Flexible Friend for Clamshell Mobile-Phone Designers

Camberley, England: The TC35890XBG Flexpander IC addresses the mechanical and electrical challenges that face designers of high-end clamshells. According to developer Toshiba Electronics Europe, the chip will simplify the design, lower the power consumption, and improve the reliability of “clamshell”-style mobile phones. It delivers key phone functionality while reducing the number of I/O connections made through the phone’s hinge to the baseband application processor.

Flexpander combines 24 general- purpose and configurable input/output pins with built-in functionality for managing the phone keypad, PWM signal generation for LED and vibrator control, and a rotator wheel interface.

The device, which operates from a 32kHz clock, is designed for use in the upper part of the clamshell design. Connection to a baseband or application processor in the lower part of the shell is via a two-wire I2C serial interface.

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