World’s first software radio has just been launched by ASOCS, the MP100

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Some background on this to provide some sort of context as to why this announcement is huge. The mobile phone you own right now has a lot of chips inside, this isn’t a new revelation, but think about what really happens behind that hard plastic shell. You have a base band processor that controls the modem that actually talks to the network, the applications processor that runs the OS and talks to all the other chips inside your phone which can range from Bluetooth to WiFi and if you’re device is fairly new GPS, etc. All of the chips inside your mobile phone that have a wireless interface need to be seperate because they work on different frequencies and use various modulation techniques. What if someone made a chip that just had a wireless interface that could be programmed by software?

Have an EDGE device? Apply an upgrade and now it does HSDPA. Have a 3G device? Apply an upgrade and it has LTE. One of these programmable wireless interfaces is bad ass, but three is down right amazing. This is what the MP100 is, three programmable wireless interfaces that can do things such as GPS, WiFi, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, LTE, etc.

The company, ASOCS, is fabless, meaning they just make the design, test it on silicon in house, and then contact a fab to churn these puppies out by the millions, but you can bet your ass someone will buy these folks out by the end of this year. Software radios have been attempted in this industry for years and for these guys to do it … it says a lot.

Read the whitepaper [PDF] here.

  • Raidium

    So if I’m understanding all this, your saying that cell phones have “rewritable” program chips inside them? If what I’m making out of this is correct then people will be able to write programs to fit these chips. People could install 3G themselves. Am I understanding this correctly?

  • zak

    Yes Radium, seems you are right.

  • buhari magaji

    what a great invention i’d like to have it on my phone nokia e50.

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