When looking back a couple of years it wasn't all that uncommon to find the baseband modem, the application processor and the graphics processor in different chips in a smartphone. Take the Nokia N8 for example. Obviously having three chips is quite inefficient as they take up space on the smartphone board and need to be fine tuned to work with each other. Both disadvantages dissapear, however, when all three components are included in a single chip. So who is doing that today? The following manufacturers come to mind:
- Qualcomm with their Snapdragon platform. They have everything, the modem (obviously), they have their own application processor design (Scorpion and Krait) based on ARM, and their Adreno GPU (based on assets bought from AMD a couple of years ago).
- ST-Ericsson: Their NovaThor platform consisting of their Thor modem and Nova CPU+GPU based on an ARM-Cortex design and PowerVR graphics.
- Nvidia: Originally coming from the graphics domain, they have enriched their portfolio with an all in one SOC with that scales up to quad-core ARM Cortex CPU with an additional CPU for low power / low processing speed operation when the display is switched off and only background tasks being services. They don't have the modem integrated at the moment but with their recent purchase of Icera, that's also only a matter of time.
- Intel: Not quite on the market yet, but they have their modem through the purchase of Infineon and a (hopefully) low power (enough) CPU with their new Medfield Atom based design and their own graphics processor.
All others like Texas Instruments with their OMAP platform or Samsung with they Exynos are missing the modem, so they are not complete. Combinations are for example a Samung CPU + GPU chip combined with a Qualcomm modem.
Am I missing someone in the CPU+GPU+modem list?