Highly integrated systems have become the key to success for mobile wireless products. Customers have come to expect the ever-shrinking form factor that typifies today's handsets. Yet they also want more features and longer recharge intervals.
In an attempt to meet these divergent needs, chip designers have been incorporating greater functionality into their system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs. One example is Qualcomm CDMA Technologies' recently announced Mobile Station Modem (MSM), dubbed the MSM6500 (see figure). This chip set and system software support the multi-mode handset operation of CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO networks, as well as roaming on GSM/GPRS systems. As such, the MSM6500 may help to accelerate the adoption of third-generation (3G) CDMA voice and data services in wireless networks around the world.
With the MSM6500 chip set and software, handset vendors will be able to develop highly integrated and sophisticated products. The MSM6500 integrates the ARM 926EJ-S processor with an ARM Jazelle Java accelerator. As a result, vendors won't need a companion processor for advanced multimedia applications. The offering also includes two low-power, high-performance QDSP4000 DSP cores and a wideband stereo codec for digital audio applications.
Advanced multimedia requirements are satisfied by Qualcomm's Launchpad suite of technologies. The MSM6500 supports this suite, which includes the following technologies: MPEG-4 encoding and decoding; MP3 audio decoding; Fast JPEG encoding/decoding; 2D/3D graphics acceleration for gaming; a Compact Media Extension (CMX) MIDI synthesizer; and Qualcomm's Qcamera digital interface. In addition, the Launchpad suite supports Bluetooth wireless-personal-area-network (WPAN) and USB connectivity.
The MSM6500 thus merges cellular-networking capabilities—like CDMA and GSM/GPRS—with data-intensive wireless-PAN standards. Specifically, the chip set integrates USB On-The-Go (OTG) host-controller functionality. On the forward link, this functionality enables peak wireless data rates of 2.4 Mbps. As a result, handset users can wirelessly communicate with accessories like printers, digital cameras, keyboards, and CD-ROMs.
By including support for location-based services and applications, the MSM6500 chip set and system software also cater to one of the most anticipated features of next-generation handsets. Both the chip set and the system software can be integrated with Qualcomm's gpsOne technology. In doing so, they enable operation in a standalone mode, which allows the handset to act as a GPS receiver. By incorporating the VectorOne compass interface and SnapTrack technology, the gpsOne technology offers position availability under the most stringent conditions (i.e., inside concrete-and-steel buildings, convention centers, shopping malls, or urban canyons).
From a receiver/transmitter standpoint, one of the most significant features to be integrated into the MSM6500 chip set is Qualcomm's radioOne direct RF-to-baseband conversion technology. Using zero intermediate-frequency (IF) or direct-conversion architecture, the radioOne RF chip eliminates the need for large IF surface-acoustic-wave (SAW) filters and additional IF circuitry. This reduction in large analog components greatly reduces the handset bill of materials (BOM). The result is a cost-effective handset that flaunts a small size and shape.
Samples of the MSM6500 chip set are expected to ship in the second quarter of this year.
CDMA Technologies, 5775 Morehouse Dr., San Diego, CA 92121-1714; (858) 658-5005, FAX: (858) 658-1556, www.qualcomm.com.