In the rough-and-tumble world of gaming, it’s tough to be the new kid on the block. Bringing fresh function to a market where names like Nintendo and Sony rule the roost, Tiger Telematics has rolled out the Gizmondo, a handheld that bristles with features—and analog content—in an effort to get a foothold against the competition.
The 187-gram Gizmondo handheld resembles a console-style game controller with a 2.8 inch diagonal LCD in the middle and control buttons sprinkled around the product surface. Inside the case lives a cellular GPRS radio, Bluetooth, camera, and a GPS receiver to complement the processing platform which runs fun—and serious—software for the device.
A Samsung CPU joins with an Nvidia graphics processor to deliver the digital punch but the many components found on the opposite side of the board are the peripherals which support both audio and RF spectrum capabilities.
A Silicon Labs GSM radio chip-set joins TI components to implement a GPRS data radio such that consoles can link for head-to-head gaming via the cellular network. Call on the CSR Bluetooth link for close-in peer-to-peer connectivity, implemented with a CMOS mixed-signal Bluetooth device (#BC313143) combining radio and baseband.
To make matters more interesting, global positioning system (GPS) support in the Gizmondo allows location-based gaming while also enabling conventional GPS navigation—a feature soon slated for the Gizmondo by way of software add-ons. A two-chip set from SiRF (#STGRF2i/LP and #GSP2e/LP) along with a splash of NOR memory and supporting components let the handheld gain location-aware features.
Of course audio is essential to the multimedia gadget, and two devices from Micronas (#MAS3515G/#DAC3560C) implement sound synthesis and the audio subsystem along with a TI D/A converter (#PCM1773) for final output.
A sinkhole for silicon of all stripes, the Gizmondo links game machine and GPS-PDA-WLAN-WWAN combo to run software both fun and flexible. The big question is whether they can crash a party hosted by the big guys.
About the author
David Carey is President of Portelligent. The Austin, Texas company produces teardown reports and related industry research on Wireless, Mobile, and Personal Electronics. (www.teardown.com)