Electronic Design

Report Cites Chip Programming For iPhone 3G Problems

Problems involving dropped calls and the inability to receive faster 3G service on Apple’s new iPhone 3G may be related to a communications chip made by Infineon Technologies. Sources quoted by BusinessWeek said that faulty software on the chip causes problems when the iPhone needs to switch from wireless networks that allow faster downloads to slower ones.

The information from the unnamed sources supports an Aug. 12 report by Richard Windsor of Nomura Securities, according to the Web site. An Infineon spokesman and Apple would not comment on the article. The Infineon spokesman, however, said the chips have not caused similar problems in other phones, including those made by Samsung.

The sources told the Web site said that Apple plans to fix the problems via a software upgrade, rather than a recall of the iPhone 3G. One of the chip’s tasks is to make sure that there is enough 3G bandwidth available in the area, and if not, to switch the phone to a slower network. One source told BusinessWeek that Apple programmed the chip to demand a more powerful 3G signal than the iPhone really requires. That could result in the phone’s unnecessarily switching to a slower network.



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