December 19, 2014

Samsung Hints the Unveiling of the Nexus S with WiFi Calling, Next Week?

Since Eric Schmidt’s showing off of his shiny little Nexus S at the Web 2.0 Summit last month, rumors have circled as to what sort of new functionalities it would possess. Schmidt showed the on-board NFC (Near Field Communication) chip in action and talked about its possible future use in the world of making payments via phone. However, he didn’t really “dive” into anything juicier (you’ll understand the pun, shortly).

Today, in a Samsung press release about their upcoming NFC chip production, the company may have hinted at a bit more than it realized. The press release states that the NFC chip will allow a phone to “instantly establish a wireless peer-to-peer connection and directly handover to Bluetooth and/or WiFi connection for fast, convenient data transmission.” If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this sounds like it could be perfect for WiFi calling. It’s possible that this sort of technology could allow for a seamless hand-off when moving from WiFi to cell tower, and vice versa.

The press release also mentions the following key points that could signal the imminent unveiling of the Nexus S:

“Samsung’s new NFC chip is scheduled for mass production in the first quarter of 2011.

Samsung’s new NFC solution will be displayed at the CARTES 2010 from December 7th through 9th at the Samsung booth 3C 035 in Hall 3 at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center.”

We all know that Gingerbread release rumors are swirling around Andy Rubin’s December 6th appearance at D: Dive Into Mobile (see how the pun came full circle?). Armed with the above knowledge that Samsung will showcase their NFC solution (most likely the Nexus S) on December 7th, it would seem almost impossible for Rubin not to unveil the phone and OS to the world on the 6th. Otherwise, how could Samsung show it off to the public? It’s highly unlikely that they’d show people Gingerbread before Google does. In addition, Sammy’s assurance that they’re going to ramp up mass production of these chips in Q1 2011 aligns nicely with possible Nexus S release dates.

How does early January sound? It seems pretty likely if you ask me. Who knows? It may even come sooner.

[spoiler show=”Show Press Release”]Samsung’s New Near Field Communication Chip Offers Increased Wireless Connectivity for Mobile Handsets

CARTES & IDentification 2010

SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, announced today a new near field communications (NFC) chip with embedded flash memory. Leveraging a low power design and advanced RF sensitivity, Samsung’s latest chip offers designers a competitive choice for next-generation smart phones with NFC capabilities. NFC enabled devices can instantly establish a wireless peer-to-peer connection and directly handover to Bluetooth and/or WiFi connection for fast, convenient data transmission.

“As momentum builds for adoption of NFC technology in next-generation/ upcoming smart phones, we look forward to securing a competitive footing in NFC-based solutions with our new NFC technology, offering powerful mobile characteristics such as low power design and advanced RF sensitivity.”

“NFC is recognized throughout the industry as an easy and effective way to transmit encrypted information between mobile devices or between mobile devices and other stationary NFC-enabled devices such as kiosks,” said Tae-Hoon Kim, vice president of DDI and C&M marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. “As momentum builds for adoption of NFC technology in next-generation/ upcoming smart phones, we look forward to securing a competitive footing in NFC-based solutions with our new NFC technology, offering powerful mobile characteristics such as low power design and advanced RF sensitivity.”

NFC is a short-range (up to 10cm or 4inches), high frequency wireless communication technology which allows devices such as smart phones to collect or transmit data to another NFC-enabled device without manual configuration to identify devices. In addition, NFC chip can play a role as a contactless smartcard in use for public transportation payments for bus and subway fares and mobile banking payments. It can also read RFID tags in retail stores or on outdoor billboards for convenient on-the-spot data access.

By leveraging its extensive experience in low power design, Samsung developed this NFC chip to have minimal power consumption in both active and stand-by mode. With a 20 percent decrease in power consumption, Samsung’s NFC chip remains active for mobile payment even without battery power.

Samsung’s new NFC chip is the industry’s first to adopt flash for the embedded memory which allows device designers to easily to upgrade software or firmware. For seamless integration and customer design efficiencies, Samsung also provides a software protocol stack and technology services for antenna design and tuning. Through such features and support, designers can reduce their product’s time–to-market.

