In the run-up for the 3GSM world trade fair, Infineon has launched a highly integrated single-chip mobile phone solution targeting the midrange market.
With the device, the company hopes to benefit from its ability to apply CMOS processes to RF circuitry and integrate these functions with standard CMOS devices.
The chip will enable the design of what Infineon calls a 2.75G phone platform supporting GSM/EDGE network connections and applications. The device is intended to extend the company's MP-E multimedia platform that presently is shipping in handsets from LG Electronics. Equipped with the S-Gold radio, the platform will be renamed MP-Elite.
With EGPRS, GPRS and GSM controller functions as well as baseband controller, RF transceiver and power management functions integrated in one chip, Infineon claims the S-Gold radio will enable the smallest footprint for feature-rich EDGE handsets in the industry.
The device combines the company's baseband solution S-Gold 2 and its Smarti-PM RF chip into one monolithically integrated all-CMOS product, Infineon said. Without additional hardware, the system supports multimedia features such as digital cameras with up to 2 MPixel, video streaming and video playback and record functions.
With its high integration, the S-Gold radio will reduce the Engineering Bill of Materials (eBOM) by up to 30 percent, the company claims. A spokesperson, however, refused to be more specific.
S-Gold radio is positioned to complement Infineon's product range that presently has its center of gravity in the ULC (Ultra low Cost) market
As recently as this week, Infineon acknowledged that Nokia uses its ULC single-chip solution in several entry level handsets. But the company also plans to extend its single-chip strategy further to the high-end side.
"The single-chip EDGE solution is one step farther towards a single-chip UMTS (3G) solution", explained Hermann Eul, president of Infineon's Communication Solutions group.
In addition to the S-Gold radio, the company also introduced two RF transceivers. Dubbed Smarti PM+ and Smarti UE they also leverage the company's CMOS RF manufacturing technology. The devices are targeting at EDGE and multi-mode 3G handset designs.
Quoting market research studies from Strategy Analytics, Infineon expects the GPRS/EDGE handset market to grow from 350 million units in 2007 to 550 million units in 2010. The market for 3G mobile phones will expand from 150 million units in 2007 to more than half a billion units in 2010, Infineon said.