6/9/2005 - Athena Semiconductors, Inc. announced a new high performance, ultra low-power, dual-band, Radio Frequency (RF) tuner chip, built using the Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process, to enable truly cost-effective mobile TV applications in cellular phones and other devices such as PDAs and automobile entertainment systems. The ATS7000 is fully compliant with the Digital Video Broadcast-Handheld (DVB-H) standard that enables the reception of multi-channel broadcast TV and audio channels on mobile consumer devices. ATS7000 supports mobile broadcast TV services in both Europe and the US by operating in UHF and L-band, thus providing interoperability across networks and simplifying the design of mobile consumer devices capable of TV reception.
The ATS7000 offers breakthrough levels of performance and integration by using Athena’s production proven OptimRFTM direct-conversion, zero-IF CMOS radio technology that has been deployed in a variety of Athena’s CMOS RF chips over several years. By using direct conversion, the ATS7000 avoids external SAW filters and tunable parts, which results in the lowest Bill of Materials (BOM) cost, yet maintaining a very high level of performance. A complete mobile-TV receiver can be built by combining the ATS7000 with a partner’s digital Demodulator chip. ATS7000 has a flexible interface to work with a range of Demodulator chips from other vendors. Contrasting with BiCMOS process based RF tuner chips, the use of standard CMOS process results not only in a low cost ATS7000 chip and low-cost BOM, but also lays a foundation for the evolution to a single die RF/Demodulator solution. This evolution will result in further reduction in cost, footprint and power to support the explosive growth expected in the mobile TV market.
ATS7000 Performance and Integration
The ATS7000 boasts several key performance characteristics for Original Equipment / Design Manufacturers (OEM / ODM) to leverage:
The Mobile TV Market
As service providers continue to seek out ways to offer greater differentiated services, one lucrative application that has emerged is mobile TV on any networked device such as cell phones, PDAs, Mobile PCs and even in automobiles. Market research firm, Electronics.ca, predicted earlier this year that “if Mobile TV is priced and packaged correctly, there could be up to 270 million subscribers worldwide with TV functionality on their mobile phones by 2009.” Athena’s patented capabilities combined with the use of standard and widely deployed CMOS-based technologies provides OEM and ODM customers with the world’s most cost-effective opportunity for vendors and providers to realize mobile TV service revenues.
“Athena is committed to being at the forefront of next generation wireless CMOS RF solutions that deliver a combination of value, unparalleled performance and small form factors that aids product differentiation in the marketplace,” commented Pratap Reddy, President of Athena Semiconductors. “The ATS7000 greatly contributes to these efforts and we see a lot of potential to help move mobile TV applications to the next level of form factor and affordability. We are developing Mobile TV reference designs by working with Demodulator chip partners and working with a tier one cellular phone OEM to deploy the ATS7000 chip.”
The ATS7000 is currently sampling with production planned for the early part of the fourth quarter of 2005. With the cost effectiveness of CMOS technology, ATS7000 is competitively priced to meet the requirements of targeted high volume markets. Pricing will vary by configuration/count.
About Athena Semiconductors
Athena Semiconductors, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company delivering system-on-a-chip solutions for the global wireless broadband market. The company’s standards-based products enable the delivery of wireless broadband voice, video and data services with Quality of Service capabilities to ensure high reliability. Athena’s corporate headquarters are in Fremont, California and design centers are located in Athens, Greece and Bangalore, India. The company’s global team has strong CMOS RF, Digital Signal Processor (DSP), networking IC and software expertise to deliver its high performance products to the wireless Local-, Wide- and Personal-Area-Network (LAN, WAN and PAN) markets. Athena’s competitive advantages are leveraged from providing lower-cost, higher performance devices using unique methods and technologies such as its OptimRFTM technology. Athena Semiconductors has raised multiple rounds of funding from leading venture capitalists and organizations including Alliance Venture Management, Needham Capital Partners, Samsung Electronics Company and KGI partners. More information about Athena Semiconductors can be found at www.athenasemi.com.
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