CDMA and GSM Radios

dcviper

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How modular are the cell radios inside these phones? One would think that from an engineering standpoint, it would be cheaper/faster/better for all of these chips to have a standard interface, then the handset manufacturer can just solder on the right radio chip (daughter board, maybe? I dunno how big/involved these things are), tune the antenna for the right frequency and shoot it out the door. Am I making too much sense here?
 

ls377

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I think there's also a difference in antennas and some other components, and I know the Qualcomm processors are CDMA/GSM specific (8250 was the GSM Snapdragon, while 8650 was the CDMA one).

They could do this by making all world phones, but carriers want their own specific phones, so they'll probably never do that.
 

dcviper

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I think there's also a difference in antennas and some other components, and I know the Qualcomm processors are CDMA/GSM specific (8250 was the GSM Snapdragon, while 8650 was the CDMA one).

They could do this by making all world phones, but carriers want their own specific phones, so they'll probably never do that.

The antenna issue is easily solved, presuming you were willing to lock it into one freq band. Although, with the advent of software defined radios, I'm sure tiny little antenna couplers are not far off.

Although, for the processors, I would think that there would be a standard software/hardware interface for Android to be able to actually work, so I guess from that aspect they might be considered modular? I seriously doubt the manufacturers actually rewrite major chunks of the kernel for each phone. But then, that might explain why it takes some manufacturers forever to put out updates, and there is no "stock" Android firmware that one can just load onto any Android-capable phone. God, what an idiotic way to run a railroad.
 

takeshi

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How modular are the cell radios inside these phones?
Depends on the device. They're not all identical.

One would think that from an engineering standpoint, it would be cheaper/faster/better for all of these chips to have a standard interface, then the handset manufacturer can just solder on the right radio chip (daughter board, maybe? I dunno how big/involved these things are), tune the antenna for the right frequency and shoot it out the door. Am I making too much sense here?
No, but everything seems simple when you aren't aware of the details. It might be "better" in a technical sense but from a cost perspective there's little reason to create such modularity. Why are you thinking that the work needed to support this would cost less?

The antenna issue is easily solved, presuming you were willing to lock it into one freq band.
And locking it down to one band wouldn't be beneficial either. It would defeat the point of the modularity that you propose as the OEM's would have to produce different models for different bands.
 

dcviper

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Depends on the device. They're not all identical.
True.
No, but everything seems simple when you aren't aware of the details. It might be "better" in a technical sense but from a cost perspective there's little reason to create such modularity. Why are you thinking that the work needed to support this would cost less?
It just seems like a standardized interface would make for faster and cheaper development. Once you design the board, manufacturing is easy. If HTC doesn't have to engineer a new interface for each phone, that saves them time and money. If Qualcom designs their processor/radio combos with a standard interface, that saves them time and money.
Manufacturing is (from a time perspective) is cheap and easy. Design/engineering is expensive.
And locking it down to one band wouldn't be beneficial either. It would defeat the point of the modularity that you propose as the OEM's would have to produce different models for different bands.

Not really. Antenna design is pretty straight forward, here. Just make the actual antenna bit roughly in the middle of your frequency bands, then solder in a few capacitors or inductors to electrically tune the antenna. It's not as if these things are running at 2MHz and need a 30-ft dipole to operate.

I realize I'm simplifying the steps involved, but I'm doing it for the sake of argument. I'm not trying to shift the cell manufacturing paradigm, or anything, I just wanna know why they can't just design one phone, then slap the appropriate radio into it. Mostly, I just want a damn DincS or Dinc2 or whatever they are gonna call it.