New iPad as 25+ hour LTE hotspot, runs cooler than some Android tablets

There are two interesting pieces of information this morning on the new iPad.

If used solely as an LTE MiFi, AnandTech got a mind-numbing 25.3 hours of Verizon LTE hotspotting out of the new iPad. That is equal to about five to seven MiFis.

Now for the killer. If you have an iPad on Verizon’s LTE network and use it as a personal hotspot (not currently possible on the AT&T version), it will last you roughly 25.3 hours on a single charge. Obviously that’s with the display turned off, but with a 42.5Wh battery driving Qualcomm’s MDM9600 you get tons of life out of the new iPad as a personal hotspot.

By my calculations, that means you could download 182GB of data at 2MB/sec on LTE through a single charge or over 18 times Verizon’s highest data plan in a single day.

In addition, PCWorld tested the heat on the new iPad and compared it to the ASUS Eee Transformer Prime and Samsung Galaxy Tab under the same conditions. Without the charger plugged in, the new iPad was actually cooler than the Samsung Galaxy Tab—even with a bigger battery after playing a game for an hour.

The point is that the new iPad runs only slightly hotter than high-end Android tablets and only when charging. The cool champion is still the iPad 2 when playing graphic intensive games.

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5 reasons why the new iPad runs hotter than the old ones

CNET spoke with DisplayMate’s Raymond Soneira who offered a few reasons why the new iPad is a bit “toastier”…

  1. Twice the LEDs: That means more heat coming from more LEDs. This is especially a problem at full brightness.
  2. 2.5X the power needed: The brightness efficiency is lower, because the new iPad has more pixels (which means more transistors) compared to the iPad 2. More pixels and transistors take up more space, meaning less opportunity for light to pass. “So they basically have to blast light through the LCD to make it come out.” Soneira adds: “I measured the LED power at maximum brightness–it’s two and a half times greater than on the iPad 2.”
  3. Battery generates more juice: The battery has to push out more power. This makes the battery warmer.
  4. Traditional LCD technology: Sharp’s power-efficient IGZO technology was not ready for the new iPad, which forced Apple to use traditional —and less power efficient— amorphous silicon tech. [To be fair, the older iPads also used this tech. Perhaps Apple was hoping to go 100-percent IGZO to offset the above].

The biggest heater in the new iPad is the new processor that has four graphics cores. If you look at the heat maps Consumer Reports and Tweakers did, the center of the heat is right where that A5X sits on the left side of the device.

As a bonus, do not forget those hot and schweaty Qualcomm LTE chips that bring the “faster than home broadband” goodness directly to your 4G iPads.

With all the above said, it is a minor miracle Apple managed to keep temperatures within 10 degrees to 15 degrees of the earlier versions.

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Qualcomm hyping previously announced chips that fit Apple’s mobile needs

UPDATE: Qualcomm at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain took the wraps off three next-generation modem chipsets, first to support 84MBps HSPA+ Release 10 and LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation  technology.

Chipmaker Qualcomm today issued a press release highlighting a fifth iteration of its Gobi reference platform that had actually been introduced back in February 2011. That said, these chips include in a comprehensive support for TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE, LTE on FDD and TDD networks worldwide, in addition to embedded GPS capability.

Of course, the platform also supports the usual HSPA+ and EV-DO for backwards compatibility and (unlike current 6000 series chips) voice. Such a powerful combo in theory allows Gobi products to connect to the faster LTE network locally and stay connected to the Internet globally on 3G networks worldwide.

Now, Qualcomm noted in the release included after the break that both the MDM9615 and MDM9215 work with Windows 8 and Android devices plus x86 and Qualcomm’s own dual- and quad-core Snapdragon system-on-a-chip solutions. For all we know, this could be the chip inside the iPhone 5.  The yet-to-be-announced iPhone 5 running this new Gobi chip would theoretically enable Apple to tap a single hardware in targeting a variety of carriers that often use different and incompatible radio technologies.

This includes the world’s biggest carrier China Mobile whose infrastructure revolves around TD-LTE radio technology. Put simply: These Gobi chips allow for true world-phone compatibility. It is worth noting that almost every 3G iOS device since the Verizon iPhone uses Qualcomm’s Gobi platform. The only exception is the AT&T iPad that still runs an older Infineon chip. Whichever way you look at it, one thing is certain: Apple will soon ship its first 4G LTE mobile device.

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Apple sues Motorola in the U.S. over Qualcomm patent license

Apple, today, has filed a lawsuit against Motorola over their use of Qualcomm technology, as reported by Reuters. Apple explains that Motorola has breached a contract pertaining to their use of a patent license and “asks this Court to enjoin Motorola from prosecuting and 4 enforcing its claims against Apple in Germany.”

