SILICON LABORATORIES INTRODUCES INDUSTRY’S FIRST FULLY INTEGRATED SINGLE-CHIP PHONE FOR GSM/GPRS HANDSETS
AeroFONE Single-Chip Phone Offers Lowest Cost Solution without Sacrificing Performance --
AUSTIN, Texas Silicon Laboratories Inc. announced the AeroFONE single-chip phone, the industry’s most integrated, highest performance, easiest-to-use solution for GSM/GPRS handsets. The AeroFONE Si4905 is based on patent pending, breakthrough innovation enabling the first fully-functional single-chip phone to integrate the power management unit (PMU), battery interface and charging circuitry, digital baseband, analog baseband and a quad-band RF transceiver in a single monolithic CMOS IC.
By leveraging Silicon Laboratories’ proven Aero® II RF transceiver technology, the AeroFONE Si4905 offers industry-leading RF performance including sensitivity, blocking and transmit modulation spectrum characteristics. The high level of integration paired with unmatched RF performance makes Silicon Laboratories’ AeroFONE solution ideal for entry-level GSM/GPRS handsets where cost and circuit board area are critical. The high performance of the AeroFONE single-chip phone also allows handset manufacturers to easily meet the stringent performance requirements of cellular network operators worldwide.
“Handset manufacturers increasingly are faced with cost and performance pressures, particularly as they address the entry-level market, which is expected to amount to more than 200 million handsets per year until 2009,” said Scott Smyser, director and principal analyst, communications and consumer electronics for the market research firm iSuppli Corp. "Highly-integrated semiconductor solutions are essential for making entry-level mobile phones cost effective enough to achieve their market potential.”
Silicon Laboratories’ approach to the single-chip phone offers a flexible, scalable and easy-to-use platform for entry-level GSM/GPRS handsets without requiring additional co-processors or large software investments. Silicon Laboratories’ AeroFONE single-chip phone offers the ultimate in software flexibility with an underlying system architecture adaptable to multiple software protocol stacks, operating systems and applications frameworks. This unique approach lowers software-switching costs by enabling handset developers to either reuse existing software infrastructure or select one of the multiple protocol stacks and application software frameworks validated by Silicon Laboratories and its partners, including TTPCom, Stackcom and CCww. The AeroFONE software suite also includes smart platform and system driver libraries, which greatly reduce software development costs while improving time-to-market, performance and quality.
“TTPCom provides a proven digital modem IP and protocol stack,” said Julian Hildersley, Managing Director of TTPCom’s Silicon Business Unit. “The combination of Silicon Laboratories' system solution and TTPCom's cellular IP and GSM/GPRS protocol stack offers customers accelerated time-to-market for a complete and reliable mobile platform.”
By reducing the typical bill-of-materials (BOM) by over 200 insertions on a printed circuit board (PCB), the AeroFONE solution represents a dramatic reduction in the total cost of designing and manufacturing a GSM/GPRS handset. The unprecedented integration of the AeroFONE single-chip solution results in a significant reduction of component inventories, lower manufacturing costs, higher yields and higher reliability. Additionally, because all of the major handset functions are integrated in a single CMOS IC, handset manufacturers can drastically reduce test and calibration time.
Compared to other integrated baseband solutions on the market, the Si4905 single-chip phone reduces component count by 75 percent, board area by 65 percent and manufacturing costs by 50 percent. The Si4905 has an integrated digitally-controlled crystal oscillator (DCXO), which eliminates the expensive external VC-TCXO modules used in competing solutions. The Si4905 also integrates 2 Mbits of on-chip SRAM, which enables handset manufacturers to build GSM voice-centric cell phones without the need for external SRAM.
“Our innovative approach leverages our expertise in mixed-signal design as well as software and systems architecture to deliver a high-performance, fully-integrated single-chip phone,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. “When we began this effort, our objective was to deliver a fully-integrated phone that would help our customers reduce costs and simplify their designs without sacrificing performance or manufacturability. I am pleased to say that we have accomplished these goals and that the AeroFONE single-chip phone is a real, working solution making calls on GSM/GPRS networks today. While the concept of a single-chip phone has been promoted by many highly credible IC companies, we believe we have made the idea of a merchant market, single-chip phone a reality with the same proven RF performance our customers have come to expect from Silicon Laboratories.”