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Baseband battle over multimedia functions

Baseband battle over multimedia functions

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There are two divergent approaches to adding multimedia functions to the baseband design of 3G mobile phones, and the argument is analogue vs. digital all over again. Rather than developing a 3G multimedia platform from scratch, several suppliers are looking at solutions that allow multimedia processors to be added to existing designs to ease the transition to data-oriented services. At the chip level, some developers are looking at handling the data close to the RF front end, which requires a high level of analogue and RF design skills, while others are concentrating more on the baseband processing where the current 0.13 μm manufacturing process technologies are now allowing sufficient clock speed and memory. The digital approach will benefit from the advance of Moore's law to the next generation 90 nm processes next year and clock speeds up to 500 MHz in a phone or personal digital assistant. But the mixed signal RF approach is offering network operators the opportunity to increase coverage and reduce the cost of rolling out the network.

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