Aiming to grab leading position in the emerging market of high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) mobile phones, multinational and domestic semiconductor vendors rush to market modem chips.

SK Telecom and KTF are girding for commercial HSDPA service next year, the upgraded version of WCDMA featuring high speed of up to 14.4Mbps. HSDPA enables communication carriers to offer triple play service converging communication, broadcasting and Internet service.

EoNex Technologies, a homegrown communication chip maker, plans to launch in the first half of next year, a new modem chip 'N4000' and software used for HSDPA, HSUPA, EGDE and GPRS mobile phones. The chip will feature a variety of upgraded functions such as 128 poly sound source, MP3, 7 mega pixel camera, MPEG4, H.264 and Bluetooth.

Having unveiled sample HSDPA chip 'MSM6275' in the fourth quarter of last year, Qualcomm Korea intends to roll out new chips 'MSM6280' and 'MSM6260' in the third and fourth quarter of this year, respectively. It also plans to launch 'MSM7200' chip that can support high speed uplink packet access (HSUPA) specification, and 'MSM7600' that can be used for CDMA, UMTS and HSDPA phones in the first quarter of next year, according to a manager at the company.

In alliance with a domestic semiconductor solution house Uniquest, England-based Icera Semiconductor will release a sample baseband chip that can be used for HSDPA, GSM, GPRS and EDGE phones during this year, and begin supplying the chip in the first half of next year.

Agere Systems Korea also plans to roll out a chip and software that can support HSDPA specification in the first quarter of next year. The company said it acquired a solution firm of Israel to augment technologies.