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TI Expands Application Chips Beyond Phones

Texas Instruments (TI) unveiled new application chips on Tuesday that can be used in everything from music players to medical equipment, with an aim to expand its business beyond the mobile phone chip market.

TI, which faces competition from San Diego-based Qualcomm in the wireless market, said it would address broader markets by expanding its OMAP product line, which is mostly used to support features such as gaming and video in handsets.

[cob:Related_Articles]"We're basically making this technology available to thousands of customers instead of tens of customers," said Neil Anderskouv, vice president of TI's digital systems business.

TI would not disclose any revenue projections.

TI's OMAP 3500 line of digital chips would support features such as graphics displays in navigation equipment, medical imaging equipment or music players, he said.

The company is working with as many as 100 clients on making products using the new chips, Anderskouv said, but did not name the clients.

TI, whose biggest client is the world's largest cell phone maker, Nokia, derives about 40 percent of its revenue from wireless chips.

Qualcomm has been making inroads on TI in the market for advanced phone chips and overtook its Dallas-based rival in the wireless chip market for the first quarter of 2007.

Qualcomm ended 2007 with an 18.2 percent share of the $30.8 billion cellular chip market, compared with TI's 16 percent share, according to estimates from research firm iSuppli.

In-Stat analyst Jim McGregor said it made sense for TI to bring out new versions of OMAP to suit broader markets better than earlier OMAP products, which were best suited to phones.

"It wasn't necessarily the best fit outside wireless," McGregor said.

The company said its OMAP3503 chipset would ship within four weeks. It also said that OMAP3515, OMAP3525 and OMAP3530 would be available in the second half of the year.

TI shares were up 43 cents, or more than 1 percent, at $30.81 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.