Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) today announced two new devices built on the company's leading DRP(TM) single-chip technology designed to drive affordable WLAN, Bluetooth and FM technologies into mass market handsets. The first product is WiLink(TM) 6.0, a single chip that is the latest member of TI's mobile WLAN (mWLAN) family, and is the industry's first device to integrate a complete offering of mobile WLAN, Bluetooth and FM, with support for IEEE draft 802.11n for better coverage and reception. The second product is the BlueLink(TM) 7.0 solution, the latest version of TI's BlueLink(TM) Bluetooth single-chip family that integrates Bluetooth and FM. The FM functionality in both devices delivers FM transmit and receive capabilities, turning the handset into a personal area broadcast device.
The new chips are tightly integrated monolithic solutions that enable the functionality demanded by today's consumers, allowing them to send and receive more data on their mobile phones with an enhanced voice and audio experience. Both devices are manufactured in leading-edge 65-nanometer (nm) technology, delivering a low-cost, low-power single chip with a small footprint.
Enabling Affordable WLAN, Bluetooth and FM for Mainstream Handsets
The new WiLink 6.0 device integrates mWLAN, Bluetooth and FM on a single chip, allowing handset manufacturers to quickly and seamlessly integrate these three functions into feature-rich mainstream handsets, giving more consumers access to features usually found only in high-end handsets. By integrating the industry's first mobile 802.11n solution, consumers can seamlessly and quickly share large files such as movies and photos between their handsets and other WLAN-enabled devices, like laptops, digital cameras and gaming consoles. Operators and service providers deploying dual-mode phone solutions expect 802.11n to drastically improve voice call quality and reliability in VoWLAN applications. The WiLink 6.0 device will help reduce dropped calls, lowering support costs for these newer, more complex dual-mode solutions.
The new BlueLink 7.0 device integrates the industry's best-performance Bluetooth technology with high-quality FM stereo transmit and receive functions on a single chip. With new FM transmit capability, consumers can enjoy MP3 files stored on their phone on any FM receiver, such as car stereos or radios without wires. The new chip also provides enhanced performance with support for Bluetooth Specification 2.1 plus EDR (enhanced data rate). The WiLink 6.0 solution and BlueLink 7.0 device share the same Bluetooth and FM core solution, allowing customers to capitalize on their past and future software investments in a versatile manner.
"The phone is now the consumer's center of gravity - the one device they use to entertain, connect and access information. With the WiLink 6.0 single chip, TI is enabling true voice over IP and personal audio broadcasting - allowing people to use their phone in ways they never have before," said Marc Cetto, General Manager of TI's Mobile Connectivity Solutions. "TI's deep expertise in wireless and leading edge process technology makes us well positioned to take Bluetooth and mobile WLAN to the next level and make them affordable for more consumers around the globe."
Combined with single-chip modem solutions from TI, handset manufacturers have a complete "antenna to application" solution for mid-tier and low-end handsets. TI's WiLink 6.0 platform can work with the OMAP-Vox(TM) family of solutions, including the OMAPV1030 processor and OMAPV1035 "eCosto" single- chip EDGE solution, to provide an optimized modem, applications processor and mWLAN/Bluetooth/FM solution for mid-tier handsets. Coupled with TI's "LoCosto" single chip platform, BlueLink 7.0 is a cost-efficient solution to increase Bluetooth penetration in handsets by addressing the high-volume, low-cost emerging handset market.
"Mobile devices with both WLAN and Bluetooth are primarily found in the high-end of the global handset market today. A more affordable, integrated mWLAN and Bluetooth solution, such as TI's new WiLink 6.0 single chip, should help push these key technologies toward the mid- and low-tier segments, and into the hands of more mass-market users," said Neil Mawston, Associate Director of the Global Wireless Practice, Strategy Analytics.
TI leads the market in mobile WLAN shipments for handset applications, according to Forward Concepts. Using this expertise, the new WiLink 6.0 device is designed to meet increasing consumer demand for PC-style high-throughput connectivity on the go without compromising battery life. The combination of mWLAN, Bluetooth and FM functionality allows users to perform a variety of simultaneous tasks, such as listening to the radio on a Bluetooth headset while checking email via mWLAN.
Designed with TI's innovative DRP technology, the BlueLink 7.0 device cuts power consumption by 20 percent over previous generations in critical modes of operation. It also provides superior "class 1.5" functionality, which enables high transmit power without an additional external power amplifier, delivering improved sensitivity and RF performance.
TI also brings seamless cellular and WLAN connectivity for emerging IMS applications by leveraging its VoWLAN functionality provided by TI's OMAP-Vox and WiLink solutions. IMS gives consumers on-the-go voice access over WLAN or the cellular network using their mobile phones.
Proven Coexistence Platform
The new WiLink 6.0 and BlueLink 7.0 solutions include TI's proven robust coexistence platform which addresses system-wide interference issues, encompassing radio design and hardware and software solutions. Coexistence expertise is becoming increasingly important as more radios are being added to the handset. TI leads the market in coexistence solutions for Bluetooth and mWLAN, with more than 30 handsets using TI's coexistence platform.
Handsets are expected to be on the market with TI's WiLink 6.0 and BlueLink 7.0 in 2008.