TI Markets New Wi-Fi Chip For Phones

Texas Instruments unveiled its third generation 802.11 solution specifically designed for mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones and PDAs. With cell phones and mobile devices becoming theprevailing communication and entertainment devices for consumers, Wi-Fi connectivity provides faster speeds so consumers can download more information, photos and music faster. The new chipset can beconfigured for 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g operation using different WLAN RF solutions from TI. It offers manufacturers unparalleled size, power and cost reductions, and takes battery savings to thenext level, adding dramatic increases in active time. The chipset leverages two previous generations of deployed mobile WLAN chipsets, as well as TI’s expertise in cellular, Bluetooth and coexistenceplatforms. (See: www.ti.com/tnetw1250)

The two-chip 802.11b/g solution combines the TNETW1250 single-chip MAC/baseband processor with the TNETW3422M radio frequency front end (RFFE) and power amplifier chip. This platform provides more than 50 percent reduction in board size compared to TI’s previous 802.11 mobile chipset. The design also utilizes 25 percent less board area than competitive solutions.

By focusing on manufacturers’ system-level design needs for handsets, TI has laid the groundwork for a highly-optimized dual-mode handset. The TNETW1250 chipset has been designed to be used with TI’s OMAPâ„¢ application processors, GSM, GPRS, CDMA and EDGE chipsets and single-chip Bluetoothâ„¢ solution. Architecture innovations in the TNETW1250 such as on-chip power management, re-use of cellular clock frequencies, and low pin-count host interfaces were included to eliminate barriers for integration of WLAN into cellular handset designs.

“TI was one of the very first companies to recognize and address Wi-Fi requirements for very small form factors such as cell phones two years ago. TI continues to draw on its wireless expertise and innovation, providing ultra-low-power, compact solutions that will help to shape the WLAN mobile device market,” said Aaron Vance, Senior Analyst, Synergy Research Group. “With its diversified portfolio of dual-band WLAN chipsets, OMAP application processors, Bluetooth and VoIP leadership, TI has drawn an extremely viable blueprint for Wi-Fi’s future in cell phones.”

Designed Specifically for Mobile Phones

Through TI’s ELPâ„¢ technology for low power standby modes, the TNETW1250 offers the industry’s best sub-400 microAmperes (μA) standby power consumption, which has been highly optimized through TI’s extensive mobile product experience. With 50 percent power reduction in active modes, the TNETW1250 is designed for real world cell phone applications including VoWLAN, streaming media and fast roaming between access points. For additional power reduction, the host processor is only used for transmit and receive functions, allowing it to stay in a low power mode to increase battery savings at the system level.

“2004 is expected to be a pivotal year for Wi-Fi enabled portable devices, as more 802.11-enabled cell phones and PDAs hit the market,” said Marc Cetto, general manager of TI’s Mobile Connectivity Solutions. “Today, several companies are offering phones and PDAs using TI’s 802.11b mobile solutions. The TNETW1250 platform will allow manufacturers to quickly deploy new 802.11a/b/g-enabled mobile devices that are smaller and offer maximum battery life.”

In addition to size and power reductions, the TNETW1250 offers unmatched cost savings and easier design for cell phone manufacturers. The 70 percent reduction in system-level chip count provides a significant decrease in the bill of materials (BOM) reducing board and design complexity. The TNETW1250 supports all security and quality of service standards including WPA2 and WME, eliminating further design time for manufacturers.

Accompanying the TNETW1250, TI is also announcing the TNETW3422M, a highly optimized 2.4GHz single-chip, RF transceiver and power amplifier. This radio, which uses direct conversion architecture, is ideal for use in a cellular handset for size, cost and power consumption advantages. Also, the absence of intermediate frequency noise enables much simpler RF planning inside the complex environment of a cell phone.

To address the migration of TI’s mobile WLAN customers from the TNETW1230 and TNETW1100B, TI will continue to leverage its modular embedded station developer’s kit (eSTADK). The eSTADK was designed to meet the unique requirements of the mobile embedded market and includes programming and hardware design tools, as well as sample reference designs to streamline the development process and accelerate customized designs.


The chipset is expected to be in production mid-year.