New iPad Appears to Utilize Qualcomm's MDM9600 Baseband Chip

AnandTech has done some digging into the iOS restore code for Apple's new iPad, discovering that the device is apparently utilizing Qualcomm's MDM9600 baseband chip for its mobile connectivity. While some had thought that Apple would attempt to use the 28-nm MDM9615 chip in the third-generation iPad, Qualcomm's roadmap suggested to us that Apple would likely use the 45-nm MDM9600 chip that has been on the market for some time now.

Now that the restore .ipsw images have been posted and are available for download, I took a peek inside and did a little bit of forensics. It turns out that Apple has gone with Qualcomm's MDM9600, and has given the device codename Maverick (as opposed to Trek for MDM6610). This part still contains UE Category 3 LTE, CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev.A (and B), GSM/EDGE, and WCDMA/HSPA+ all the way through DC-HSPA+ 42 Mbps. It's a 45nm 13x13mm part we've seen in numerous other 4G LTE devices thus far.

Technically, the code reveals the new iPad as carrying a baseband chip of MDM9x00, but Qualcomm's MDM9200 and MDM9600 chips differ only in their support for CDMA2000 networks.

qualcomm mdm9600
Qualcomm's MDM9600 baseband chip (Source: AnandTech)

For the next-generation iPhone, Apple will need to move to a different chip that will also support voice over LTE, and for that the company is indeed expected to utilize the newer and smaller MDM9615 baseband chip.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Caution)
Related Forum: iPad

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Top Rated Comments

BobbyRond Avatar
159 months ago
Oh in what perfect world would every carrier globally use the same technology... That, and a worldwide ban of SIM locks.

Sadly, this day will never come... :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mburnet6 Avatar
159 months ago
For those of us who see all the frequencies of AT&T and Verizon on one chip, why are there different models for the different carriers?

While the chip works with both networks, the individual networks have different frequencies...not to mention that At&t and Verizon don't want you to be able to switch back and forth between carriers.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rocketman Avatar
159 months ago
For those of us who see all the frequencies of AT&T and Verizon on one chip, why are there different models for the different carriers?
This is just a guess, but it appears the iPad has more frequencies supported on each model than any other device ever. I am thinking they could not fit in one more antenna and associated circuitry (battery volume tradeoff). The cynic in me thinks it is a contractural concession to the carriers that they sell hardware that is not readily switched to the competitive carrier.

Since it was technically practical to make an iPhone 1 free of carrier, but it basically was never done within the walled garden, I think a third possibility may exist. They have a toggle in software to enforce this provision but both models are actually the same in manufacturing. The tear-down will reveal if there are physical differences or not, and will answer this contractural or mechanical question.

Either way the carriers want it that way.

My understanding is my VZ iPad will be able to talk with GSM carriers when I travel, at 3G speeds, unless they support VZ's particular flavor of 4G LTE, which is near impossible. So I am expecting to see a SIM slot. So naturally when I travel somewhere with awesome wireless speeds and coverage, I will be a fully crippled American, as it should be according to FEDGOV and Apple.

Rocketman
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
159 months ago
For those of us who see all the frequencies of AT&T and Verizon on one chip, why are there different models for the different carriers?

Unfortunately, there is very little overlap between AT&T and Verizon in the 700MHz band.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrbrown Avatar
159 months ago
Are you saying the tablets are locked via a software/firmware to the carrier you bought it with? And If jailbroken, there could be a way to run them on any of the two networks?

Traditionally, the iPad is not locked to any carrier (except in Japan?). The new iPad has a GSM & CDMA modem in both models, but the LTE radios are apparently different in each model (verizon & at&t).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yashrg Avatar
159 months ago
Are you saying the tablets are locked via a software/firmware to the carrier you bought it with? And If jailbroken, there could be a way to run them on any of the two networks?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)