Infineon sets yet another new trend: Lowest-cost mobile phone platform for Internet-based telephony
Neubiberg, Germany, March 2008 – For three years now, Infineon has been marketing low-cost mobile phone chips that have given new swathes of customers around the globe the chance to use phones for the first time. These innovative chips pack all the key functions onto a tiny piece of silicon. More than 50 million units had been sold by the end of last year, allowing users to make phone calls within GSM mobile networks. The problem was that call charges varied considerably depending on the country and provider. Today, Internet-based telephony (Voice over IP) is much cheaper. Up to now, however, the sophisticated technology needed for this application was only available on expensive high-end phones known as smart phones. In collaboration with Atheros, the American wireless and wireline broadband technology specialist, Infineon has therefore developed a chip platform that for the first time gives users the best of both worlds. The low-cost chip from Infineon takes care of all telephony functions in the GSM network, while the Atheros chip kicks in when data packets are used via a wireless LAN (hotspot or WiFi) for voice or data traffic over the Internet. Better still, the whole package is available at an attractive flat rate.
“The combination of our GSM chip and the wireless LAN chip from Atheros gives even more people the chance to enjoy low-cost communication,” says Dominik Bilo, Senior Vice President Sales and Group Marketing at Infineon’s Communication Solutions Division. “For the foreseeable future, broadband landline networks will not deliver full coverage in emerging countries such as India, China and parts of South America. By comparison, a wireless LAN and a couple of hotspots or a wireless IP cell for a small village can be set up relatively quickly and inexpensively. Billions of people can then plug into the world of unlimited communication.”
Independent market researchers see significant growth opportunities for the combination of GSM and VoIP technology in mobile phones. Some 186 million units are slated to be sold this year alone, and forecasts put the figure for 2010 at 250 million units.
Infineon’s contribution to the new GSM/VoIP phones is its X-GOLD™101 single chip, which packs the core functions of a mobile phone – voice processing, radio frequency management, power management, memory and so one – into a footprint of just 8 mm x 8 mm. Atheros adds its 10 mm x 10 mm ROCm™ (radio-on-chip for mobile) chip. This chip too is optimized to deliver maximum functionality while minimizing power consumption. Compared to conventional solutions, Atheros halves the number of components needed for innovative wireless VoIP communication.
Infineon will be taking the wraps off its new mobile communication platform at the VON.x trade show in San Jose (March 17-20, 2008). Initial products will be available to customers as early as the second quarter of this year.
For more information about Internet-based telephony, please refer to our guidebook “The 7 Voice over IP Myths” at www.infineon.com/press/VoIP
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