TI Phones Lack Only Kitchen Sink

Texas Instruments (TI) said today that future versions of its WiLink 5.0 chipset would integrate not only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but also an FM radio. In a separate announcement, Kineto Wireless said that the Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) software client it developed for letting devices roam from cellular to Wi-Fi networks (also known as fixed/mobile convergence or F/MC) could also be an option on future TI-based handsets.

“We’re porting our client to their OMAP platform,” says Steve Shaw, Kineto’s Director of Marketing. That will make Kineto’s UMA software an embeddable option for handset makers in the future.

Shaw says this was a result of carriers coming to TI with the request for F/MC features. “TI gets approached by everyone to make software run on their platform, but they only do it based on handset demand, which is based on operator demand,” he says. “UMA is now moving into the mainstream.” The phones would use a combination of the TI OMAP-Vox chip for Voice over IP and the WiLink 4.0 or 5.0 chips for mobile WLAN access.

TI’s WiLink 5.0 chipset will be the first to put FM stereo audio into the same housing with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The company had previously announced BlueLink 6.0 as a combination Bluetooth/FM radio single chip. TI says throwing in all the technologies will lead to usage like, for example, listening to FM stations via a Bluetooth headset while checking e-mail over Wi-Fi.

TI will be showing the WiLink 5.0 this week at CTIA Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas, demonstrating it in use while making a VoWLAN phone call.

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