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Useless 4G Chip Discovered in Google Nexus 4

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So is Google passing the cost of that off on the consumer? If so that's BS.
 

samwelaye

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[citation][nom]mikehoncho84[/nom]So is Google passing the cost of that off on the consumer? If so that's BS.[/citation]

More likely its simply cheaper to include this cheap than to exclude it as it simplifies LG's manufacturing structure since it shares similarities with the optimus G
 

faster23rd

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Hmmm. Would that mean that customers are paying for something they don't use but is present in the device? Wouldn't that mean that buyers paid more (for the chip) but got nothing? Just a thought, I may be missing something.
 

kog91

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[citation][nom]InvalidError[/nom]Even if the Nexus4 shared the same PCB as some other LG phone, the 4G chip should have been omitted at the PCB assembly stage (empty component pads) if it serves absolutely no purpose.[/citation]


Unless they plan on using the same assembly line to build the 4G version.

Also, you can't just omit a part when the whole line is tooled to build a specific motherboard. It is much more cost effective to be able to produce motherboards for multiple devices on the same line, so that you don't have the down-time to retool. This in turn passes on a savings to the consumer, reducing the cost of a device.

It is much easier to omit the antenna at the hand-assembly portion of the device build.
 

kog91

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[citation][nom]memadmax[/nom]What the F was the point of putting the chip on the board if it can't do anything????That is till some modders come along =D[/citation]

BGA devices (such as 4G modems) are fairly difficult to reliably (millions of units) hand solder to a board. Power amplifiers are very easy to attach. By producing a board compatible with multiple handsets, LG can use the same board over and over. In fact, they only need to have one component soldered to the motherboard to make it 4G ready. This is very cost effective, as the development cost for each motherboard design is fairly high.
 

jhansonxi

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They may be utilizing some part of the chip, just not the full functionality, especially if it is a low-bin part that had a faulty 4G section that wasn't critical to this particular assembly.
 
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"They may be utilizing some part of the chip, just not the full functionality, especially if it is a low-bin part that had a faulty 4G section that wasn't critical to this particular assembly."

-I would say that is the case. It's very easy (and cheap) to specify two different PCB loads if they want to share the PCB for different products. I can't believe it would have been loaded in error or that it would be a production cost saving.
 

kog91

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[citation][nom]jhansonxi[/nom]They may be utilizing some part of the chip, just not the full functionality, especially if it is a low-bin part that had a faulty 4G section that wasn't critical to this particular assembly.[/citation]

Actually, now that I think about it. They could be using the boards that failed the QC for LTE operation. Kind of like AMD turning off faulty cores and selling processors in lower bins to recoup costs. Except in this case, the boards have the power amplifier removed and power traces likely cut to the LTE chip.

As for partial functionality, not very likely:

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/qualcomm-work-chip-support-multiple-700-mhz-bands/2012-06-05

The bands this chip uses aren't usable for anything other than 4G. Also, the missing power amplifier is what is used to increase the output signal to a useful signal strength.

3G and lower data bands are being handled by the other chip mentioned, the Avago ACPM-7251.
 

kog91

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[citation][nom]otacon72[/nom]Makes it even more ridiculous why it doesn't have LTE. Releasing a smartphone without LTE is just stupid....even the iPhone has it now.[/citation]

Actually, LTE is still a pretty new technology. Aside from major population centers, there are few areas that actually see any sort of coverage. For instance, Fort Myers in Florida is said to have LTE coverage for Verizon, but most of the time you will only be able to get a 3G signal.

See also: http://network4g.verizonwireless.com/#/coverage

Note that the Green dots are the only areas with 4G. Verizon is also the largest LTE network in the US.

Not to mention the fact that current LTE designs guzzle battery power. It will be another few years before LTE is operating at the same power as 3G solutions like CDMA. Many manufacturers have even tried working around this by limiting LTE usage to more data intensive activities.

In the meantime, phones can be produced cheaper without the extra radio, and consumers can pick up very good smartphones for less than their LTE brethren. Or better yet, the cost saved on not having an LTE radio can be used to add more storage or a faster processor.
 
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Is the power amplifier missing or is Google waiting for LTE to be so prevalent that no power amplification is needed for the signal, at which time it will provide an update to Android to enable the chip?
 

kingnoobe

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Ya you are missing something faster. Common sense.

Did you buy the phone for 4G? No, well ok then does it matter if there is a chip in there. If you got exactly what you paid for then who cares. Even if somebody tries to say they're passing on the extra cost (which I agree with kog on, specially since I've worked on lines) it doesn't matter. You still got what you paid for.
 

murzar

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It is a bit pricey here in my country, yet it's a sweet deal w.r.t. to others, but just. Not as revolutionary (price-wise) like in the US.
 

invlem

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[citation][nom]mikehoncho84[/nom]So is Google passing the cost of that off on the consumer? If so that's BS.[/citation]

And yet they sell the phone at 1/2 the cost of any other manufacturer's competing product on the market... Yes, Google is the bad one here, find me another phone that provides the same performance for under 600$.... I'll wait....
 
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