ST-Ericsson is driving the evolution of integrated connectivity solutions with the world’s first Bluetooth, FM Radio and GPS combo in 40nm. Wireless connectivity combo devices will be the dominant solution for adding connectivity to smartphones. Nearly 90% of the smartphones today compared to around 45% in 2009 have combo chips inside. Our platform optimized combo solutions are based on attach rates of the various connectivity technologies on smartphones - characterized by seamless integration and advanced coexistence for rapid time-to-market.
With ever increasing connectivity performance in smartphones (e.g. higher output power for Bluetooth/Wi-Fi, higher throughputs on Wi-Fi, etc), the space allocated for batteries versus the space allocated for integrated circuits continues to be at a premium. Our combo devices are designed to foremost address the power consumption and lowest bill-of-materials (BOM) by utilizing state-of-the-art process technology and enhanced IC level and system-level low-power techniques.
Combo devices provide significantly smaller form factors and optimized board space utilization in addition to cost savings compared to discrete components. Combo devices hence also continue to increase in market share compared to discrete components.The decision whether to integrate a function into a combo is based on a complex economic balance between the investments needed to achieve the integration and the value gained by the customer. It involves several criteria including the penetration rate of the feature, the cost of the discrete solution, performance, coexistence of multi-radio solutions on the same die, PCB area, available process technology and compatibility with the existing components in the mobile phone.