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CSR Wi-Fi devices tailored for cellphones, MP3 players

Posted: 19 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cambridge silicon radio? csr? wi-fi? unifi?

Cambridge Silicon Radio plc (CSR) launched a range of true single-chip Wi-Fi devices that promises to deliver unparalleled size, power, performance and cost advantages to Wi-Fi product designers.

According to CSR, its UniFi devices offer designers the first Wi-Fi solution specifically targeted at mass-market cellphones and other pocket sized consumer products such as digital cameras and MP3 players.

UniFi combines up to three Wi-Fi standards into a true single-chip. The first UniFi products are UniFi-1 Portable (802.11b/g, single band), which is designed for cellphones, and UniFi-1 Consumer (802.11a/b/g, dual band) aimed at both cellphones and other consumer electronics applications.

UniFi-1 Portable is available in a 5.8-by-6.4mm CSP, while UniFi-1 Consumer is housed in an 8-by-8mm BGA package. The company said they were able to achieve these size reductions by integrating the RF, modem, baseband and MAC into a true single chip. CSR has also eliminated the need for external flashthe consumer version contains an integrated flash memory.

Since UniFi does not rely on a host processor, it is a suitable solution for embedding Wi-Fi in consumer electronics devices such as DVD or video players and plasma screens. And because UniFi is a complete single-chip embedded solution, with all the firmware on-chip, time to market and design costs are minimized, CSR added.

The press release notes that both UniFi-1 Portable and Consumer devices employ spatial diversity techniques (a subset of MIMO) to deliver high-speed performance over a longer distance than any other WLAN device. Simultaneous reception and correlation of the signal through two antennas and receivers, rather than simple switching between antennas, maximize data throughput over the entire range.

UniFi-1 is priced at less than $8. And since UniFi-1 requires few external components, the external component BoM is less than $1 for both UniFi-1 Portable and UniFi-1 Consumer devices. UniFi devices will start sampling in late Q4 2004, with full production scheduled before mid-2005.

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