Jun 28, 2010

Texas Instruments Introduces Chip with Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM Radio

Smaller, faster, cheaper is a mantra for today’s mobile communications hardware. Texas Instruments (TI) has taken this to heart, and tossed in multi-tasking andlower power consumer as well. TI is announcing a new chip, the WiLink 7.0, that rolls up Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM radio onto a chip that takes up less room, uses less power, and costs less than current multi-chip solutions.

TI says the WiLink crams all of the above into a single 65-nanometer chip, that requires 30 percent less material to build, and takes up 50% less space than existing two-chip solutions. Furthermore, TI says the WiLink will extend talk time and battery life with “Sophisticated Enhanced Low Power (ELP) technology.”

TI claims the WiLink offers best-in-class 3GPP test performance; supports both Bluetooth low-energy and Bluetooth 3.0; will support WiFi Direct and Soft AP as well as 802.11 a/b/g/n; and has improved FM transmit and receive capabilities with internal antenna support.

And, by placing all of them on the same chip, TI says it is able to reduce RF interference to insignificant levels, allowing all four components to operate at the same time without messing with each other. According to TI, a “mobile-device users could determine their current position with GPS, download a related mapover a WLAN connection, and listen to an FM radio station over a Bluetooth headset all at the same time.”

Undisclosed OEMs already have the chip, which leads Engadget to speculate that prototype phones may make an appearance at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. TI expects the chip to be in mass-produced devices by the end of 2010.

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