Motorola has introduced a new type of processor that could lead to cheaper web-enabled phones and appliances.
The 5685x hybrid processor combines in one chip a microcontroller that handles network management, protocols and signalling with digital signal processing (DSP) that looks after audio, voice, data and fax signals.
Motorola is making available a series of devices based on the 56800E core. It is derived from the original 56800 architecture that offers up to 120 Mips of processing power, low power consumption, simplified programmability and enhanced compiler efficiency.
Historically, design engineers have addressed the problem of adding control functions and processing power to systems by dividing the system tasks between multiple chips or even multiple-core solutions.
Motorola believes that the 56800E devices would be well suited for IP-based applications including packet telephony, feature phones with voice recognition, internet telephony, integrated internet access devices, and home automation and security systems that use the internet for remote monitoring.
"We're now supplying a complete set of solutions to support a wide variety of applications from the central office to small office/home office and client access devices," said Debbie Drysdale, general manager of Motorola's DSP Standard Products Division.
Analysts believe that, with the advent of broadband to the home and office, the market for web-enabled devices will grow.
"We see several market developments driving the growth of internet-enabled products aside from the wide adoption of the internet as an entertainment and communication medium," said Michael Wolf, group manager of enterprise and residential communications at Cahners In-Stat.
He added that the internet appliance market was set to "grow at an impressive rate. As a result of these trends, there is opportunity for hundreds of millions of entertainment, information and automation end products to utilise the internet for monitoring, services and content delivery."
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