San Jose, Calif.Strong demand for mobile handsets that can download music files, photos and videos at lightening speed has caught the attention of Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
One of the electronics industry's leading USB chip makers has developed what it claims is the world's first 1.8-V Hi-Speed USB 2.0 programmable microcontroller dubbed the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 that can enable cell phones to download music files in about two to three seconds compared with existing devices that take up to 30 to 40 seconds. And it can do this without compromising battery life.
"In portable products, battery life is the most important thing, sometimes more than the functionality," said Rajiv Nema, marketing manager at Cypress.
Indeed, the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 is manufactured using the company's 0.13-micron C8 process technology to slash dynamic and standby power consumption by nearly 80% versus the nearest competitors to extend battery life, Nema said. The MoBL-USB FX2LP18's standby current consumption is 20 µA compared with 160-µA in competing products.
The MoBL-USB FX2LP18 has a 1.8-volt core and supports an I/O voltage range of 1.8 V to 3.3 V to easily interface with several generations of baseband processors, application processors, ASICs and ASSPs.
The device is a fully integrated peripheral controller, including an 8051 microprocessor, a serial interface engine, a high-speed USB 2.0 transceiver, on-chip RAM and FIFO and a general programmable interface. Its architecture handles all basic USB functions, enabling the host system's processor to focus on application-specific functions and ensuring sustained high-performance data transfer rates. It features a data rate of 480-Mbits/s, 16 Kbytes of on-chip memory, and up to 24 programmable I/Os.
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"Another key feature is the GPIF, general programmable interface. It allows the designer to program this chip so that it hooks up to any ASIC of choice, so one customer may want to use a chip from Freescale, TI or Qualcomm or any other vendor. Each has a different interface because there's not industry-standard interface. That's what the programmability of this chip allows," he said.
Mobile phones with MP3-player capabilities such as the Motorola ROKR introduced last September allows users to transfer up to 100 of their favorites songs from their Mac or PC. But the big drawback of that feature was the amount of time it took for the user to download the music files. ROKR has a baseband processor with integrated Full Speed USB connectivity to the PC.
With consumers increasingly demanding high-speed USB connectivity, Cypress designed the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 based on the USB 2.0 specification also known as Hi Speed USB, which transfers data at 480-Mbits/s compared with a maximum transfer rate of 12Mbits/s with Full Speed USB.
Since the Hi Speed-based MoBL-USB FX2LP18 is not integrated into the baseband processor like previous designs, mobile phone manufacturers looking to provide faster download capability would purchase the MoBL-USB FX2LP18 as an external device, which adds to their bill of materials.
The cost of the chip is $2.49 in one-million unit quantities.
"It is an extra chip. But if you think about how much a mobile phone OEM will get for a phone, you can see there is cost-benefit analysis," Nema said. "We're adding significant features to the phone."
The MoBL-USB FX2LP18 is offered in a 56-ball VFBGA (Very Fine Pitch Ball Grid Array) package that measures only 5-mm x 5-mm with 0.5-mm ball pitch. The MoBL-USB FX2LP18 controller is qualified to operate with an industrial temperature rating of -40°C to +85°, a critical requirement for handsets.
The MoBL-USB FX2LP18 (CY7C68053-56BAXI) is USB-IF certified and is sampling today with full production expected in August 2006.
Click here for a datasheet: www.cypress.com/design/CY7C68053
Cypress Semiconductor Corp., 1-408-943 2600, www.cypress.com