Cutting what is claims are "scores of components" from future cell-phone designs, Analog Devices Inc. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. today introduced a jointly-developed direct-conversion radio chip for 3G cell phones.
Designed for the W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) cell-phone market, the chip streamlines handset designs by enabling incoming high-frequency signals to be sent directly to baseband, or low frequencies, without the need for additional conversion circuitry like oscillators and filters.
In addition to a lower chip-count and real estate savings, the device trims bill of materials costs and reduces power consumption, the companies said.
"Our W-CDMA handset will be very competitive in the market due to the direct-conversion architecture," said Kenji Itoh, section manager for Mitsubishi's Next-Generation Radio Terminal Development Department. "It will be smaller and lower cost than others."
The chip follows the September release of ADI's first direct-conversion radio chip, the Othello, which is aimed at phones supporting the GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communication/General Packet Radio Service) protocol.
"Using direct conversion for demanding radio systems like GSM and W-CDMA requires expertise in analog design as well as a complete system understanding,'' said Christian Kermarrec, vice president of RF and wireless systems at ADI, Norwood, Mass.
The new 3G radio chip, which will be described in detail in a paper at the RFIC Symposium in June, includes variable-gain amplifiers, baseband channel filters, and a wide-dynamic-range logarithmic amplifier for RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) detection. The low-power device is manufactured in Analog Devices' BiCMOS process.
Pricing was not made available.