MISCELLANEOUS

Single-chip mobile phone coming

Bangalore Oct. 3. Texas Instruments (TI), the U.S.-based digital chip maker and the first multinational to set up a research unit in India, is well on its way to developing a single-chip cellular phone. The key challenge — realising the radio circuits on a silicon slab — has been overcome and the company hopes to see mobile phones with such devices in the marketplace in early 2004.

Announcing this here today, TI's Chairman and CEO, Tom Engibous said that as in the case of many recent products released by the company, the 1000-strong Bangalore-based development centre would be making crucial contributions to the final product. A one-chip solution that marries the audio and wireless components of a cell phone on the same chip, was expected to sharply reduce the cost and the power consumption of the instrument — causing another datum jump in global connectivity and opening up the whole arena of wireless internet, Mr. Engibous said.

Characterising India as a "silicon design powerhouse'', he said the combination of silicon and software expertise here "makes for a potent combination that India can leverage''. A new audio signal processor chip that has been deployed by the Japanese manufacturer JVC in an entertainment player, only days ago; as well as a number of TI's chips that went under the hood of printers, motor controllers and digital displays, were substantially realised by the Bangalore R&D unit, whose engineers have earned a slew of international patents, said Biswadip Mitra, TI India's Managing Director.

The company has launched development collaborations with nearly 1000 Indian IT companies.

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