Android News

New “combo” chip to improve Android development

February 9, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Android, Android Phones, Open Handset Alliance

New “combo” chip to improve Android development

Companies designing Android phones will be able to use a “combo” chip that controls different mobile technologies. Open Handset Alliance member Broadcom Corporation announced that its BCM4325 chip and driver software — which manages Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM radio within one source — is now a “standard component of the latest Android operating system.”

Broadcom touts its combo chip as an efficient solution for future Android phone designs that include the communication tools cell phone subscribers increasingly demand. Integrating different technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM will:

  • Decrease power consumption (increased battery life, anyone?)
  • Reduce board space (frees up more design options for manufacturers)
  • Cut production costs

The T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream is currently the only Android phone for sale and uses different components to provide Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality. Both features also contribute to the G1′s reputation as a mobile phone with a relatively short battery life. Broadcom expects its combo chip to improve the way newer Android-powered phones manage these technologies.

“Two of the most exciting trends in the handset industry are the growing popularity of Android and the transition to combo chips for connectivity,” said Broadcom executive Chris Bergey.

“As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, we are committed to advancing the Android platform by contributing our software and facilitating greater access to our combination chips in the open source community. We expect a plethora of products and applications to evolve from the connected Android platform in the not-so-distant future.”