WiLink 7.0 crams WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and FM functionality onto smaller cheaper chip

The battery life of mobile devices like smartphones is closely tied to how much space is available inside of the device. The more space taken up by chips and hardware, the less space there is for battery.

Texas Instruments has announced a new highly converged chip today called WiLink 7.0. The solution crams what used to take multiple chips inside a smartphone into one chip, significantly reducing needed space and power consumption. The WiLink 7.0 solution integrates 802.11b/g/n WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and an FM transmitter/receiver into a single chip.

“TI's announcement that its Bluetooth/FM/GPS/WLAN combination IC is sampling to major OEMs marks the first of its kind, demonstrating the strong future for combination ICs that enable device manufacturers to offer multiple radios without sacrificing performance, space requirements or profit margins,” said Lisa Arrowsmith, analyst, IMS Research. “IMS Research forecasts that by 2013, more than 4.5 billion combination ICs featuring a variety of radios will have been shipped.”

There are multiple benefits to the new integrated chip including TI's claim that the solution reduces costs by up to 30% and reduces the space needed for the functions by 50%. The FM transmit and receive feature means that handsets using the solution will be able to receive FM broadcasts and they will be able to send FM transmissions. That would mean that the handset could act as an FM transmitter to send music stored on the phone to your car or home stereo.

TI promises that the GPS feature of the chip is best in class and supports reduced power during tracking. The Bluetooth core used in the platform supports the latest specifications including Bluetooth low-energy and Bluetooth 3.0. The WiFi core supports WiFi Direct and Soft AP modes and the FM transmitter supports internal antennas. The WiLink 7.0 platform is sampling to OEMs today.

“As the first company to put the power of GPS, WLAN, Bluetooth and FM technologies on a single chip, we are excited to have solved some of the market’s most complex coexistence challenges,” said Haviv Ilan, vice president and general manager, wireless connectivity solutions, TI. “This type of innovation builds on our strong heritage in the wireless market and commitment to spearhead next-generation advancements. With its ability to support simultaneous use of all four radios, the WiLink 7.0 solution will truly revolutionize the way people interact with their devices and connect to the larger world.”

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