RealTime IT News

Texas Instruments, Ericsson Team on Multimedia Platform

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) and Ericsson announced Monday that Ericsson will use TI's DSP-based Open Multimedia Application Platform in its next generation wireless Internet handsets, communicators and advanced mobile computing devices.

The platform will enable advanced wireless Internet access, including future voice, data and video functions such as digital audio, e-commerce and real-time video streaming, the firms said.

TI's Open Multimedia Applications Platform (OMAP) is a flexible hardware and software platform that will support applications and platforms within the wireless market from basic voice and Internet services, to advanced multimedia functionality. Each element of OMAP is designed to be connected together and integrated with a customer's own blocks.

As part of the cooperation, Ericsson and TI will develop a custom and optimized subsystem within TI's digital baseband platform called a Gigacell. The Gigacell consists of a new TMS320 DSP core from TI, a dedicated ARM based microcontroller, Direct Memory Access (DMA), memories and a set of specific hardware blocks. The Gigacell and future derivatives will be the core of integrated 3G digital baseband chips that Ericsson plans to develop.

"By being TI's driving engagement for the first standard OMAP Gigacell, we will be early to market with the optimal platform for our future wireless communications devices," said Tord Wingren, director and general manager for Product Unit UMTS Telephones at Ericsson Mobile Communications.

"The convergence of communications and wireless computing applications, combined with the vast power and opportunities enabled by the Internet, is creating many exciting opportunities for Texas Instruments and Ericsson to work together," said Gilles Delfassy, vice president, Texas Instruments, Worldwide Wireless Communications. "TI's expertise in DSPs optimized for wireless communications end-equipment will allow Ericsson and other customers to offer leading solutions and capabilities. "

TI will also make its OMAP platform available to other OEMs and third parties for the development of new applications in the wireless data market. A preliminary tool set is now available for software designers to begin implementing applications. Customer design can start today for silicon samples, with volume production in the second half of 2000.

TI will support this platform with development chips, a software development kit and defined Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The APIs will be open and can be implemented by other vendors to ensure an attractive DSP accelerated multimedia environment for independent software vendors.