Sandbridge processor promises multiple smartphone functions on single chip

A new software-based, reprogrammable cell phone baseband processor from Sandbridge will let phone makers pack more technologies and functions into devices using only a single chip.

The Sandbridge technology, called SB3500, is part of an industry move towards more full-featured reprogrammable phone silicon to meet the needs of multiple "open" networks and applications running on smartphones. It is especially targeted at emerging 4G LTE plans from providers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T which need to get out the door quickly and inexpensively and yet still feature multiple functions and applications.

On top of the added phone functionality, the new chip will help reduce phone costs by about 15 percent by placing multiple functions within a single piece of silicon, a Sandbridge executive said. Because the chip is programmable, cell phone makers will be able to test and potentially add new phone functionality before shipping devices rather than building single-purpose chips.

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