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Marvell Extends LTE Lineup

December 2, 2014

Author: Linley Gwennap

Trying to regain its momentum in the LTE market, Marvell will deliver an onslaught of new LTE products over the next few quarters, including its first octa-core chip and its first processors with integrated GPS. The new PXA1908 targets low-cost smartphones, and the PXA1936 is for midrange phones. These new 28nm LP processors bracket the previously announced PXA1928. The PXA1908, is already sampling; the PXA1936 is due to sample by the end of the year.

The PXA1936 sports eight Cortex-A53 CPUs operating at 1.5GHz. It should double the CPU benchmark performance of the PXA1928, although most applications will see little benefit from the extra cores. The PXA1936 moves to Vivante’s new GC7000L GPU, which adds AEP compression but has half as many shaders as in the PXA1928’s GC5000 GPU, which is likely to result in considerably lower performance. The new chip retains most other features of the quad-core PXA1928, including 1080p video encode/decode, 1080p display support, and single-channel LPDDR3 SDRAM.

At the other end of the line, the PXA1908 offers four A53 cores and trims the clock speed to 1.2GHz. Optimized for devices with 720p displays, it uses a GC1500 GPU with about half the throughput of the GC7000L; owing to the smaller display, however, frame rates will be similar. Camera support drops to 8Mpixels instead of 13Mpixels.

Marvell has not updated its LTE product line since releasing the PXA1920 last year (known then as the PXA1088 LTE) and winning a handful of designs for China Mobile smartphones. Marvell now has a much broader lineup that features LTE and 64-bit CPUs from bottom to top. These chips should help the company regain its momentum in China and perhaps in the U.S. as well.

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