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Chip integrates flurry of RF features

Posted: 11 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip combo? Bluetooth GPS IP? FM chip radio?

The race to get ever tighter integrated RF functionalities on to a single chip has hotted up again with Broadcom Corp. extending its combo chip line-up with a device integrating its GPS location-based IP, Bluetooth and FM radio.

Last month, CSR plc claimed to have stolen a lead with a similar combination of wireless capabilities in the tightest package.

Broadcom claims its device, the BCM2075, significantly reduces the host and application processing required by competing combo solutions, enabling greater adoption in mass market handsets.

The chip uses the GPS IP and silicon Broadcom acquired in 2007 through the purchase of Global Locate.

Splitting processing duties
According to Dave Murray, director of marketing for GPS at Broadcom, other companiessuch as CSRhave to rely on a "soft" approach to integrating GPS that can put a lot of burden on the processor employed.

The 2075 uses a host-based integration architecture that splits the processing duties between the combo chip and the host CPU system and provides the lowest power GPS available, and is said to deliver 50 percent better power performance when compared with other solutions on the market.

Murray said he expects the combo chip to be used in a mobile phone that is on the market by the end of this year. "We have been working on this part for a considerable time and have sampled it to early access customers."

He expects mobile phones to use the part first, followed by portable media players and personal navigation devices.

The BCM2075 is backwards compatible with Broadcom's BCM2049 combo chip announced in October 2008, and runs on an ARM Cortex-M3 processor that provides low power consumption for optimum connectivity operation and effective multimedia processing.

It is s supported by Broadcom's World Wide Reference Network for indoor and outdoor positioning.

The Bluetooth core is compliant with ver 2.1 and enhanced data rate technology and features the company's voice enhancement technology.

In conjunction with the BTE-Mobile, Windows Mobile and Android software stacks, the 2075 supports multiple simultaneous Advanced Audio Distribution Profile streams, enabling music sharing between multiple stereo Bluetooth headsets, creating a wireless networked music environment.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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