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Semiconductor Chips

Mon, 07/16/2001 - 5:47am
T-Mobil, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and one of the world's largest Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) wireless service providers, and Agere Systems have jointly announced that the Samsung General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Class 8 cell phone, which uses Agere's semiconductor chips and software, has been approved and is operational within the T-Mobile network. This achievement means Samsung GPRS wireless handsets equipped with Agere's integrated circuit and system-level software solution can enable data rates within the T-Mobil network at up to 50 Kilobits per second (Kbit/s) — approximately five times faster than today's typical wireless handsets (9 Kbit/s). Ultimately, the GPRS service is expected to allow data connection at speeds up to 115 Kbit/s.

GPRS, a 2.5-generation wireless technology and a bridge to third-generation wireless technology, runs on packet-based technology that operates, with a simple software upgrade, on existing GSM networks. Emerging GPRS applications include Web browsing, e-banking, and video games.

The combination of T-Mobil's approval and Samsung's early market delivery of Class 8 GPRS cell phones means that consumers can soon access selected Internet services by purchasing a Samsung GPRS handset and a T-Mobil service agreement. Samsung expects the first of the company's GPRS handsets using Agere's chips and software to be on the market in this year's second quarter.

Weighing only 85 grams, the new Samsung Wireless Application Protocol and GPRS phone has been designed to be compact and light while also featuring a large high-resolution (128 × 128 pixel) graphic liquid crystal display screen with up to 10 lines of text and four tones of gray to provide photo-realism. The phone has a dedicated Internet key for direct access to the World Wide Web and a four-way directional navigation key to allow easy screen scrolling and movement of the cursor. In addition to offering Internet access, the Samsung SGH-Q100 phone offers Predictive Text Input (T9) as well as Personal Information Management, which includes a calendar, scheduler, and to-do lists.

Manufacturers of GPRS, Internet-enabled wireless handsets can deliver their products to market faster using the Agere Systems high performance GPRS chips and software solution than by developing such products on their own.

The chips and software solution is based on Agere's extensive experience in wireless systems engineering. The solution's GPRS protocol stack and related software have been developed by Germany-based Optimay GmbH, an Agere subsidiary. Based on Agere's Sceptre® 3 system-on-a-chip technology that uses Agere's DSP16000 architecture, the solution integrates digital signal processor, microcontroller, and a host of analog and mixed signal functions into the baseband chip set. The solution uses Agere's highly-integrated power management chip to reduce overall component count. The solution also offers a module Full Type Approval to ensure conformance to various systems standards and specifications.

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