Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chips

By: Maynard Handley (name99.delete@this.name99.org), April 20, 2019 10:41 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com) on April 20, 2019 10:15 am wrote:
> sylt (no.delete@this.thanks.com) on April 20, 2019 12:08 am wrote:
> > Beastian (noemail.delete@this.aol.com) on April 19, 2019 11:03 am wrote:
> > > Qualcomm has indeed thrown their weight around quite a bit and they're far from benign; my recent posts
> > > were mainly out of my impression that they were much more in the right in their recent dispute with
> > > Apple. In the end, we have disparate 4G mobile phone modem implementations from Huawei, Samsung, Mediatek,
> > > Intel etc. apart from Qualcomm which all had commercial viability which is a far cry from other standards
> > > such as x86 with only Intel and a cowed AMD earlier this decade. Their implementations as of late have
> > > been superior, and another part of Qualcomm's popularity comes from their superior support of third
> > > parties and better documentation; they've fully embraced their role as a supplier.
> >
> > When you say superior implementations, just make sure that you are referring to actual lab tests
> > of the true real world performance rather than just brand halo and feature check boxes. My experience
> > is that QC superiority is not so clear cut then, but as I've said, I'm biased.
>
> Any sources? Notably at weak signal strength, Qualcomm's modems perform much better:
>
> https://www.pcmag.com/news/364116/iphone-xs-crushes-x-in-lte-speeds-but-still-falls-short-of
>
> This changes the effective coverage of a network and makes a very big difference in practice.
> It's the difference between being able to download a map or hail an uber in an emergency.

I absolutely agree with your central point (that modem performance under difficult circumstances is as important as [and certainly for me personally, MORE important than] performance under great circumstances).

Having said that, are you aware of anything more rigorous than these PC world tests? The problem with these tests is that they test a very particular aspect of difficult circumstances, and an aspect that's generally not of much relevance. The case of a signal that's simply weak is, what, the case where you're driving in the country at the very edge of a cell, and there isn't a better cell next to it? That's just not a use case that occupies much of MY time.
What *I* would consider difficult circumstances is the city difficult circumstances -- lots of reflection, lots of interference. Now the issue is not so much an absolutely weak signal as a signal that varies wildly in amplitude over very short space and time ranges; and the solution (at least part of it) is to switch the multiple antennas from maximizing throughput (ie MIMO) to maximizing robustness (ie diversity). So we want to test things like how intelligent the system is at redeploying antennas from MIMO to diversity and back, and how well the antennas work in a diversity configuration.

And it may well be that QC is, for this particular task, also far superior to INTC (or anyone else). But I have seen no testing of that sort, or the even simpler testing of what one might call "rigorous real world conditions". There are (expensive!) newsletters that do this sort of real world testing of various new features as they were introduced into 4G and now 5G, but I'm unaware that even they ever engaged in this sort of chipset to chipset comparison.

Mostly I suspect that what we're seeing here in QC is a rerun of popular opinion regarding Intel. Perhaps five years ago everyone "knew" that Intel was just the best, best process, best micro-architecture, probably untouchable. But that opinion was not actually an understanding of Intel's tech so much as an awareness of how "the industry" had chosen to spend money. And once "the industry" (specifically Apple) chose to spend money differently, it turned out that Intel's performance along these dimensions was not magic, and could be reproduced by others as soon as they chose to make the effort required.

The counterargument is that
(a) Intel tried and failed. Well, how dispositive that is depends on your opinion of Intel...

(b) SS and Huawei have tried. And what? I'm TOTALLY unaware of how well their modems perform. Do we have ANY numbers, even lousy sub-optimal numbers like the PC World numbers?
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TopicPosted ByDate
Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/18 04:47 PM
  antitrust implications? (NT)anonymous22019/04/18 08:53 PM
    antitrust implications?Doug S2019/04/18 09:50 PM
      antitrust implications?Beastian2019/04/18 11:02 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/18 09:45 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/18 11:05 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/18 11:28 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 12:48 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 06:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:33 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/19 11:54 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:03 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 08:38 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/19 10:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:03 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 12:08 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:15 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 AM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipssylt2019/04/20 02:22 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 08:31 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:41 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/21 07:50 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAdrian2019/04/19 10:45 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:27 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 12:09 PM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 12:17 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 01:19 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 06:50 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:49 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 11:08 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:18 AM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:19 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:46 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 11:50 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/19 04:17 PM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 10:59 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/20 09:28 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:33 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/21 12:26 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/20 10:55 AM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndreas2019/04/19 04:55 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAndrew Clough2019/04/19 06:19 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsGroo2019/04/19 07:44 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:49 AM
    Read this and realize what Apple doesGroo2019/04/19 04:27 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 11:32 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/19 12:15 PM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 02:48 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/19 03:53 PM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/19 11:05 PM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/20 10:49 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/21 12:07 AM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/15 07:51 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/15 11:16 AM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/15 12:21 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/04/25 11:37 AM
    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/25 12:43 PM
      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 02:22 AM
        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/04/26 10:05 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/26 11:57 AM
            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsAnon2019/04/27 04:11 PM
              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/04/27 08:15 PM
                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/04/28 06:59 AM
                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/02 12:01 PM
                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 03:58 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/02 04:27 PM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsanonymou52019/05/02 05:37 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:35 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 09:32 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 01:32 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 03:45 PM
                                Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsUmmmm...2019/05/03 04:35 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 04:56 PM
                                  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:10 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/03 09:11 PM
                                    Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/03 10:12 PM
                                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/04 08:33 AM
                      Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDoug S2019/05/03 01:11 AM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 09:09 AM
                          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 11:40 AM
                            Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsBeastian2019/05/06 01:16 PM
                              Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsMaynard Handley2019/05/06 04:15 PM
                        Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsSimon Farnsworth2019/05/07 05:23 AM
          Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsdmcq2019/04/26 12:52 PM
  Apple agrees to become Qualcomm's licensee and returns to their baseband chipsDummond D. Slow2019/05/02 09:25 AM
    So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedDoug S2019/05/02 10:35 AM
      So Qualcomm got less than 2/3 of what they wantedBeastian2019/05/02 11:43 AM
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