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Broadcom unveils HSPA processor with 3G tech

Posted: 17 Oct 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G  CMOS  65nm HSPA chip 

Broadcom Corp. has announced a new single-chip high-speed packet access (HSPA) processor that integrates all key 3G cellular and mobile technologies on a single low-power 65nm CMOS die. The BCM21551, dubbed a "3G phone-on-a-chip" solution, enables manufacturers to build next-generation 3G HSUPA phones with innovative features, sleek form factors and long battery life, at less the cost of today's solutions, Broadcom said, driving widespread consumer adoption.

'Ultimate' cellular modem
Advancements in mobile phone designs are driving a growing demand for faster cellular networks and an appetite for rich multimedia phones that can take advantage of them. HSUPA is often considered the ultimate cellular modem technology. There are already over 90 crore subscribers in HSPA-enabled networks today, and many network operators are planning massive worldwide deployment of HSUPA over the next several years. Using phones enabled by this new HSUPA processor, consumers will be able to download content at up to 7.2Mbps, and upload content such as pictures and videos at up to 5.8Mbps, all directly from their phone, Broadcom said. HSUPA technology also holds the promise for much higher quality "live" video conferencing and an array of exciting services and applications.

The BCM21551 combines a high-speed HSUPA 3G baseband, a multiband RF transceiver, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR technology, an FM radio receiver and an FM radio transmitter (for car stereo music playback). The device also features advanced multimedia processing, up to 5Mpixel camera support and 30fps video with TV out, as well as support for the HSUPA, HSDPA, W-CDMA and EDGE cellular protocols. It can also be paired with other Broadcom devices, such as Wi-Fi and GPS, PMU or the new VideoCore III mobile multimedia processor.

No competing cellular baseband chip has ever achieved this level of integration, the company said, which drives down cost, power draw and size, while enabling an advanced level of functionality. This makes the BCM21551 suitable for both "mass market," high-volume 3G "feature phones" as well as smart phones running an open OS such as Symbian, Windows Mobile or Linux.

65nm chip
Designed and manufactured on a single 65nm silicon die, the BCM21551 is an HSPA SoC that features high integration of advanced smart phone features. The chip integrates dual ARM11 processors to provide open OS support, and features full stereo music capabilities for both headset and stereo speakers as well as an integrated 5-band graphic equalizer and digital mixing capabilities for superior audio performance.

The BCM21551 also integrates advanced MIPI serial interfaces for the LCD and image sensor (which facilitates a low power interface for the BCM21551 and the LCD in the phone) and the analogue PHY required for the 480Mbps high-speed USB 2.0 applications that enable the rapid transfer of multimedia files to and from the handset.

The BCM21551 also incorporates Broadcom's proprietary M-Stream and single antenna interference cancellation signal processing technologies designed to improve cellular handset reception and voice quality, ultimately resulting in fewer dropped calls.

The BCM21551 3G baseband processor is available to early access customers and is priced at Rs.930.31 ($23) in large quantities.

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