Atmel Creates Second Generation VoIP Chip for Wi-Fi Based Phones

Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) formally announced today its second generation Voice over IP (VoIP) chip, designed for 802.11a/g wireless VoIP applications. The AT76C902 runs the VoIP Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) stack, uCLinux(TM) operating system software, and firmware enabling 802.11a/g (Wi-Fi(R)) and voice compression and decompression all on a single chip. The AT76C902 consists of an ARM946(TM) processor for VoIP call control, authentication and signaling functions, and two subsystems – an ARM7(TM) and 802.11a/g Media Access Controller (MAC) that implements the 802.11a/g protocols, and a TEAK TeakDSPCore(TM) and integrated voice codec for voice processing functions. Additionally, hardware security accelerators offer on-the-fly encryption, decryption and authentication support for AES, DES/3DES and TKIP, supporting WPA and WPA2 – Personal and Enterprise. Based on this architecture, as well as engineering focus on power consumption, the AT76C902 is able to achieve world-class talk and stand-by times.

Atmel’s AT76C902 supports Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) and WMM Power Save modes. WMM adds Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to Wi-Fi networks. WMM Power Save is an improvement to the 802.11e amendment adding advanced power management functionality to WMM. WMM Power Save is based on Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery (U-APSD), which, like WMM, is based on Enhanced Distributed Channel Access (EDCA). U-APSD is a solution well suited for dynamic environments where Wi-Fi is generally deployed and allows clients supporting U-APSD to download all or some of the frames buffered by the access point during unscheduled service periods. By supporting U-APSD and Scheduled APSD (S-APSD), solutions based on Atmel’s AT76C902 have talk times of over six hours and stand-by times of over 220 hours on a 900 mA battery. This is achieved even when the access point it is connected to does not support WMM APSD.

The best solution for customers requiring high-quality voice, stable performance and the longest talk/standby times in the market (for a given battery size) is to deploy AT76C902-based Wi-Fi phones along with Atmel’s AT76C520-based access points. If a WLAN exists and the access points cannot change, then the AT76C902 terminals will produce the best results. Phones based on Atmel’s AT76C902 have been tested in-house against all the access points within the Wi-Fi test plan and interoperate with no issues. If the terminals are deployed and they support APSD but the access points can be replaced, the AT76C520 will produce the best results for the existing terminals.

“Atmel is very excited about the introduction of this chip. The AT76C902 has been very well received in the market and has been selected by several major Tier-one OEM makers,” said Richard Bisset, Product Marketing Director of Atmel’s Multimedia and Communications Product Group. “Because of its architecture, the AT76C902 provides the ability to perform multiple functions that would otherwise not be able to be performed by a single-CPU-based processor. By moving to the uCLinux operating system software, we are able to provide our customers a feature-enriched software package in source code format without any licensing or royalties.”

To facilitate quick time-to-market and reduce engineering costs, a complete development kit (AT76C902-DK) including Atmel’s AT76C902 VoIP processor, AT76C517.11a/g baseband, flash memory and the Airoha single-chip 802.11g RF transceiver with integrated Power Amplifier (AL2236) is available to qualified customers. The AT76C902-DK also includes a miniature-sized module design containing all critical sections of a stand-alone wireless VOIP phone. Included with the kit are complete schematics, bill of materials, a reference design, Gerbers and software. The VoIP SIP stack is licensed from Radvision(R) (announced on May 15, 2006). Other software provided is the firmware for the 802.11a/g, the voice codecs and the uCLinux operating system.

Price and Availability
The AT76C902, packaged in a 208-pin BGA, is released to production. Pricing for the AT76C902 starts around $18 at 25K units.

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(R).

Atmel(R), logo and combinations thereof, Everywhere You Are(R) and others, are registered trademarks, or trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. ARM(R) and others are registered trademarks or trademarks of ARM Ltd. TeakDSPCore(TM) is a trademark of DSP Group Inc.