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TI, STMicro offer modular CDMA 1x chipset

Posted: 09 Dec 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:texas instruments? stmicroelectronics? modular cdma2000 1x chipset? qualcomm? trf4320?

Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics have jointly announced an open, modular cdma2000 1x chipset that they believe will drive innovation and differentiation in what has to date been a relatively closed market dominated by Qualcomm.

The four chipset is the first product realization to derive from the collaboration between the two companies - and Nokia - that was announced in May this year, with many of the chipset's components having already been integrated and proven in Nokia's cellphone lineup.

That announcement in May was quickly followed by a flurry of lawsuits and counter-suits between TI and Qualcomm over allegations that TI had breached a patent-portfolio agreement that TI and Qualcomm had entered into in December 2000. TI since countersued, claiming unfair royalty discount practices and false statements. The suits have not been settled.

It is against this backdrop that TI and ST are offering what they see as the only path to innovation in the CDMA market. According to Tom Pollard, worldwide marketing director for TI's wireless chip set business, the CDMA chipsets to date have been tightly woven into the handset designs, with little opportunity for value-add for developers. "The CDMA 1x chipset will now provide a platform that allows designers to innovate in a way that they haven't been able to do in the past," he said.

The chipset comprises the TRF4320 and TRF5320 direct-conversion transmitter and receiver respectively from TI, the STw4200 analog baseband and power-management chip from ST and a dual-processor TBB5110 digital baseband from TI.

The latter provides voice encoding and decoding, system control and high-performance digital signal processing of both IS-95 and IS-2000 1X CDMA. IS-2000 Revision 0 data rates up to 153.6Kbps are supported - on both the forward and reverse communication channels.

The chipset is supported by a reference design that consists of a complete BoMs, board design and layout, a proven CDMA protocol stack from TI, along with development and testing tools. Only a duplexer (or triplexer) and power amplifier need be added between the transceiver and antenna.

Support from assisted global positioning system (A-GPS) is also provided. "GPS support is compulsory going forward under E-911 guidelines," said Pollard.

All the components, said Pollard, have been culled from the wireless portfolios of both companies and used to some degree in phones by Nokia, which participated in the chipset's development. The flexibility to innovate he said comes from the use of open hardware, to software interfaces, to all key portions of the chips, as well as the ability to add either TI's OMAP or ST's Nomadik applications processor.

"We're developing the open MIPI interface that will allow other applications processors to also support the chipset, but that's [MIPI] still being worked on," he said.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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