More intense competition coupled with geometrically increasing complexity leaves the cell-phone handset market begging for solutions to slash development time and cost. One potential answer could come in the form of Motorola's i.Smart reference design.
The i.Smart package of hardware references and software is based on the Motorola i.250 Innovative Convergence Platform and the i.MX media extension applications processor. Both make the design of a modern GSM cell phone with 2.5G GPRS packet data capability fast and easy while cutting costs and power consumption.
The hardware design reduces parts count by more than 50% over previous designs, says Ed Valdez, Motorola's director of platform marketing. With the platform, designers can implement the full range of advanced voice, image, video, and data applications with ease. The platform is operating-system (OS) agnostic and can accommodate WindowsCE, eLinux, Symbian, PalmOS, and other operating systems (see the figure).
The wireless hardware, which comes from Motorola's inventory of 800- to 900-MHz chips, includes a fully compliant Bluetooth V1.1 transceiver. Based on the ARM9 architecture, the i.MX1 applications processor provides wireless connectivity protocol, OS, application, and media processing functionality. It supports a wide range of peripherals, such as a full-color LCD display, Smartcard, USB, multimedia, and secure digital storage standards, as well as Bluetooth.
The imaging subsystem includes a CMOS image sensor with all related timing, control, and analog signal processing, making it a true camera-on-a-chip. The platform's host of additional software, tools, and professional support services can shorten time-to-market, including testing and certification, from 12 to 18 months to six to nine months.
The i.Smart reference design will be available this quarter. A future version will scale to include the faster EDGE data technology. Motorola's i.300 reference design incorporates both GSM and UMTS WCDMA 3G technology phones.
Now, when will we see the first 3G phone in the U.S.?