CANNES, France Quorum Systems, Inc. is demonstrating a dual radio IC at the 3GSM World Congress that combines a W-CDMA 3G transceiver with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g capabilities for companies readying converged handsets.
The device, not yet sampling, will be the next version of the company's Sereno series of multi-mode radio transceivers for what it describes as ubiquitous wireless connectivity
At the show, Quorum (San Diego, Calif.) launched the SerenoQS2000, a single-chip CMOS transceiver that integrates 802.11b/g and GSM/GPRS/EDGE and which enables simultaneous voice and data operation and seamless hand-off. The device is already sampling.
Using a proprietary scheduling scheme, the chip allows pseudo-simultaneous operation of wireless and cellular radios, without the bulky, expensive RF isolation and shielding techniques that have dogged integration attempts to date.
At the core of Quorum's intellectual property are a direct-conversion, multimode down- and up-converter; an adaptive filter arrangement; and a fast-settling fractional-N synthesizer.
"One big advantage in using CMOS is that we are able to produce unprecedented performance in a cost-efficient manner which in turn has a cost-benefit for our handset customers," said Bernard Xavier, founder, president and CEO of Quorum Systems.
The radios are able to run seemingly simultaneously through the use of a software layer the company has developed, called the Quorum Multi-Access Technology, that interleaves Wi-Fi packets into unused GSM slots while still ensuring that GSM calls receive priority. This sequencing eliminates the shielding and isolation requirements, rated at 80 dB, that have stymied integrated radio to date.
The QS2000 follows the successful launch last June of the QC2530, arguably the industry's first single-chip transceiver to capable of simultaneous Wi-Fi/GSM operation.
Steve Brown, vice president of product management at Quorum, said "the 2530 has been evaluated by several potential customers, but we now see that as a technology enabler. It is the QS2000 that we will go into high volume production with first, in a 0.18 micron CMOS process, even though the first design has higher performance; the QS2000 will be cheaper to make."
The QS 2000 offers a 43 percent reduction in component count and 38 percent reduction in footprint when compared with a more traditional approach of having separate and un-coordinated radio chains, said Brown.