Mobile phone design has always been about ever greater integration of processing functions in a single chip.
This was forced on the industry by the need for dramatic cost, power and size reduction of handsets.
Yet the race for ever greater silicon integration may have slowed with the growing importance of Android-based smartphones and more PC-like tablets.
In the interest of design flexibility some chipset suppliers think separate chips for applications processor and baseband modem have benefits over whole system-on-chip integration.
Texas Instruments and Nvidia have chosen to keep baseband and applications processor separate, along with the RF front-end circuits.
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