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3G LSI chip combines advanced low-power techs

Posted: 16 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:system LSI chip? W-CDMA? HSDPA? communications technologies?

NEC Electronics Corp.'s M2 system LSI chip integrates 3G to 3.5G W-CDMA and HSDPA communications technologies with advanced low-power technologies optimized for mobile handsets.

The chip utilizes a 3.5G digital baseband (DBB) technology developed by Adcore-Tech. The M2 chip is part of NEC Electronics' Medity series of mobile handset solutions and is the successor to the company's "M1" chip introduced in September 2006. While the M1 was based on the ARM926EJ-STM CPU core, the M2 chip uses the more advanced ARM1176JZF-S core, delivering a significant improvement in performance.

The new chip's power consumption was reduced by 50 percent through a combination of several advanced technologies, said NEC Electronics. These included advancements in circuit design and layout such as dynamic frequency scaling, automatic hierarchical clock control, LCD Direct Path technology, on-chip power switch technology and Quick Recovery technology. Moreover, the use of 65nm process technologies such as Multi-Vt transistor technology and back-bias technique also helped lower power consumption. NEC Electronics also used LongRun2 technology licensed from Transmeta. According to NEC Electronics, these advancements in power consumption technology help extend battery life and usage time as well as minimize the size of the mobile handset battery itself, enabling slimmer handsets.

Aside from improvements in power consumption, the M2 chip helps reduce total BOM parts by reducing the number of external parts, by sharing the external memory used by the application processor and the DBB. M2 is also based on NEC Electronics' platformOViA to facilitate efficient software development.

M1 and M2 compose the backbone of NEC Electronics' Medity solution suite that supports the features needed to develop the communications core of mobile handsets. Medity includes several features such as a chipset that includes a DBB and application processor, RFIC and power IC, software to drive the system LSI, evaluation boards and reference design kits, development tools for communications software and application software support and system integration services to port fundamental software and middleware.

Medity2, which will be based on the M2 chip, is expected to be released by year-end.

Samples of the M2 chip are available now for $45 each. Volume quantities will begin to be available in October.

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