2/11/2003 - Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) is presenting its unique vision for digital Radio Frequency (RF) architectures, built in cost-effective, low-power CMOS technology, for its system-on-chip products at the prestigious International Solid State Circuits Conference. Last year TI announced its intention to integrate the RF, digital and analog basebands, memory and power management components of a cell phone on a single chip and to sample the product in 2004.
"Adapting digital CMOS for processing radio frequency signals has the potential to revolutionize wireless communications and Texas Instruments is ahead of the curve in making this technology part of our offering," said Bill Krenik, advanced architecture manager, TI wireless terminals business unit. "We believe customers will use this technology to reduce system cost, size and power consumption in dramatic ways."
TI's single-chip cell phone solutions planned for 2004 will include wireless protocol software, digital and analog baseband, applications processing functionality, power management, RF and embedded memory. TI is using its aggressive integration approach to optimize cellular systems, delivering higher performance, very small form factors and lower system costs. As an example, TI offers its OMAP710, OMAP730 and OMAP732 wireless processors that integrate a GSM/GPRS modem baseband subsystem with a dedicated application processor on a single chip. Smartphones and wireless PDAs based on TI's OMAP7xx solutions are in production today.
Integrating Digital and Analog Processes
Traditional radio transceivers have used stages of low-noise amplifiers, mixers, and filters; often produced using specialized analog process technologies. More recently, analog circuits have been integrated with digital logic in low power, cost effective CMOS to meet the fundamental needs for radio reception. Taking the evolution one step further, TI is adopting a Digital RF architecture using sampled data processing techniques to condition the signal in the course of the frequency translation, resulting in a robust receiver that requires no off-chip intermediate filtering stages and is suitable for integration into advanced CMOS. Competitive alternatives use multi-chip solutions built with SiGe or BiCMOS RF technology, increasing total system cost, bill of materials and power consumption.
TI has demonstrated its unique ability to overcome the difficult challenges of integrating analog, power management and RF technologies cost effectively in digital CMOS technology. For example, the first implementation of TI's digital RF architecture, the BRF6100, is currently sampling and is the first single-chip Bluetooth solution to integrate a digital RF processor, Bluetooth digital and analog basebands, power management and memory on one chip to reduce cost and minimize board space.
As the trend toward smaller, more integrated products continues, TI's advanced process technology will allow TI the flexibility to mix and match digital analog, RF and memory components as needed to meet the needs of the company's broad base of customers. In January TI began producing wireless communication chips with the 90nm manufacturing technology TI will use to reach the cell phone on a chip goal.
"Traditionally, making the various chip components for a wireless terminal required a number of unique manufacturing processes. TI's digital RF architecture allows the analog and RF functions to be integrated on-chip using high-volume, cost-effective CMOS technology," said Dennis Buss, vice president of silicon technology development at TI. "Having an established track record in analog and RF circuit design, as well as demonstrated expertise at integrating those functions with advanced digital signal processing architectures, TI will continue to lead the industry wireless integration."
For more information about TI´s wireless silicon and software solutions for handsets and PDAs, please see www.ti.com/wireless.
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