Wireless Platform Drives Innovation in Consumer Electronics

2/26/2004 - Wireless has become the most important platform in consumer electronics and will be a primary focal point for innovation in coming years, Rich Templeton, Chief Operating Officer for Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE:TXN) said in a keynote address at the 3GSM World Congress.

“Wireless technology provides a low-cost, low-power platform to make it practical to expand the value of a cell phone beyond voice,” Templeton said. “We’re not far from the day when smartphones are projected to outsell laptop and desktop computers combined. Last year, cameraphones became the best selling cameras outpacing digital still cameras, which themselves surpassed film cameras for the first time.”

Templeton predicted that cell phones soon would become the prevailing devices worldwide for accessing the Internet, listening to music, capturing and watching video, and for organizing personal information. However, Templeton stressed that application-specific devices such as digital still cameras, digital audio players and many others still have a bright future in their own right. “Some people will exclusively rely on smartphones that deliver everything, but most people will use both multi-function cell phones and dedicated devices as their preferences and situations dictate.”

Using real applications and advanced cell phones that are commercially available from TI customers, TI demonstrated streaming video, fingerprint authentication and 3D gaming enabled by the first-generation of OMAP processors. The company also showed how advanced cell phones can transmit images directly to a television via BluetoothTM networking, allowing information from the phones to appear on large-screen displays. A new handset was shown that integrates multiple TI technologies including an OMAP processor and GPRS, Bluetooth and 802.11 connections. The handset enables simultaneous web browsing while conducting a GPRS voice call using a Bluetooth headset. Templeton said the deployment of second-generation processors, known as OMAP 2 and announced earlier in the week, will enable even higher-quality consumer applications on the wireless platform. For example, OMAP 2 processors increase video performance by 4X and 3D graphics capability by 40X compared to prior versions.

Templeton said these “demonstrations are evidence of the velocity in GSM and wireless overall. It took about 10 years to really develop digital voice and sleek form factors. Cameraphones have become very popular in just two years, and we’ll see the same thing happen with other features such as videophones and digital TV in just one year.”

To help customers make the most of new capabilities, TI announced the opening of a Wireless Applications Center in Villeneuve-Loubet, France, the company’s fourth such center worldwide where customers and network operators can learn about new wireless technology and see it in action.

Templeton also announced that TI has successfully made the world’s first GSM cellular phone call using digital RF technology. GSM, which stands for Global System for Mobile, is the world’s most-used cellular standard. With TI’s new digital RF processor successfully making calls, the company’s next step is to absorb this function into the company’s integrated digital baseband for wireless communications.

“When you move the digital radio into the baseband, you cut power consumption, cost and board space all in half,” Templeton said. “In a smartphone, this will open up valuable space for new applications and functions and increase performance.”

Continued integration to a single-chip solution, Templeton said, will make wireless phones affordable for more people worldwide. “In just a few years, more than two billion people will rely on cell phones for voice calling, and hundreds of millions will use smartphones to make their lives more convenient, productive, secure and fun,” Templeton said.

Texas Instruments – Making Wireless
TI is the leading manufacturer of wireless semiconductors, delivering the heart of today's wireless technology and building solutions for tomorrow. TI provides a breadth of silicon and software and 15 years of wireless systems expertise that spans handsets and base stations for all communications standards, wireless LAN, Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband. TI offers custom to turn-key solutions, including complete chipsets and reference designs, OMAPTM application processors, as well as core digital signal processor and analog technologies built on advanced semiconductor processes.

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers' real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company's businesses include Sensors & Controls, and Educational & Productivity Solutions. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at http://www.ti.com.

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