Earlier this week Samsung released the another variant of the Galaxy S3 for the Korean market. A teardown of a retail unit yielded an interesting find – Samsung's own 4G LTE baseband chipset.
Previously, many publications have reported on the many variants of the Galaxy S3, with different hardware components and even form factors to cater to the requirements of different regional markets. For example, USA buyers will get the SKU with a dual-core Qualcomm S4, instead of the much vaunted quad-core Exynos 4 SoC which does not have native LTE support.
South Korean electronics giant Samsung has released yet another permutation of the Galaxy S3 for the South Korean market earlier this week and the new model comes with Samsung's own quad-core ARM SoC and LTE baseband chip.
Developed in collaboration with AP, the 'CMC221S' LTE baseband will allow network subscribers of local telcos SK Telecom and KT to enjoy high speed data connectivity. The chip supports 2G, GSM, 3G, WCDMA, 4G, and LTE, which technically makes it marketable to almost every country in the world. Another Galaxy S3 SKU for LG U+ gets an additional chip for the 2G CDMA2000 that is also serviced by other companies like Verizon Wireless.
Not much is known about the specifications of the new silicon, but it is assumed that the chip is manufactured with 40nm process technology.
Samsung was previously successful in developing a LTE chip called Kalmia in 2009, but did not support 2G or 3G networks and was primarily deployed as a LTE data modem in tablet PCs and smartphones.
Jong-Kyun Shin, the CEO of IT and IM of Samsung Electronics, said that the company plans to have more designs with its own baseband chip and that the Korean Galaxy S3 LTE demostrates "Korea has the fastest LTE" and "we are already considering moving on to VoLTE."
Looks like Qualcomm has a new competitor to contend with…