip.

We often talk about the mobile phone chip, including the application processor (AP) responsible for the process and the baseband (BP) responsible for processing communication. Although Apple's application processor A-Series chips have strong performance, they always use baseband chips from other manufacturers.

When Apple first made mobile phones, that is, from the iPhone 2G, it used Infineon baseband.However, Infineon baseband chips were not advanced at that time. When Nokia and Motorola began to support 3G four or five years ago, Infineon still did not support 3G. Its market positioning was only a low-cost alternative source of goods in the mainstream market.

Jobs chose Infineon, on the one hand to see its baseband single chip integration, on the other hand, Apple has just started to make mobile phones and small boards, other manufacturers do not like.

Actual effect can be imagined, using Infineon baseband chip, the first three generations of iPhone have weak signal situation. In the fourth generation, to improve the signal, Apple wrapped a layer of antenna directly outside the phone, so that later appeared

In 2010, Intel acquired Infineon's wireless division for us $1.4 billion. Jobs was very happy when he commented on the incident. However, he ended the cooperation with Infineon and began to use the baseband chip of Qualcomm from the iPhone 4S.

Before Apple launched the iPhone, Intel had its own wireless device chip division, but sold it to Marvell in 2006. Later, in the era of mobile Internet, Intel purchased Infineon's wireless division to make up for its mistakes. Then, in September 2015, Intel purchased the CDMA2000 patent of Verizon Telecom with $100 million to solve the CDMA patent problem.

Intel launched its first gigabit LTE baseband chip XMM 7560, integration CDMA, in 2017 to achieve all Netcom. According to reports, the baseband chip in the parameters and Qualcomm Cellon X16LTE equivalent.

In applesIn 2017, the company began to mix baseband chips from Qualcomm and Intel on the iPhone 7. At that time, foreign media reported that in order to keep the performance of the two versions consistent, apple deliberately limited the network speed of the built-in high-pass baseband version of the iPhone 7.


Image from paratic

Qualcomm is a worthy hegemon in the field of mobile communications, not only occupying the high-end chip market in the field of smartphones, but also obtaining high profits through huge patent authorizations. However, its patent-based business model has been questioned, with Apple among the world's largest antitrust investigations and lawsuits.

Apple filed a patent lawsuit against Qualcomm in the Southern California District Court in January 2017 three days after the U.S. Trade Commission (FTC) announced it would launch an antitrust investigation against Qualcomm

After a year of litigation, the two sides agreed to pay apple a fee in return for using only Qualcomm chips between 2011 and 2016. At the same time, the European Commission objected to the company's alleged monopoly and was fined 997 million euros (about $1.2 billion).

However, the patent war between the two sides has not ended. In 2018, iPhone models equipped with Qualcomm baseband chips were banned in China due to patent issues such as window switching, which also led to the escalation of conflicts between the two sides. Later, the iPhone XS, XS max, XR and the baseband chips of iPhone 11 series had no choice but to carry Intel baseband.

However, the performance of Intel baseband chip is not as good as that of Qualcomm in terms of parameters and user experience. When the LTE / Wi Fi signal of iPhone XS / XS Max has problems, some users blame Intel baseband for the problem.

In terms of patents, Intel, which can't compete with Qualcomm, has invested a lot in the baseband field. Moreover, it has been studying 5g baseband chips for apple, a big customer.

In November 2018, fastcompany quoted insiders as saying that Intel has specially set up a team of thousands of people to develop 5g baseband for the new iPhone. However, the larger amount of data has put pressure on the baseband chip and RF antenna, resulting in the failure of the prototype 5g iPhone to meet the requirements of heating and endurance. Apple can only further run in with Intel.

Eventually, Intel completed the development of the 5g chip XMM 8160 in 2019, but Intel said at the time that the chip would not be shipped until 2020. According to the release plan of Apple mobile phone, the first 5g mobile phone will be released in September 2020.

As a result, apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement in the federal court of San Diego, California on April 17, 2019, and apple paid the patent fee to Qualcomm again. On the same day, Intel announced its withdrawal from 5g mobile modem business. This means that Apple's first 5g mobile phone, iPhone 12, is the first mobile phone to use Qualcomm baseband after reconciling with Qualcomm.

But another problem has arisen that has never been willing to be a long-term company in a particular technology

The possibility of Apple's own baseband chip design

From the perspective of Apple's development, Apple seems to be keen on the road of self-study.

Since 2010, we have used the self-developed A4 chip.

In terms of GPU, while cooperating with imagination smoothly, we have started to lay out our own GPU self-study plan since 2013, gathered relevant talents in the industry to form a team, and even reached out to imagination. In 2017, Apple announced that it would give up all technologies of imagination and develop GPU in the next two years. The final result is obvious to all. Now, the A14 bionic chip integrated with the latest self-developed GPU has ranked first in the field of smart phones in terms of image processing speed.

In July of this year, apple officially announced that it will make MAC computers from Intel X86 platform to self-developed ARM processor migration plan in two years. The first MAC equipped with Apple's self-developed processor may be released in November this year.

These actions of Apple seem to indicate that one day in the future, Apple will also launch its own baseband chip. In addition, in July 2019, apple purchased most of Intel's smart phone modem business for $1 billion. Cook said in evaluating the acquisition that the acquisition would allow Apple's wireless technology patent portfolio to exceed 17000. Apple will own and control the core technology in the long-term strategy, all of which reveal Apple's ambition to develop baseband.

Some analysts have pointed out that if Apple develops its own baseband chip, it will benefit from many aspects, and the biggest impact is certainly to reduce its dependence on Qualcomm. According to analysts' reasoning, if Apple launches its own 5g chipset in 2024, assuming that each iPhone can save $5, each iPhone will sell for $740, and the shipment volume will reach 230 million units, Apple's overall gross profit may increase by about $1.2 billion.

In the agreement signed with Qualcomm, Apple needs to purchase the 5g baseband of Qualcomm at least in the next four years

From June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, some apple products need to use the high pass x55 baseband chip;

From June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, some apple products need to use the high pass X60 baseband chip;

From June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2024, some apple products need to use high pass X65 or X70 baseband chips.

This means that if Apple develops its own baseband chip, it will not be launched until at least four years later.

However, some analysts believe that Apple needs about 1000 top talents and engineers to develop its own baseband chip, which will take at least five years. The biggest difficulty is the patent issue. Apple's more likely strategy is to integrate existing baseband chips into its A-Series chips.

Since the advent of Apple mobile phone, Apple's innovation ability is obvious to all, and most of its products and technologies are regarded as the industry's wind vane.

Maybe apple, four years later, can really use its own baseband.


#high pass#baseband#iPhone 12

Link to the original text:Lei Feng net

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