Wireless Systems Design

On The Wireless Front

Milpitas, California
Linear Technology Corp. has recently come to market with the LTC4410—a USB power-manager IC in a ThinSOT 6-lead package. This IC enables the simultaneous battery charging and system operation of a Li-Ion-powered USB peripheral from a USB host. In contrast to conventional methods, the LTC4410 powers the system load directly from USB's 5-V supply. This allows the battery to charge up to 39% faster. More charging current reduces the battery's charging time. It also ensures a full charge while the peripheral is connected to the USB host device. By managing the total current consumption, the IC also permits a 1-cell Li-Ion battery-powered USB peripheral to charge its battery and operate its system circuitry without exceeding a user-set current limit. Additionally, the LTC4410 boasts a minimal voltage drop of 100 mV at 500 mA and an ultra-low battery drain of 1µA. Applications include USB-certified Li-Ion-powered devices, such as portable printers, digital cameras, cell phones, and PDAs.

The LTC4410 works to ensure that a portable device is in compliance with USB overcurrent specifications by keeping the total current constant from the USB port. This is accomplished by adjusting the charge current relative to the amount of current demanded by the system load. Immediately after the USB cable is detached from the peripheral device, the LTC4410 routes the system load to the battery for seamless and continuous operation of the end device. The LTC4410's solution uses 15 fewer components than comparable solutions and fits into one fourth of the board area. The LTC4410 is now available. It is used with the LTC4053 Li-Ion battery charger for USB applications or LTC1733 for general-purpose Li-Ion battery charging. Pricing for the LTC4410 starts at $1.20 each in 1000-piece quantities.

San Jose, California
ZiLOG, Inc. recently introduced the first members of its new 8-b Z8 Encore! Flash microcontroller family, which is based on the enhanced eZ8 core. Featuring the company's high-performance register-to-register-based architecture, these microcontrollers combine a fast 20-MHz core, up to 64 kB of Flash memory, up to 4 kB of linear-register SRAM, and an extensive array of on-chip peripherals. They enable embedded-system designers to quickly develop highly differentiated designs while reducing total system cost and enhancing performance.

The Z8 Encore! family is a comprehensive solution featuring tightly integrated hardware and software. It features an inexpensive development kit, which includes a free ANSI C-Compiler, GDS II IDE software, an evaluation board, and a suite of documentation. It also features seven configurations with up to 64 kB (up to 512 kB) of high-speed Flash. Capabilities include the 20-MHz eZ8 CPU core, up to 4 kB of linear-register SRAM, and a suite of peripherals. The peripherals include such things as an on-chip DMA controller; 12 channel, 10-b A/D; two 9-b UART ports with integrated Infrared Data Association (IrDA)-compliant encoder/decoders; and four 16-b counter timers.

The Z8F6401AN020SC with 64k of Flash sells for $4.73 in 5000-unit quantities. The Z8F1601AN020SC with 16k of Flash sells for $3.08 in 5000-unit quantities. Production quantities are now available. Contact ZiLOG at [email protected], (866) 4Z8-ENCORE ((866) 498-3626), or www.zilog.com/z8encore to order.

Chandler, Arizona
Motorola, Inc. has come to market with a host of announcements targeting the 3G marketplace. The first is a set of three GSM handsets—the V600, A835, and C350—that give consumers advanced experiences in messaging, Java, GPRS, and UMTS.

The Motorola V600 features a large display that is capable of supporting up to 64,000 colors and an integrated digital camera. It is ideal for displaying photos, creating custom screensavers, or adding images to a visual caller-ID. Advanced Bluetooth technology even allows the photos to be shared quickly and easily.

The A835 3G UMTS/WCDMA handset features crystal-clear graphics, video capabilities, rich colors, and new movement and sound technology. As a J2ME-capable device, it even offers users access to the Reqwireless WebViewer application. This enables them to view the same HTML Web sites that they would normally see from their desktop computer.

Motorola's C350 handset recognizes the consumer's desire for personal expression with downloaded wallpaper, ring tones, and screen savers. It also comes with different exterior housings, as well as a MotoMixer that enables consumers to download and remix MIDI ring tones.

Another announcement comes in the form of the i.Smart Smartphone integrated hardware/software platform and reference design. It features integrated voice, imaging, productivity, infotainment, and wireless-networking services with flexibility and scalability across the 2.5G and 3G landscapes.

