Cypress unveils peripheral controller for multimedia handsets - Embedded.com

Cypress unveils peripheral controller for multimedia handsets

San Jose, Calif.—Designed specifically for consumer electronics such as handsets and portable media players, Cypress Semiconductor has taken the wraps off the first member of its West Bridge dedicated peripheral controller family.

Marketed under the brand-name Antioch, the West Bridge dedicated peripheral controller delivers a direct path from High-Speed USB 2.0 to the latest handset storage devices, such as Secure Digital (SD) multimedia card (MMC), hard disk drive (HDD) and NAND flash. With Antioch, data can be transferred from USB to mass storage at a rate of 480-Mbits/s without interfering with the system's processor.

“The West Bridge device enables peripheral-to-peripheral data transfer—that's the idea of floating lots of [data] transfer away from the main CPU,” said Herve Letourneur, West Bridge product marketing manager for Cypress Semiconductor. “This frees up resources and improves system performance.”

By offloading USB and storage management from the main baseband processor, Antioch saves critical processor resources and allows handsets to function while simultaneously uploading or downloading multimedia files, synchronizing PIM data, or using the phone as a PC modem.

This multitasking feature can be attributed to Cypress' proprietary architecture dubbed Simultaneous Link to Independent Multimedia (SLIM), which is designed to manage dedicated paths to allow the processor host (P-port), mass storage (S-port) and High-Speed USB (U-port) interfaces to connect independently.

“The SLIM architecture is what enables all of these different ports to talk to each other independently. This is what is enabling the multitasking usage model. You can have files download from your PC to your cell phone, entirely freeing up your main processor to do anything different at that point. That's a key point for us,” Letourneur said.

To produce similar types of systems, manufacturers would have to use a separate USB controller, NAND controller and Micro-SD controller, as well as an external crystal to generate the USB frequency.

“If you sum that up, we are replacing four different parts—that's a lot of space on the board and power consumption, which is why it's hard to compare. This chip is unique,” he said.

The West Bridge Antioch controller, part number CYWB0124AB, features a low-power 1.8-V core to support an I/O voltage range of 1.8-V to 3.3-V to easily interface with several generations of baseband processors, application processors, ASICs and ASSPs. It is manufactured using the company's 0.13-micron C8 low-power process technology to cut dynamic and standby current.

Letourneur wouldn't elaborate on the device's power consumption figures only to say that Cypress is “cutting down the power dramatically.”

Cypress continues to follow the trend for strong demand for mobile handsets that can download music files, photos and videos at extremely fast speeds. The company in June released a 1.8-V Hi-Speed USB 2.0 programmable controller dubbed the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 that can enable cell phones to download music files in about two to three seconds compared with existing devices that take up to 30 to 40 seconds without compromising battery life. For full story, click here: www.eeproductcenter.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=189601581.

Compared with Antioch, the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 only supports a USB interface, Letourneur said. While external High-Speed USB controllers are still in high demand, Cypress sees a trend in the embedded, non-PC sector for a chip that can offload interface support from the main CPU. The West Bridge family is aimed at replacing external controllers with a single chip that would integrate many interfaces, depending on the specific system, he said.

The West Bridge Antioch controller, part number CYWB0124AB is packaged in a 100-ball fpBGA that measure 6-mm X 6-mm and 0.5-mm pitch. It is sampling today with full production expected in the first quarter of 2007. Pricing in 500K unit quantities is less than $4 each.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp., 1-408-943 2600, www.cypress.com

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