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Friday, June 06, 2008, 10:40 pm PT (01:40 am ET)

3G iPhone's firmware purportedly leaked, hints at assisted GPS [Updated]

A late leak has allegedly revealed the inner workings of the next-generation iPhone's cellular chipset, down to its specific parts and most of its capabilities.

A source described as "reliable" handing information to Engadget appears to have confirmed several details, many of which reflect expectations set out by previous leaks.

In particular, the escaped data points to the use of the Infineon S-GOLD3 baseband chip spotted in beta firmware, which connects the device both to UMTS-based 3G networks that operate primarily in Europe as well as the newer, faster HSDPA networks present in North America, Europe, and many other parts of the world.

A trio of chips made by Skyworks — the 77413, 77414, and 77427 — address the phone's communications with specific 3G frequencies currently used around the globe, including the 850MHz band used in the US by AT&T as well as the 1900MHz and 2100MHz bands for other territories.

More significant, however, is the Global Locate Library software that abstracts assisted GPS commands.

The feature should allow the new iPhone to locate its position far more accurately than current solutions and is meant to interface with a Global Locate chip — since branded as a Broadcom product — built into a phone. Besides appearing to confirm the choice of Broadcom for built-in GPS, it also supports the addition of location-specific features added in test versions of iPhone 2.0 firmware, such as geo-tagging photos taken from the phone's built-in camera.

Supporting claims of authenticity, the purported source also alludes to an ARM 1176JZF-S processor identical to that in the original iPhone as well as a new internal build model number which is consistent with an earlier naming scheme.