The State of Qualcomm's Modems - WTR1605 and MDM9x25
by Brian Klug AnandTech1/4/2013
A little over a month ago, Qualcomm flew me out to San Diego to talk all about cellular modem, specifically their baseband lineup, testing, and later their RF and transceiver in what would become their largest RF disclosure ever. In the past few years, we've made considerable headway getting SoC (System on Chip) vendors to disclose details on the CPU and GPU side of their products, and mobile enthusiasts now are starting to become increasingly cognizant of the SoC inside devices, and in turn the blocks inside that SoC. In a short term the industry as a whole went from smartphones largely being impenetrable black boxes to devices with understandable platforms inside. The days of an OEM not disclosing what SoC was inside a device at all are largely behind us, and for the most part vendors are open to discussing what's really inside most of their silicon quite publicly.
The last real remaining black box from my point of view is the cellular connectivity side of things. So much of what drives smartphone design and OEM choice lately is, unsurprisingly, how the device gets connected to the cellular network, and baseband remains largely a black box by design for a number of reasons. The focus of this article is specifically about Qualcomm's newest transceiver, WTR1605L, and some more details about MDM9x25 and MDM9x15.