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Spreadtrum Offers $25 Firefox Smartphone Design

24 February 2014

Spreadtrum Communications Inc. (Shanghai) announced it can supply its SC6821 baseband processor as a part of a reference design for a $25 smartphone that runs the Firefox operating system.

Spreadtrum and Mozilla have integrated the Firefox OS with several of Spreadtrum's WCDMA and EDGE smartphone chipsets, including the SC6821, which is thought to only support 2/2.5G.

In its press statement, Spreadtrum did not provide any technical details of the SC6821 or indicate how it differs from the previously announced SC6820 or SC6825. These are single- and dual-core Cortex-A5 based chips with Mali-400 GPUs, respectively. The SC6825 has 32-kbyte instruction and data caches and a 256-kbyte L2 cache.

The SC6821 is described as having a "low memory configuration" and a "high level of integration."

It will allow handset makers to create a phone with a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio and camera functions all controlled and accessed via the Firefox OS but at prices similar to much more minimally featured budget feature phones.

Xiaomao Xiao, Spreadtrum's vice president of software development added: "By integrating Firefox OS support with our smartphone platforms, we are providing our customers with flexibility and choice in how they develop and design their smartphones as well as access to the increasingly rich base of HTML5 applications that are available on this platform."

Spreadtrum and Mozilla have completed the integration of Firefox OS with Spreadtrum's SC6821 and SC7710 WCDMA smartphone chipsets, and expect to complete a turnkey reference design for the SC7715, Spreadtrum's single-core WCDMA smartphone chipset with integrated connectivity, next month. Spreadtrum did not indicate what price they would expect smartphones based on the WCDMA 3G-capable SC77XX series to sell at.

The collaboration with Mozilla will be extended across Spreadtrum's chipset portfolio, the company said.

"By integrating Firefox OS support with our smartphone platforms, we are providing our customers with flexibility and choice in how they develop and design their smartphones as well as access to the increasingly rich base of HTML5 applications that are available on this platform," said Xiaomao Xiao, Spreadtrum's vice president of software development, in a statement.

"Firefox OS delivers a customized, fun and intuitive experience for first-time smartphone buyers and our collaboration with Spreadtrum enables the industry to offer customers an extremely affordable way to get a smartphone and connect with Web apps," said Li Gong, president of Mozilla's Asian operations, in the same statement.

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