Signal processing duo fight for mobile spoils

Signal processing duo fight for mobile spoils
Roy Rubinstein Signal processing battle lines for the emerging GSM Phase 2+ and third generation mobile phone markets have been drawn by DSP firms Lucent Technologies and Texas Instruments (TI). According to DSP market specialist Forward Concepts, Lucent has the greater share of basestation designs, while TI is recognised as having its C54x core in one in every two digital cellular handsets, or 80 million handsets last year. At the GSM World Congress, Lucent unveiled its Sceptre 3 baseband processor. It is targeted at GSM Phase 2+ handsets, and Japan’s W-CDMA and Europe’s UMTS third generation standards. Sceptre 3 includes an ARM7 Thumb core and Lucent’s DSP16000 core linked via a dual port store. It also features a 300k gate laser programmable array. The array, the result of a partnership between Lucent and Chip Express, allows handset developers to use their own intellectual property on-chip. This “two-day Asic” capability gives companies a critical time-to-market advantage, said Lucent’s Andy Craigen. Lucent also detailed its DSP16410, a second generation basestation DSP which features two DSP16000 cores. Clocked at 200MHz it has four times the processing performance of the existing DSP16210. Sceptre is expected to be in volume production in the first half of 2000, while the DSP16410 is expected by the year end. TI, meanwhile, outlined its plans for handsets and basestations. For GPRS handsets it will push its C54x core to 100MHz/100 million instructions/s (Mips). Modern hands- free GSM phones with echo cancellation typically require some 60Mips, says TI. For third generation handsets the DSP requirement is likely to be met by a follow-on DSP. TI is using its C6x architecture to address basestations.


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