Communications giant Motorola yesterday rolled out a new chip that it said will allow mobile phones to work with most any wireless network in the world.
The company said the chip, called the DSP56690, is the first to conform to all the world's cellular phone standards and will enable wireless phone users to send email and browse the Web.
Tim Saccamanno, director of marketing at Motorola's wireless communications division, said Motorola has long had a dual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) under development for true third generation phone services.
He said the DSP56690 processor can support the commonly used wireless standards: code-division multiple access (CDMA), global system for mobile communications (GSM), integrated digital enhanced network (iDEN), and time division multiple access (TDMA), as well as satellite-based products.
The chip can also support satellite-based signals and deliver wireless Internet services.
Saccamanno said the device architecture will be scalable to run basic applications and is also expected to support applications built around new software standards, such as Sun's Java.
Additional features include a Universal Serial Bus (USB) module, AMPS Accelerator Module and burst-mode flash interface.
"This is only one half of what's needed to facilitate this," said Seamus McAteer, an industry analyst at Jupiter Communications. "The cell phone would also need to be equipped with different chips for the varying radio frequencies in use, but it's not a stretch to expect that those elements will be put on one piece of silicon."
The DSP56690 baseband processor, part of Motorola's DigitalDNA portfolio for wireless systems, integrates a DSP core and an M-CORE microcontroller. The bulk of the processing duties are divided between a DSP56600 core running at more than 100MHz and an M-CORE M210 32-bit microcontroller operating at more than 50MHz.
According to the company, the DSP56690 baseband processor provides large on-chip ROM memory space and a strong peripheral-set that allow it to be configured to meet the needs of OEM manufacturers.
Future 56690 modules, the company said, will likely include interfaces for short-range wireless services such as Bluetooth and HomeRF.
Rival chip makers for the cellular market include Texas Instruments, Philips Electronics and Qualcomm.
Some parts of Atacama have not received rainfall for 500 years - but a sudden deluge of water upset the Desert's delicate biological balance
Spitzer Space Telescope could not spot Oumuamua, suggesting that it is actually pretty small
Greenland crater one of the 25 largest impact craters on Earth
This long-sought progenitor star was identified in an image captured by Hubble in 2007