The $99 smartphone
Due to be launched on the first day of MWC by Marvell is the Pantheon platform, which claims to offer the prospect of the first $99 smartphone.
The platform initially takes the form of the 910, which is a UMTS chip and the 920 - a TD-CDMA chip that is primarily aimed at the Chinese market. Krishnamurthy told us that the sub ¥1,000 (~$150) threshold is a key target for mainstream adoption in China - the world's biggest mobile phone market.
"Customers can come to market quicker, at lower cost and at higher performance," said Krishnamurthy, while claiming that the Pantheon chips out-perform Qualcomm's Snapdragon on graphics and video performance. Again, the integration of more components into the SoC is being touted as the key to keeping down costs.
"Higher performance and greater integration of onboard functionality lowers the manufacturing costs and makes the vision of a mass market $99 smartphone very real," said Ms. Weili Dai, "A $99 smartphone not only will accelerate upgrading of the world's existing feature phones to smartphones, it will put instant access, rich media and a wealth of applications within reach of millions more first-time consumers around the globe."
The chips clock at around 800MHz, support 720p video, DirectX, Open GLES 2.0 and render 20 million triangles per second. Just like the ARMADA 618, Pantheon supports Android and Windows Mobile and it looks to us that Marvell is in danger of competing with its own new high-end chip with this offering.