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TI Shows Off New Mobile Chips

Texas Instruments (TI) Monday expanded its family of mobile processors, with the release of five new OMAP chipsets for smartphones and PDAs.

Each of the processors features on-chip security as well as better support for graphics, multimedia content, and Java. The Dallas-based company claims the new chips also reduce standby current in mobile devices 10 times as much as previous versions.

The company said its motivating factor was to give mobile device manufacturers options to design smaller and more secure devices with longer battery life and faster multimedia applications.

"These new processors deliver significant improvements in wireless application performance -- including the industry's first implementation of wireless hardware security," said TI vice president and OMAP platform general manager Alain Mutricy.

Made with 0.13-micron process technology, the new processors are broken up into two camps. There are three devices in the OMAP161x series -- the OMAP1610, OMAP1611 and OMAP1612 -- that can be coupled with chipsets for all cellular standards.

Two other chips in the new OMAP73x series -- the OMAP730 and OMAP732 -- use the GSM/GPRS standard and include a modem baseband subsystem with a dedicated application processor on a single chip. The company said its new OMAP devices are software-compatible with the previous OMAP1510, OMAP310 and OMAP710 processors.

TI says the chipsets are designed for a multitude of operating systems including Linux, Palm OS, Symbian, Microsoft's mobile device platforms' Pocket PC and Smartphone, and Nucleus and systems integration services from independent OMAP Technology Centers. Samples of the OMAP1610, OMAP1611 and OMAP730 devices are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2003. The OMAP1612 and OMAP732 devices, which feature stacked memory, are scheduled to sample in the second quarter of 2003.

The company also unveiled its new integrated four-chip dual-mode TCS4105 UMTS chipset and reference design for 3G phones. The chipsets support vivid imaging and video, videoconferencing, interactive 3D games and entertainment, location-based services, high-end stereo music and polyphonic audio. TI said the TBB4105 digital baseband processor in the TCS4105 chipset supports WCDMA up to 384kbps, as well as Class12 GSM/GPRS.

Commercial samples of the TCS4105 are due in the third quarter of 2003 and full-scale production of chipset and software is planned for first half of 2004, with reference design to follow.

Also building on that strategy, TI said it is making a programmable chipset that enables cellular infrastructure manufacturers to create low-cost, differentiated channel cards for 3G base stations. The new chipset -- TMS320TCI100 DSP, TMS320TCI110 receive chip rate coprocessor, TMS320TCI120 transmit chip rate coprocessor -- features a digital signal processor tailored for wireless infrastructure and tightly coupled transmit and receive chip-rate application specific standard products.

The TCI100 DSP is pin and code compatible with the popular TMS3206416 DSP. Like the 6416 DSP, the TCI100 DSP features two high-bandwidth parallel interfaces and Viterbi and Turbo embedded coprocessors.

The processors are scheduled to be available through TI in the third quarter of 2003.