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ST won't have 'single-chip' cellphone integration until 2007

Posted: 07 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cellphone? texas instrument? rf cmos?

European chip company STMicroelectronics won't replicate Texas Instruments' recently announced single-chip cellphone until 2007, a company executive said during a conference call with analysts following the announcement of ST's fourth quarter results.

TI said recently it had combined digital circuitry with RF in CMOS to make a single-chip cellphone. Senior ST executives said some analysts had overestimated the impact of Texas Instruments' move on ST's future finances by an order of magnitude.

Analysts have speculated that as multiple chips in cellphones become one, a development allowed by the level of integration demonstrated by TI, a number of chip companies supplying devices for cellphones are going to get designed out of the next-generation phones at considerable cost to their annual revenues. In addition Nokia, a strategic customer for ST, is TI's lead partner for the single-chip phone.

"We want to congratulate the people who made this technical achievement at TI," said Aldo Romano, ST's corporate vice president previously responsible for telecommunications, peripherals and automotive who is set to retire soon.

Other company executives argued that TI's move would not have a great impact on ST because it was only one design and aimed at the low end of the market. They added tha that the design addresses a segment that is a minor part of ST's mobile phone portfolio.

"The trend followed by TI technology - to do the RF circuitry in CMOS and integrate it - is a trend we also follow," said corporate vice president Phillipe Geyres, who is taking over responsibility for consumer and telecommunications under a reorganization announced September 2004.

"We have our own efforts putting RF efficiently in CMOS and [we] are addressing 3G phones. We shall not be in production this year, but clearly we are also very active," he continued.

Geyres also said ST would combine the RF plus a digital baseband "in the 2007 timeframe."

- Peter Clarke

Silicon Strategies

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