GPRS/EDGE chip set adds multimedia features, reduces BOM by up to 20% - Embedded.com

GPRS/EDGE chip set adds multimedia features, reduces BOM by up to 20%

Agere Systems' latest handset chip set, the Vision X115, is aimed at GPRS/EDGE feature phones and smart phones. The two-chip set (analog and digital basebands) supports cinema-quality video and CD-quality audio capabilities. The X115 is the first solution based on the company's Vision mobile handset architecture and its OptiVerse software framework.

The digital baseband device is designed with three separate processor cores—an ARM7TDMI-S for communications, an ARM926EJ-S for applications, and an Agere DSP16000 core for physical layer and audio signal processing. The multimedia features, including support for a 2-Mpixel camera, are all handled without requiring additional applications processors or multimedia companion chips. As a result, the company claims that the chip set can reduce a handset's overall component count by more than 100 and shrink the IC bill of material (BOM) costs and footprint by up to 20%.

The analog baseband includes a power management solution that also handles the analog baseband processing, audio mixing and conversion. By separating the communications and applications processing domains within the digital baseband, the architecture allows each of the three processors to be dedicated to its particular function. Within the digital baseband, the communications processor serves as the system's master controller. This ensures that no matter which applications are running, the communications link is maintained.

Video functionality includes support for such standards as H.263, MPEG-4, and H.264. The X115 can provide video playback in both QVGA and QCIF screen resolutions in excess of 24 frames/s and provides MP3, AAC, aacPlus, or Enhanced aacPlus stereo audio. To meet the growing consumer demand for personalized musical ring tones, the X115 has WAV, SMAF and MIDI synthesizers and provides 64 polyphonic voices.

The X115 supports most popular high-level operating systems, including Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, SymbianOS, and Linux. The OptiVerse software frameworks help ease development while hastening time to market. The software includes reusable and standardized APIs to provide easy access to underlying communication and application functions within the solution. These interfaces simplify development of customized multimedia applications. Similar to the hardware partitioning, the OptiVerse software separates its communications and applications functions using a well-defined interface.

Agere expects to be in mass production with the X115 in the fourth quarter. For more information, Agere's Web site at www.agere.com.

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