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June 11, 2014

Qualcomm’s latest chip combines Wi-Fi and LTE

The FSM90 line is designed for higher density deployments.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Qualcomm has designed a low-cost chip for network operators that will power wireless routers with both Wi-Fi and LTE.

The FSM90xx system-on-a-chip (SoC), based on 28-nanometer technology, combines LTE and Wi-Fi for products that can handle between four and 16 users in homes and small and medium-sized businesses.

The chip still has the same security features and LTE functionality from Qualcomm’s higher end FSM99xx, which is used by enterprise and metro small cells.

Dan Rabinovitsj, SVP at Qualcomm, said: "We cannot solve the 1000x data challenge with spectrum alone. Small cells are critical to enhancing network capacity and improving mobile broadband connections."

Small cells are mini base stations used to improve coverage and capacity at reduced costs.

Carrier aggregation has also been built into the chipset Qualcomm claims will speed up data processing for both radio technologies.

Qualcomm will reportedly showcase how operators can use carrier aggregation with unlicensed spectrum at 5GHz, which the company is a big proponent of, according to Rabinovitsj.

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The FSM90xx, which puts Qualcomm with Freescale and Texas Instruments, will be available to a select number of customers in the second half of 2014.


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