YOU ARE AT:SoftwareVerizon Wireless taps Altair; IBM partners with Nvidia; Imagination integrates connectivity

Verizon Wireless taps Altair; IBM partners with Nvidia; Imagination integrates connectivity

Verizon Wireless taps Altair Semiconductor: Verizon Wireless’ first carrier-branded tablet will use an LTE-only modem from Altair to connect to the carrier’s network. Altair’s FourGee-3100/6202 chipset is a single-mode LTE chipset, meaning that Verizon Wireless’ Ellipsis 7 tablet will only connect to the carrier’s LTE network, not its legacy CDMA network.

“We believe there is a clear demarcation between LTE-only and multimode 3G+LTE solutions – simply because the former cannot compete in markets with limited coverage, and the latter cannot compete when cost is a main decision parameter,” said Altair co-founder Eran Eshed. Eshed said that an LTE module based on Altair’s chipset will cost a manufacturer about $40, roughly half what the leading multimode solution would cost. That helps Verizon Wireless price the Ellipsis 7 very competitively – it will retail for $250 without a contract.

Eshed said he looks forward to working with other customers on similar solutions. “We are working on them as we speak,” said Eshed “This is not a one-off, it is part of a well thought-out strategy from certain carriers, and a trend that you can expect to see expanding and growing as LTE network coverage expands in many markets. It just makes too much economic sense to ignore.”

Verizon Wireless late last year launched the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which was also an LTE-only device.

In other chips news this week….

GPUs crunch big data: IBM wants to rescue companies that are drowning in data by helping them process and analyze data in real time. Its high-end servers are using a combination of chips to tackle the task, including a new GPU from Nvidia.

Nvidia says its new Tesla K40 GPU is the highest performance GPU accelerator ever built. The chipmaker says that for the first time, GPU technology is moving into “the heart of enterprise-scale data centers.”

IBM and Nvidia are combining Big Blue’s Power8 CPUs with Nvidia’s GPU accelerators, with the goal of making supercomputing power available to a wider range of industries. “This partnership will bring supercomputer performance to the corporate data center, expanding the use of GPU accelerators well beyond the traditional supercomputing and technical computing markets,” said Ian Buck, vice president of accelerated computing at NVIDIA.

Imagination combines Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM: Imagination Technologies has combined an FM receiver with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0 in a single radio processing unit. The Ensigma Series4 chips will target mobile devices, wearables and the “Internet of things” applications.

“Digital baseband integration is a growing trend in high-volume markets as companies look to further reduce system costs and power consumption,” said Martin Woodhead, EVP of engineering for Ensigma. “Ensigma RPUs are gaining traction as our customers increasingly recognize the benefits of bringing highly efficient and advanced communications processing on-chip.”

Customers can license several configurations of the Ensigma IP cores: Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.0 + FM for higher-power devices like smart TVs and gaming consoles, Wi-Fi 802.11ac 1×1 + Bluetooth 4.0 + FM for smartphones and tablets, and Wi-Fi 802.11n 1×1 + Bluetooth + FM for low-end phones and wearables.

In other news from Imagination, the company says it has licensees for its new 32-bit CPU cores for mobile devices. Imagination spoke with RCR Wireless News about the Warrior CPU cores last week.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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