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Latest Firmware Reveals 3G iPhone Chipset

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There's nothing like trawling through source code to break a man's spirit, unless you stumble upon the gem of all gems...

iPhone unlocking guru Zibri (who already freed all our handsets with ZiPhone) has today bestowed another gift upon us: the name of the 3G iPhone's chipset.

Located deep in the code of the latest 2.0 firmware beta, is a crucial reference to "SGOLD3", the follow up to Infinion's S-GOLD2 chip which powers the current iPhone. Now 'S-GOLD3H', to use its full name (or its 'PMB8878' reference code), has been known about for some time, but it was unclear whether Apple would be picking up the chip again. It seems it has...

In which case the follow exciting possibilities arise: PMB8878 has 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity, DVB-H mobile TV, up to five megapixel camera support, Mpeg4/H.263 hardware acceleration, "video telephony, streaming, recording and playback" and even 2x MMC/SD card interfaces. Just as importantly, simultaneous voice and data access is now possible with DTM class 11 capability - up from DTM class 9 where surfing the web/checking email cut off phone capabilities - while the polyphonic ringer improves from 40 to 64 voices at up to 48KHz.

More troublesome, as I'm sure you'll have noticed by now, there is no mention of GPS and it could prove that when combined with HSDPA it is simply too much of a battery drain. It is also worth noting that even if this is the chip Apple will likely choose not to implement all the features - most notably DVB-H and memory card support are likely to get the chop. After all, in the S-Gold2/PMB8876 Apple chose to turn off the FM radio support and MMC/SD card compatibility while Bluetooth was somewhat neutered.

In related news, Apple has also delivered v3 of its iPhone/iPod touch SDK which promises bug fixes and "support for the latest iPhone OS". We're getting close people...

Links:
Source
Infinion S-GOLD3H PMB8878 Data Sheet PDF Warning

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