The cell-phone market still has a lot to offer. Carriers soon will boost revenues by selling multimedia services such as real-time audio, video streaming, stereo music, digital photo imaging, and interactive games. All the handset manufacturers have to do now is add these features to their high-end models. And that's easier said than done, as designs get more complex as multiple coprocessors and special interfaces are added.
Fortunately for these companies, the X115 chip set from Agere Systems eliminates all those extra circuits. According to Agere, the X115 decreases parts count by up to 100 components and improves cost and footprint by up to 20% in some designs. This two-chip set specifically targets GSM/GPRS/EDGE handsets, supporting all four bands—850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz. It employs multislot class 12 operation and includes single-antenna interference cancellation (SAIC).
The X115 comprises an analog baseband (ABB) and a digital baseband (DBB) (see the figure). The ABB contains a complete power-management solution and handles the analog baseband processing, audio mixing, and conversion. The DBB features three processor cores, an ARM7TDMI-S for communications, an ARM926EJ-S for the applications, and Agere's DSP16000 core for physicallayer and audio signal processing. Each processor is dedicated to its particular function, making design changes faster and easier while providing a simple way to update the software.
The set supports the H.263, H.264, and MPEG-4 video standards and the MP3, AAC, aacPlus, and Enhanced aac-Plus audio formats. Video playback tallies 15 or 25 frames per second (fps) in QVGA or 42 or 60 fps in QCIF screen resolutions. The set also can support a 2-Mpixel camera as well as musical ring tones with WAV, SMAF, and MIDI ring tone synthesizers. It provides 64 polyphonic voices. And, it contains a full duplex Speakerphone. All this adds up to cinema-quality video and CD-quality audio in even the smallest phones.
Agere's OptiVerse software backs up the X115. This software is critical to easing development and enabling significant time-to-market benefits. Its reusable and standardized application programming interfaces provide easy access to the underlying communications and applications functions within the chip set. The interfaces simplify the development of customized multimedia applications in audio and video.
Full production is expected late in 2005. Prices are very volume-sensitive, so contact Agere for details.