Specifically, Apple is suing Motorola over their claims that Apple is illegally using Qualcomm’s baseband chip. In its lawsuit, Apple asks the court to ban Motorola from being able to sue Apple over Apple’s use of Qualcomm’s technology:

Permanent injunctive relief restraining Motorola and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, agents, employees, servants, licensors, successors, assigns, and all those acting in concert with them, from prosecuting patent infringement proceedings against Apple based on Apple’s use of the Qualcomm MDM6610 chip and other Qualcomm components licensed under Motorola patents in any forum other than this Court

The root of the lawsuit is essentially Apple’s strike-back at Motorola for attempting to stop sales of Apple’s 3G products in Germany. The lawsuit’s referencing of Qualcomm’s chips is a nod to the iPhone 4S, which uses a Qualcomm baseband chip, not being removed for that short amount of time when Apple won a temporary injunction of Apple’s 3G products in Germany.

The full lawsuit filing can be viewed here.

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Samsung requests Apple reveal terms of Qualcomm partnership, might reveal next LTE chips

Samsung made a formal request with the U.S. District Court in California for Apple to reveal the intricacies of its contract with wireless chipmaker Qualcomm, who currently supplies chips for the iPhone 4S, CDMA iPhone 4, and iPad 2. Qualcomm is currently in a cross licensing agreement with Samsung, bringing up the question of whether “Apple’s buying Qualcomm chips is as good as paying for the patents.” The documents could potentially reveal Apple’s plans to move to Qualcomm LTE chips in future iOS devices.

Specifically, Samsung defense lawyer Dylan Ruga wants to know if Apple is considered a “Qualcomm Customer,” a term that is “defined in certain licensing agreements between Samsung and Qualcomm.” The request was discovered in court documents by Korea Times and later confirmed by Samsung Electronics spokesperson Lim Yoon-jeong. Korea Times reported:

Samsung Electronics is alleging that Apple has infringed on Samsung-owned patents that relate to technology embodied in chipsets used in Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The documents are expected to determine whether Apple is in fact a direct customer of Qualcomm — and potentially immune from Samsung’s suits — or whether it purchased its chips through an intermediary.

Here is an excerpt from the document that has not been released by the courts: Read more

Qualcomm’s 4G LTE Gobi 4000 chips shipping to OEMs, likely to land in next-gen iPad

Qualcomm has just issued a press release announcing the commercial availability of their Gobi 4000 chips for 4G LTE and HSPA+ capable devices, a variant of which could very well ship in a next-generation LTE-capable iPad. In August we discovered Apple had possibly begun field testing a next-gen LTE iPads with LTE code floating around the iOS builds, and it’s likely Apple would go with Qualcomm’s chip, as almost every 3G iOS device since the Verizon iPhone has used their Gobi platform, the exception being the the AT&T iPad which uses an older Infineon chip.

“The Gobi 4000 platform allows customers to offer both LTE/HSPA+ and LTE/EV-DO designs to meet the growing demand for embedded 3G/4G connectivity in mobile devices worldwide… System designers now have the flexibility to choose an embedded Gobi 4000 platform for high-speed 4G LTE support, or an embedded Gobi 3000 platform for worldwide 3G connectivity.”

The new chips, now shipping to OEMs with modules available through Novatel Wireless and Sierra Wireless, are based on Qualcomm’s MDM9600 and MDM 9200 3G/4G wireless modems, and as the company notes, have been specially designed for deployment in devices utilizing Snapdragon dual-core and quad-core processors. In addition to HSPA+, dual-carrier HSPA+, and LTE support, the Gobi 4000 platform is also backwards compatible with HSPA and EV-DO. On top of a possible variant of the chip coming to a future 4G LTE iPad, the Gobi 4000 platform will also be included in Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops, and Dell’s Latitude E6420 laptops, in addition to other Windows and Android powered mobile devices.

Qualcomm’s senior vice president of produdct management for CDMA Technologies, Cristiano Amon, had this to say about the announcement:
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800MHz iPhone 4S browser powers past the 1.5GHz Samsung Galaxy S II

Slashgear ran the browser on the dual-core 800MHz A5 iPhone 4S against the latest and greatest Galaxy S II with dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor (skip ahead 4:30). From the video it looks like the iPhone 4S was faster (as expected). However, in their words…

…from initial results the iPhone 4S performs quite well, I’m sure everyone expected that as the original held its own pretty well too. One of the fastest processors around currently, the 1.5 GHz Qualcomm in the Galaxy S II performs very well but is just barely by a hair beat by the new A5 dual-core iPhone 4S in most tests. We could argue about this all day, or try other sites but when it really comes down to it iOS is highly efficient — not to mention many many websites are designed with iOS in mind.

