ASCOT, England -- Lucent Technologies Inc.'s Microelectronics Group today announced a high-performance reference design platform that it said can shave as much as a year off the time to market for high-speed Internet-enabled wireless handsets.
Manufacturers of General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) systems can bring a product to market in approximately four months with the Lucent platform, the company said.
An extension of Lucent's earlier GSM reference design platform, Qogir, the new Berlin multi-band platform provides a complete circuit-board-level hardware design for a dual-band GSM Class 4 mobile station terminal for operation in the 880-915-MHz (transmit) and 925-960-MHz (receive) bandwidths. It will also provide Class 8 operation, which enables download of Internet data at a speed equivalent to a V.90 modem, or 56 kilobits per second, and eventually going up to 10 times that speed.
GPRS, which is a 2.5-gigabits-per-second wireless technology, runs on packet-based technology that operates, with a simple software upgrade, on existing Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication networks. Emerging GPRS applications include web-browsing, e-banking, video games and virtual education, said Lucent.
Berlin is built around Lucent's Sceptre 3 chip set, which uses Lucent's DSP16000 architecture. The platform also integrates a microcontroller, mixed-signal components, and other technologies onto the DSP chip. Berlin uses a highly integrated baseband with Lucent's W3020 GSM radio-frequency chip and several new chip developments to reduce overall component count. By greatly reducing the number of components, the Berlin single-board, single-sided platform is approximately 100-by-40-by8-mm -- about the size of a business card.
The platform's GPRS protocol stack and related software were developed by Optimay GmbH, a Lucent subsidiary in Germany.
Lucent provides the platform with fully certifiable documentation and a formal test results package, which it said can greatly reduce the time to achieve Full Type Approval (FTA) required by European regulatory authorities. Lucent said this platform will allow handset manufacturers to develop at least two new handsets using the same platform design, without needing to allocate additional, in-house engineering resources.
"Wireless handset manufacturers are keenly interested in delivering GPRS products to market to support data intensive applications such as Internet browsing, but most of them would rather not spend time and resources to work on the design and FTA approvals," said Lance Hiley, strategic marketing manager of Lucent's Mobile Appliances Division, located in the U.K.
The Berlin platform is scheduled to be delivered globally to handset manufacturers by this year's fourth quarter.