The A760 Motorola mobile phone is considered the first Java+Linux handset. This small device combines phone functionality with an extensive multimedia PDA/PIM system. It features an open application environment as well as a color touchscreen, Bluetooth wireless technology, an integrated camera, and an integrated video and MP3 player. For more information, go to www.motorola.com.

South Portland, Maine
Fairchild Semiconductor International has announced the industry's only single-pole/triple-throw (SP3T) CMOS analog switch. Replacing two (in series) single-pole/double-throw (SPDT) components with a single 3:1 mux, it lowers part count by 50%. It also provides superior utilization of printed-circuit-board real estate, preserves signal integrity, and reduces equivalent component pick-and-place operations by half. Available in US8 packaging, the FSA3357 SP3T analog switch provides smaller size and better performance than the dual 2:1 mux devices required for equivalent functionality.

This high-performance analog switch also features an RDS (on) of only 6 Ohms. The result is minimal signal attenuation. The device's 0.01% total harmonic distortion (THD), coupled with its −60-dB crosstalk characteristic, ensures signal integrity. Its wide bandwidth (250 MHz) and rail-to-rail signal handling guarantee the extremely fast, clip-free transfer of analog and digital signals.

A wide Vcc range of 1.65 to 5.5 V makes the FSA3357 device ideal for battery applications. Now available, it sells in 1000-unit quantities for $0.51 apiece. For a complete datasheet, go to www.fairchildsemi.com/pf/FS/FSA3357.html.

Milpitas, California
Xecom, Inc. recently introduced an embedded wireless communications system with modem connectivity. This RF-based system consists of the XE 900 Smart Transceiver (ST) and the XE 924 Base Access Point (BAP). Together, these elements provide a convenient, cost-effective network solution for linking up to eight remote microcontroller-based systems to a central data-collection unit. This, in turn, can be connected to a telephone landline via a modem. The system operates in the ISM band (902-928 MHz) to link systems for distances of up to 150 ft. indoors.

The XE 900 Smart Transceiver consists of a wireless transmitter/receiver and a microcontroller with user-customizable Flash memory and Xecom proprietary software. Built-in intelligence, resident in the integrated controller, accepts commands from the application host to control the wireless connection. Xecom's proprietary software packetizes data, provides error correction, and ensures collision avoidance. As a result, data integrity is enhanced and signal reach is increased. This high level of integration, in conjunction with its serial-port connection capability, greatly simplifies the design process and facilitates system integration time. This saves development cost, shortening time-to-market. Its small size of 2.75 × 1.38 × 0.55 in. minimizes board space and permits maximum design flexibility. It operates from a 5-V power supply. The cost in OEM quantities is $39. Sample units are deliverable from stock.

The Xecom XE 924 Base Access Point integrates a microcontroller, wireless transmitter/receiver, and the XE 2420 surface-mountable modem. In OEM quantities, the price per unit is $59.00. Samples are available from stock. A development kit is also now available. It's comprised of one development board containing a XE 900 Smart Transceiver, one development board containing a XE 924 Base Access Point, a datasheet, and a user's guide. The price is $295.

San Jose, California
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and Xilinx, Inc. recently announced the adoption of the Xilinx RocketIO Design Kit for SPECTRAQuest by over 500 designers/engineers. This wide adoption is a result of the Xilinx/Cadence alliance, which was developed to enable designers to exploit the capacity and system performance of the Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGA. The kit—an electronic blueprint for simulating and implementing Virtex-II Pro RocketIO transceivers in a system—speeds time-to-market and lowers development costs.

Also making news is a move by Xilinx to simplify wireless-networking design through development of a new Web portal. The Xilinx eSP wireless-networks portal provides a comprehensive resource for system designers by delivering a powerful array of solutions and information in a single location. It provides users with solutions ranging from specific reference designs to intellectual property resulting from the collaboration with a wide range of industry leaders in the areas of cellular networks, fixed broadband wireless, and wireless LANs. The site is also a rich source of information including technology tutorials, market overviews, system block diagrams, glossaries, and a directory of wireless experts. For additional details on the entire range of Xilinx silicon, software, and intellectual-property solutions for wireless networking products, visit the company's new wireless networks Web portal at www.xilinx.com/esp/wireless_networks.

Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Royal Philips Electronics just announced the Nexperia Cellular System Solution. Based on Philips' successful Nexperia multimedia baseband, this system is designed to enable handset manufacturers to deliver affordable multimedia handsets to end users.

Built around the Philips Nexperia multimedia baseband (PCF5213), this latest generation of Philips' Nexperia Cellular System Solution offers quad-band capabilities, supporting GSM at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz to enable worldwide roaming. It also features a GPRS protocol stack which has been fully validated by IOT (Inter-Operability Tests) and customers, in addition to EDGE. This provides handset and module manufacturers with enhanced data rates of up to 300 kbps.

The Nexperia Cellular System Solution provides handset manufacturers with a portfolio of integrated hardware and software solutions for mobile-based multimedia applications. This includes MMS, Java-based gaming, MP3, Video-MPEG4 and MPEG4 encoding, e-mail, FM Synthesis for melody generation, speech recognition, PC connectivity, and USB. Optional features include FM Radio, Bluetooth, and a color LCD. Furthermore, customers benefit from access to extensive software protocol stack and IP libraries, which enable ongoing software upgrades to support emerging applications.

Nexperia supports Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) technology in addition to single-antenna interference cancellation (SAIC). It features Enhanced Observed Time Difference (E-OTD) and TeleTYpe (TTY), allowing automatic voice-to-data translation. Worldwide regional support for Full Type Approval (FTA) and industrialization phases are also provided.

The Nexperia Cellular System Solution is expected to be available by the third quarter of 2003 with mass production starting in late 2003. The full chip set, comprising the Nexperia Multimedia Baseband PCF5213, RF UAA3537, PA BGY284E, and PMU PCF50603 and software package, will sell for $21 apiece (U.S. dollars) for order quantities of over 100,000 units.

In a related announcement, Royal Philips Electronics also announced that Intel Corp. has selected its single-chip power-management unit (PMU+) for its Microsoft Windows-Powered Smartphone concept design. This design was developed in partnership with Microsoft. It is the latest reference design from Intel to combine the company's Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA) with the Philips PMU+.

The Philips PMU+ has a unique real-time control feature that can reduce power consumption by up to 70% in smart phones and wireless PDAs. The control feature allows the handheld device to continuously adjust all of the power supplies in the PMU+ to the lowest voltages necessary for the functions being used in that power domain. On a single PMU+ chip, Philips integrates a flexible on-chip battery-management system, eight programmable power supplies, a battery charger, a 10-b analog-to-digital converter, a touchscreen interface, and other features required for wireless handheld devices. Because of this high level of integration, the chip uses 50% less space and costs 30% less than equivalent semiconductors.

The PCF50606 PMU+ costs $5.00 in quantities over 10,000 units. An alternate PMU+, the PCF50605, has the same power features without the battery management or touchscreen interface and costs $4.00 in quantities over 10,000 units. Both chips use a HVQFN56 8-×-8-×-0.85-mm package. Engineering samples and evaluation kits for both chips are available now from Philips.

Palo Alto, California
Amdocs, a provider of billing and CRM, together with Hewlett Packard announced an advanced, pre-integrated platform that supports prepaid and postpaid billing for voice and data services. Each company has worked to pre-integrate the carrier-grade rating and balance-management capabilities of the Amdocs Enabler product with the real-time call and session control capabilities of the HP Opencall Service Controller. This solution will enable mobile service providers (MSPs) to introduce innovative services and service bundles. It also will ease integration with existing intelligent-network (IN) infrastructures.

Through real-time call and session control, MSPs are able to authorize prepaid services before the voice or data session. The result is the prevention of revenue leakage. Similarly, with session control and real-time rating and balance management, MSPs can enable and control a subscriber's simultaneous use of both voice and data services.

As a prime component in this announcement, the Amdocs Enabler acts as an integrated online-offline charging platform. It allows operators to support prepaid-postpaid convergence with one product. Amdocs Enabler is preconfigured for rapid deployment and low cost of ownership.

The other component, the HP Opencall Service Controller, is a flexible, real-time call-processing system. It was designed for the creation, execution, and management of IN services running in Signaling System 7-based (SS7-based) voice networks. This platform supports numerous service-logic-program (SLP) functions and controls interaction with interactive-voice-response (IVR) units and short-message-service centers (SMSCs). It boasts both high-availability and high-capacity control points. For more information, go to www.hp.com or www.amdocs.com.

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