Last week, Anand and I hopped on the phone with Qualcomm to talk about the finalization of its acquisition of Atheros. As it is right now, Qualcomm SoCs already come with both an application processor, GPS, camera ISP, encode and decode blocks, and the all important cellular baseband. There are one or two other chips that are part of the package as well for power management (in the case of the Veer’s MSM7230, the included PM8058 PMIC), and another for the RF front end and subsystem which can include Bluetooth and FM radio support (in this case possibly the QTR8600). All that’s missing from that list right now is WLAN, and Qualcomm’s long-term strategy is to eventually add it to the solution as well. I’m not sure whether the Veer uses it, but it’s possible that Qualcomm’s WCN1312 is its 802.11 b/g/n solution. 

 

The fruits of having an SoC that includes connectivity are really evident in the Veer, which is both smaller and offers more connectivity than the Pixi it replaces. Recall for a moment that the Pixi included Bluetooth and GPS, but completely lacked any WLAN connectivity options. Space considerations are already a challenge in mobile devices, as having a smaller PCB means more volume that can potentially be allocated to a battery. It’s an even bigger constraint for the smallest of mobile devices. Not having additional die for the baseband, its accompanying NAND, and possibly another power management IC is an appealing space and power savings. Nvidia knows it just as well as Qualcomm, having recently acquired Icera for their cellular baseband IP. Having the same consolidation take place for WLAN would be yet another potential selling point for Qualcomm SoCs. Right now, the far and away most popular WLAN stack is Broadcom’s BCM4329 - it includes 802.11a/b/g/n (5 GHz support comes if you include the RF for it) alongside Bluetooth 3.0 and FM radio support. As an aside, many more mobile devices need to include 5 GHz WiFi support, the 2.4 GHz band is unusable at conferences and incredibly crowded in urban contexts. 

WiFi Performance

The Veer supports single spatial stream 802.11n (2.4 GHz) with short guard intervals, and thus connects at 72 Mbps. In our throughput test, which consists of a PDF over 100 MB being loaded over WiFi using the Veer’s browser, we saw an average throughput of 22.4 Mbps over WiFi. I’m not entirely certain which WLAN stack is being used in the Veer, but it’s very likely either BCM4329 or Qualcomm’s own WCN1312. Given the size constraints and HPalm’s recent switch to everything Qualcomm, it seems possible that WCN1312 is the chipset of choice. 

WiFi sensitivity on the Veer seems par, I can make it to the same point and drop off the network as most other devices.

WebOS 2.0 on the HP Veer QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, and HSPA+
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  • cptnjarhead - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    I'm am excited for the pre 3.
    Veer is way to small for me and my pre + oc'd @ 1ghz will keep me happy till the pre 3 comes out.
    WebOS is the best in mop. My wife has the same phone and this is the first smart phone that i haven't had to constantly show her how to use it :)
    trust me, if you have never used WebOS, just try it and you will be amazed how great it is.
    Reply
  • vshah - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Have you guys stopped including these as a standard part of the reviews? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - link

    We haven't, however as I noted there's no way to get RSSI out of the Veer.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • theinvisibleduck - Monday, June 27, 2011 - link

    I bought my wife one (she wanted a small phone) neither of us believed it would be big enough when I got it, but we were both pleasantly suprised! It is excellent and you do not notice that it is small (except yesterday when I lost it in my pocket and my wife and I had a heated discussion about who lost it before I started digging through my pants pocket and found it). I would HIGHLY recommend trying this awesome little device out I think you will be very pleasantly suprised like I was. Reply
  • CellPig - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - link

    This phone is adorable, ha. I'm very skeptical of it making it in a big phone market though. HP has such a small stance in the smart phone market to begin with and I'm not sure if this phone will get them moving in the right direction, regardless of how cool it is. I used to have a webOS device, but I switched to Android and then to Apple, each time gaining more access to things that mattered. We're actually stumped over whether or not we should stock accessories for this phone at http://CellPig.com - Anyone have thoughts/suggestions? Reply

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