Electronic Design

Nova Wireless Engine Boils Down Complex Handset Design

As the typical cell phone tacks on high-speed Internet access, digital cameras, and other multimedia functions, its design gets more difficult. A solution may be on its way in the Nova Wireless Engine. This complete yet flexible GSM/GPRS reference design includes all of the hardware and software needed to make next-generation multimedia handsets (see the figure).

Developed by Analog Devices, the Nova Engine includes the company's SoftFone analog and digital baseband processors with multiple options, the Othello direct conversion transceiver, and the X-PA power amplifier. All of these features are mounted on a 39- by 55-mm form-factor pc board suitable for installation in a clamshell-style or bar-type phone.

The engine can be easily configured for any combination of the common GSM/GPRS bands of 850, 900, 1800, or 1900 MHz. Also, it can be customized to match a manufacturer's models. It offers stereo MP3 playback, polyphonic ring tones, game tones, and other audio enhancements. The video and display capabilities include a high-resolution CMOS camera interface, color displays, MPEG4 decode and playback, Java, and streaming video.

Nova's software, provided by TTPCom of Cambridge, England, makes for easy integration and development of customized user interfaces. Analog Devices' VisualFone development system is recommended for software development. ADI can recommend production testing solutions from third parties on request.

As for external connectivity, the Nova Engine supports USB, IrDA, and Bluetooth, as well as removable media like Secure Digital and MMC memory cards. Standby time, using a standard-size lithium-ion battery, is 300 to 500 hours. The system also is available with EDGE capability for higher data-rate connectivity.

Analog Devices Inc.

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