Damn that is a huge screen.

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WSJ: Thinner, lighter iPhone is expected this fall

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The WSJ reports on the next generation iPhone due this fall:

According to some suppliers of components to Apple, the new version of the iPhone is expected to be thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4 and sport an 8-megapixel camera. One person said the new iPhone will operate on Qualcomm Inc.’s wireless baseband chips. The current iPhone 4 uses memory chips made by Samsung Electronics Co. and baseband chips from German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG, according to a report by market-research firm iSuppli Corp.

Verizon execs have already said the next iPhone will be a GSM/CDMA world phone – which means it is likely that it will use Qualcomm’s Gobi chips (As the current Verizon iPhone and iPad currently do).  Numerous reports have also said it will contain a 8megapixel camera – from Sony and other manufacturers.

There is some question about whether or not these devices will meet production deadlines, however…

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Thanks to AT&T's marketing tactics, the next iPhone will be '4G'

…in fact, if Apple turned on the HSPA part of the Gobi 14.4 chips in its Verizon iPad and iPhone, they’d already be 4G, at least according to AT&T.

Chris Ziegler noticed today that AT&T has started calling regular old 14.4Mbps HSPA devices 4G in its latest marketing materials.  Until recently, the pseudo ‘4G’ was reserved for HSPA+ on T-Mobile which tops out at 21Mbps.  However, with the release of the HPalm Veer 4G, HTC Inspire 4G and  Motorola Atrix 4G, AT&T has extended the ‘4G’ down to speeds of  14.4 Mbps, the same speed as those Qualcomm chips that Apple loves.

Most industry watchers expect the next iPhone to run on some version of the Qualcomm chip that the Verizon has which would let it do double radio duty and be operable on all US networks.

As Ziegler notes, AT&T is paving the way to charge extra for the benefit of using the newly branded ‘4G’ which doesn’t sound good to us. Read more

Apple moving to TSMC for A5 production?


same numbers!

We’re not sure if this has already happened, but EETimes reports on the rumors that Apple has shifted its A5 production from Samsung to TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company).  Since no one has seen a real A5 processor yet, we don’t know if Apple has already switched.

Perhaps most damning, the art that Apple has put out on its A5 Chips is actually just an A4 Chip with ‘A5′ superimposed over top(!) See same part numbers around the edges above.  Does this mean that Apple has something to hide? (They always do)

The move would make logistical sense as Apple’s current (former?) partner in processor manufacturing, Samsung, is increasingly becoming a competitor in both iOS devices and in PCs.  Apple was supposed to take $7.8Billion in parts from Samsung this year.  Might be time to adjust that estimate.

With little or no fanfare, Apple and TSMC have recently entered into a foundry relationship, sources said. As reported, TSMC will make the A5 dual-core processor on a foundry basis for Apple’s iPad 2. That can be read here and here.

We reported on Apple’s move to Qualcomm (from Infineon) who use TSMC’s process for GOBI chips in October. Read more

Microsoft to build version of Windows for ARM processors?

Bloomberg today reports what would have seemed unthinkable a year ago.  Microsoft is building a version of its Windows OS (not Phone 7) for the ARM processor design, the very same that powers Apple’s lineup of iOS devices.

The operating system would give Microsoft another way to attack the market for tablets and phones, where it’s lost ground to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. ARM chips — made by Qualcomm Inc., Texas Instruments Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. — are used in most smartphones, as well as Apple’s best-selling iPad. A full-featured version of Windows for ARM chips is the best way for Microsoft to make a dent in the iPad’s lead, said Robert Breza, a Minneapolis-based analyst for RBC Capital Markets. While Windows is dominant in the personal-computer market, it hasn’t parlayed that into tablet success yet. “They’ve got to come back with a product that’s better than ‘me too’ and is equal if not better in features,” Breza said. He has an “outperform” rating on Microsoft’s stock, which he doesn’t own. “A lot of tablets today are inferior to PCs.”

Microsoft became a licensee of the ARM architecture earlier this year but at the time it seemed to be for embedded devices such as the Zune.  Apple is also an ARM licensee and builds its A4 lineup of chips using ARM designs.

Is this really a good move for Microsoft?  The problem with Windows 7 on tablets hasn’t really been an Intel problem necessarily.  Whatever the case, this has to be bad news for Intel/AMD who now may see competition from ARM processors like the Nvidia Tegra 2 in netbooks running Windows.

Another Question: Will Apple port Mac OS to ARM? Read more