Texas Instruments unveils a new mobile processor called the WiLink 7.0, which packs four different technologies -- Bluetooth, WLAN, GPS, and an FM transmitter and receiver -- onto a single chip. TI is rolling out the WiLink 7.0 in time for this month's Mobile World Congress 2010, gearing the chip toward handset markers, mobile Internet devices and personal navigation systems.
time for the start of the Mobile World Congress 2010 show
in Spain later
this month, Texas
Instruments has unveiled the WiLink 7.0 processor
, which packs four
different technologies-GPS, Bluetooth, an FM
transmitter and receiver, and WLAN (wireless LAN)
802.11n-onto a single chip.
While this year's MWC show kicks off Feb. 15 in Barcelona,
TI officially announced the new WiLink 7 chip Feb. 9. Right now, TI said the
company is shipping chip samples to various, unnamed OEMs, and the company
expects products based on the WinLink 7 to hit the market by the end of this
The WiLink 7 chip is based on 65-nanometer manufacturing technology, which
makes it 50 percent smaller than previous TI chips. This also means the chip
uses less power while reducing the overall cost to OEMs that incorporate it
into their devices, according to TI.
The TI WiLink 7 chip is geared toward the handset
phones and smartphones-but it can also be used in a number of different
small form-factor devices such as mobile Internet devices (MIDs), gaming
devices, music players and personal navigation systems. TI is also offering an
updated version of its software development kit (SDK) for the WiLink chip that
includes support for Linux, Microsoft WinCE, and Symbian
What makes this WiLink chip different from previous processors is the
inclusion of GPS location technology. While
all the cores within the chip package work individually, TI has also ensured
that all four technologies can coexist and work together.
"For example, mobile-device users could determine their current position
with GPS, download a related map over a WLAN
connection, and listen to an FM radio station over a Bluetooth headset all at
the same time," according to TI.
Each of the four cores on the TI WiLink 7 chip also supports a number of new
technologies. For example, the
Bluetooth core supports the latest Bluetooth 3.0 specifications
, while the
WLAN core supports 802.11n, along with older Wi-Fi technology such as 802.11a/b/g.
The FM core also supports an internal antenna.
As devices such as smartphones and navigation systems become more popular,
the marketplace for mobile chips is also getting more competitive. While
companies such as Texas Instruments and Qualcomm have traditionally dominated
this market, Intel,
which remains the world's leading producer of x86 processors for PCs and
servers, is also looking to enter the mobile chip market
. With its Atom
processor at the heart of this new strategy, Intel has announced deals with
handset makers such as Nokia and LG Electronics.
At the same time, TI is looking toward other markets, such