Single-chip phone fits GSM ULCH handsets - Embedded.com

Single-chip phone fits GSM ULCH handsets

Silicon Laboratories has developed what it is calling the industry's most integrated, highest performing single-chip phone for the GSM ultra low cost handset (ULCH) market. Dubbed the Si4901 AeroFONE single-chip phone, the part expands the company's family of single-chip phones to address demand for low cost, highly integrated GSM handsets in emerging economies. The Si4901 single-chip phone requires only 51 components for the complete modem bill of materials for a mobile phone, potentially 75% fewer than current low-cost handsets.

The Si4901 is the second product in Silicon Laboratories' AeroFONE single-chip phone family, solutions that integrate the power management unit (PMU), battery interface and charging circuitry, digital baseband, analog baseband, and RF transceiver into one monolithic CMOS IC.

By simplifying pcb routing due to the high level of integration, the Si4901 permits the use of a four-layer pcb for a complete handset design, resulting in savings of as much as $1.00 over six-layer designs. The combination of the AeroFONE software solution and 2 Mbits of integrated SRAM eliminates the need for an external SRAM. In addition, the Si4901's digitally-controlled crystal oscillator (DCXO) technology helps replace external voltage-controlled temperature compensated crystal oscillator (VC-TCXO) modules with only a crystal resonator. A complete Si4901 AeroFONE-based design enables developers to build and manufacture handsets with a phone BOM under $16.

The Si4901's development platform is adaptable to multiple software protocol stacks, operating systems, and applications frameworks. This approach lowers software-switching costs by enabling handset developers to either reuse existing software infrastructure or select one of the multiple protocol stacks and application software frameworks validated by Silicon Laboratories and its partners. The part is available in a standard 10- by 10-mm, Pb-free, RoHS-compliant plastic BGA package. Pricing depends on volume. It's sampling now, with mass production scheduled for the fourth quarter. An evaluation platform is available for $5000. For more information, visit www.silabs.com/aerofone.

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