Print 15 comment(s) - last by forbigbears.. on Feb 11 at 2:11 PM

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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By goku on 2/9/2010 7:40:57 PM , Rating: 3
How do you disable the GPS? Even when you disable the GPS, aren't they able to re-enable it remotely? If the chip is separate, you can always pry it off but if it's integrated, you're pretty much stuck.

RE: **paranoia**
By shin0bi272 on 2/10/2010 11:46:27 AM , Rating: 3
You dont have to worry about the gps till the black helicopters start flying overhead. Then just turn off the phone or bash it with a rock (not the crack rock you were smoking when you posted that question though).

RE: **paranoia**
By wolrah on 2/10/2010 4:13:39 PM , Rating: 1
Whether "they" can re-enable it remotely depends on the control software in use. This chip doesn't connect to any control networks on it's own, so it'll need to be told by the host CPU what parts should be operating when.

TL;DR version: That question doesn't relate to this particular chip, it relates to the OS and other components in use in the device.

By eli2k on 2/9/2010 6:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
please put this into the ipod touch :)

RE: ipod
By forbigbears on 2/11/2010 2:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
How about this...(already shipping on iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch):

hey its from Texas...
By Smartless on 2/9/2010 3:05:29 PM , Rating: 3
Hey wait a second this chip is HUGE...
Well pardner, everything in Texas is big.

Kidding aside, It's great that an American company is still innovating. I mean that Speak and Spell they used in E.T. was pretty awesome. I just hope this thing sees its way into new phones soon.

Good job!
By corduroygt on 2/9/2010 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Now add all the cell phone frequencies and protocols.

open drivers
By MGSsancho on 2/9/2010 5:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Now that this is released, how soon until the documentation is released so we can start working on linux, bsd and opensolaris support? :)

Apple technology
By intelpatriot on 2/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Apple technology
By Xenoterranos on 2/10/2010 11:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
Allow me to elucidate.

1) Quad-band devices include rx/tx hardware for frequencies used by things like EDGE, GSM, EVDO, CDMA, etc... all technologies used in cellular communication.

2) Those chips are mostly made by Texas Instruments, Qualcom, Motorola, etc.

3) Apple purchases these chips for use in their devices.

4) The chip in this article does not use any of the "bands" normally associated with "quad band" devices.

Hope I could Help!

How quick does it cause cancer?
By Lord 666 on 2/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: How quick does it cause cancer?
By bupkus on 2/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: How quick does it cause cancer?
By bupkus on 2/9/10, Rating: 0
By forbigbears on 2/11/2010 2:11:56 PM , Rating: 1
All kinds of studies have been done. Stop spreading FUD about this. People see the word "radiation" and immediately start spouting the word cancer and start frivolous lawsuits. Sorry, but this is the wrong kind of radiation. RF power causes molecules to vibrate and heat things up (but only at extreme power levels, ala Microwave oven). How long have those been around? Get your nuclear vs. RF radiation and isotropic vs. non-isotropic radiation technologies straightened out please.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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