According to market research firm, IMS Research, the mobile phone market is forecast to grow from 1.4 billion units in 2011 to 1.8 billion units in 2015 at a compound annual growth rate of seven percent. In 2011, NFC-enabled phone models are expected to gain pace and the ratio of mobile phones with NFC capabilities is expected to reach 26 percent in 2015.

Samsung’s new NFC chip is scheduled for mass production in the first quarter of 2011.

Samsung’s new NFC solution will be displayed at the CARTES 2010 from December 7th through 9th at the Samsung booth 3C 035 in Hall 3 at Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center.

[/spoiler]



  • PhineasJW

    “instantly establish a wireless peer-to-peer connection [[the Near Field part of the chip]] and directly handover to Bluetooth and/or WiFi connection for fast, convenient data transmission [[to transmit your billing information]]”

    Unfortunately, I think it’s wishful thinking that this is related to WiFi calling. It sounds like they’re describing how the NFC will acquire a signal and transmit its data.

    However, as you said, it seems more and more like we’ll get a glimpse of the Nexus S and/or Gingerbread on Dec. 6th.

    I’m still hoping that somehow there’s a dual-core chip inside there. It would be awful timing to launch a single-core Nexus just before Moto and LG and others start launching their dual-core superphones early next year.

    • Chris

      Since its clearly a TMobile phone, and both the G2 and the MyTouch 4G have wifi calling, I would say its a pretty safe assumption this will have wifi calling as well.

  • Chris

    Supposedly dual core orion too, I hope its packing a big battery. I also hope its not another 800 by 480, that display is already outclassed by the iPhone and will only become more so into next year as everyone else releases their flagship Android’s.

  • http://necropolislabs.com Terrormaster

    The only disappointing thing so far is that its still looking like 2011 before the Nexus S hits the shelves. I was really hoping to be able to have one of these under the tree this year – pretty sure that’s a pipe dream.

  • http://www.nightshadelabs.com David Shellabarger

    yeah unless you are about 4 inches away from a wifi router or cell tower I don’t see how NFC has anything to do with wifi calling.

    Do you guys not have a technical editor?

    • Benjamin Rubenstein

      I never claimed to be knowledgeable enough to do anything besides speculate (which is what I did).

      And I don’t know if you realize, but having the NFC chip “about 4 inches away from a wifi router or cell tower” has NOTHING to do with anything. It just needs to be within range of the signal emitted from it, which, go figure, is all over the place.

      It seems, from what they’re saying, that the NFC chip will handle the sensing of the WiFi (or Bluetooth) signal and then aid in the hand-off, somehow. I don’t pretend to know how it works. I just think it’s a possibility based on the way the press release described it.

      Care to give a more technical explanation? Have at it :)

      • Hamster

        For handoffs to happen, communication has to happen both from the Wi-Fi/Cell tower to the chip — which is possible as you said — *and* from the chip to the Wi-Fi/Cell Tower, which NFC can’t do.

        The only thing the NFC chip would aid in as far as WiFi calling goes is battery drain. The chip would be able to sense the presence of a WiFi network and automatically turn on the WiFi radio instead of having the radio on all the time.

        • Benjamin Rubenstein

          Interesting. Didn’t know that’s how it worked.

          However, can’t the NFC chip also, when it senses a WiFi network, tell the phone to make the hand-off? I dunno… As I said, I’m just speculating.

  • Omar

    Another phone built with cheap plastic? Good job Samsung.
    What on Earth was Google thinking?

  • iy

    I thoughy nexus s was getting released in time for holidays….

    At least I think thats what best buy website said.

  • Elvis

    Dang T-mobile gets all the coolest phones :(

  • Fer

    Tmobile posted this on its Facebook page last night : “What are the must have tems for your holiday menu? We’re big fans of pumpkin pie and gingerbread cookies. How about you? “.
    GINGERBREAD?

  • Matthew M

    i have t-mobile and use wifi calling all the time, no extra fee its funny how greedy other companies are they would make you pay and rent a femtocell but not t-mobile =) i love you t-mobile