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Mobile-TV tuner, GPS block due from Chipidea

Posted: 16 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Rick Merritt? EE Times? Chipidea? mobile TV? global positioning systems?

Silicon intellectual-property provider Chipidea is branching out into RF, announcing new IP blocks for mobile TV and global-positioning systems. The company also has ultrawideband and wireless sensor products in design.

The expansion into the rapidly growing wireless market is natural for Chipidea, since much of its expertise is in analog and mixed-signal design. The move is especially relevant in the UWB arena, since the company's most popular products are physical- and link-layer USB blocks, and those interfaces are poised to go wireless.

"It makes sense to complement our USB products with the radio front end for people moving to wireless USB," said Carlos Leme, co-founder and CTO of Chipidea.

The company will leverage its work in UWB to deliver RF blocks for wireless sensors based on the pulse network version of ZigBee now going through the IEEE standards process. The USB blocks are not expected to be ready until late this year.

Meanwhile, the company will roll out its first mobile-TV tuner, an 8mm? block that supports the DVB-H, DMB and ISDB-T standards, popular in Europe, Korea and Japan, respectively. The device supports three bands176-245MHz, 470-870MHz and 1.45-1.685GHzto cover those three standards.

To support the three bands, the block integrates three separate LNAs and downconverters. The zero-IF device requires no external SAW or IF filters. It consumes 108mW using a 1.8V supply and is made in 180nm CMOS at TSMC.

"Our focus is on high integration and low current consumption," Leme said.

Separately, Chipidea has finished work on a consumer GPS receiver block. It does require an external SAW filer, but integrates an LNA and needs no external IF filters. The 5mm? die consumes about 36mW. "This is a mature market and we are in line with current consumption and die area," said Leme.

The company plans a version of the GPS block tailored for the emerging Galileo GPS network in Europe. To facilitate embedding the parts in digital logic, Chipidea plans a 90nm shrink of the mobile-TV tuner and a 130nm shrink of the GPS block late this year.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times




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