Integration is the theme of the day today, with Broadcom announcing that the Android operating system will run on its multiradio chip, which offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and FM radio. It also announced open access to those drivers, allowing developers to play with the functionality offered by the chips and (hopefully) create new applications.
The move will serve to boost the Android platform, because now instead of three radios taking up space on small devices, a handset manufacturer will only need one — which means smaller and less expensive devices will be able to run on it. In contrast, the 3G iPhone from Apple has a Wi-Fi radio from Marvell, Bluetooth from CSR and no FM receiver, which some users have made clear they want.
Broadcom has bet big on integrating radios — something other chipmakers such as Qualcomm and ST-NXP have been working on as well — as connectivity to a variety of networks, and functionality such a location, become must-have features on phones and computers. Porting Android to Broadcom’s tri-radio chip isn’t going to change the world, but it will enable a smaller, cheaper Google phone with more features and cooler apps.