TI Makes Multimedia Cell Phones Affordable for Mass Market

During a summit of wireless industry leaders held today in Beijing, China, Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) announced a new OMAP-Vox(TM) single-chip solution to foster development of lower-cost multimedia-rich feature phones. Codenamed “eCosto,” the new single-chip platform is leveraging TI’s innovative DRP(TM) technology which is successful with the “LoCosto” value platform in volume production today.

The “eCosto” platform also leverages the multimedia capabilities of the OMAP-Vox platform in volume production today with the OMAPV1030 solution. The first product in the new “eCosto” platform will be the OMAPV1035 single-chip solution, which will be manufactured in 65-nanometer (nm) and will support GSM, GPRS and EDGE standards.

The “eCosto” platform represents the latest advancement in TI’s sophisticated and integrated DRP technology, a pioneering approach to wireless chip design which applies digital technology to simplify radio frequency (RF) processing in advanced CMOS process technology. Integrating the RF transceiver and analog codec with the digital baseband significantly reduces board space, extends battery life, and makes for a more powerful and versatile handset.

With the new OMAPV1035 single-chip solution, customers currently using TI’s “LoCosto” platform and OMAP-Vox processors will be able to easily expand their handset portfolio with competitive, affordable multimedia-rich handsets. As the current OMAPV1030 and new OMAPV1035 solutions share a common software platform, OMAP-Vox customers will be able to re-use their application and modem software investments for faster and more cost-effective multimedia-rich feature phone development. TI today also announced work with leading application software providers to further boost rapid integration of multimedia applications into handsets.

“As the emerging markets evolve beyond voice-centric, basic multimedia applications, we must support the integration of more advanced multimedia features into our single-chip cell phone solutions,” said Alain Mutricy, TI’s Vice President and General Manager of Cellular Systems Solutions for its Wireless Terminals Business Unit, during a press conference at today’s summit. “Now ramping into mass production with ‘LoCosto’ solutions, we are taking our DRP single-chip technology to the next level with the ‘eCosto’ platform, dramatically lowering system costs of advanced multimedia handsets.”

China is among the world’s largest mobile phone market with more than 400 million subscribers today and expected annual growth of 15-20%, according to market analyst firm In-Stat Group. In-Stat also sees a rise in multimedia adoption in China, driven by music and camera features on the mobile phone. The OMAPV1035 solution, specifically designed as a cost-effective, multimedia-rich solution, makes it the natural choice for next generation advanced GPRS or EDGE handsets.

The “eCosto” platform multimedia-rich capabilities include advanced video capture, playback and streaming with up to QVGA screen quality at 30 frames-per-second; digital still camera up to three megapixels with sub-second shot-to-shot delay; color LCD; and interactive 2D/3D gaming with graphics comparable to that of portable video consoles. The OMAPV1035 solution boasts high-speed hardware-accelerated Java and 3D graphic processing up to 100-K polygons-per-second. The OMAPV1035 solution is the industry’s first ARM9(TM) fully integrated single-chip digital baseband with DSP in 65nm, addressing the power challenge for performance-hungry multimedia-intensive applications, as well as the requirement for smaller solutions with more functionality.

With the new “eCosto” single-chip platform, TI continues to deliver on its single-chip roadmap, further supporting the adoption of wireless technology in emerging countries. In 2004 TI introduced the industry’s first single-chip solution for mobile phones. To date, more than 15 handset manufacturers worldwide have adopted TI’s “LoCosto” single-chip platform to offer affordable GSM/GPRS handsets. Enabled by TI’s DRP technology, handsets based on the “LoCosto” value platform range in capability from voice-only GSM phones with black and white displays to more advanced handsets with robust features such as MP3, Bluetooth(R) solutions, and megapixel cameras. The emerging markets are expected to represent the next billion subscribers by 2010 (source: GSM Association), demonstrating significant potential for continued wireless growth.

The OMAPV1035 single-chip solution will sample in first half 2007 and will be in production in 2008. The OMAPV1030 solution is in mass production in handsets today.