Broadcom Takes It to the EDGE

Broadcom first to demonstrate four-slot EDGE performance at more than 200 kbit/s for mobile multimedia applications

June 18, 2003

4 Min Read

IRVINE, Calif. -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), the leading provider of silicon solutions enabling broadband communications, today announced it is sampling a complete cellular handset platform that enables leading handset manufacturers to develop next-generation mobile multimedia solutions based on the EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) standard. Broadcom's field-proven EDGE cellular platform is centered on the Broadcom(R) BCM2132 single-chip EDGE/GPRS/GSM multimedia baseband processor, enabling high-speed, multi-slot Class 12 data rates of more than 236 Kbps over GSM-based networks.

EDGE is a major improvement in Global System for Mobile (GSM) technology that allows consumers to use cellular handsets, PC cards, PDAs and other wireless devices to connect to the Internet at data rates up to four times faster than existing GSM and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) wireless devices. EDGE is easily implemented upon the existing network infrastructure with more than 23 mobile-service operators worldwide already having committed to support the technology. In the United States, operators such as AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile and Cingular Wireless are currently installing EDGE infrastructure over their entire existing network footprints. According to analyst firm Instat/MDR, 64 percent of cellular handsets worldwide will operate on the GSM standard in 2003.

"The availability of our four-slot multimedia EDGE platform further extends Broadcom's portfolio in mobile communications, providing a complete solution for the expanding EDGE market," said Dr. Tung Chang, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Mobile Communications Business Unit. "Our EDGE technology enables our partners to address the growing demand for high-speed mobile connectivity with low incremental cost over today's GPRS terminals."

Broadcom has collaborated with a number of operators, infrastructure vendors and interoperability testing labs to enable the rapid testing and resolution of EDGE test cases and recently demonstrated better than 200 Kbps streaming and Internet browsing over an EDGE network. In addition, products using Broadcom's EDGE technology recently passed FCC radio testing and Broadcom anticipates that such devices will be shipping in volume production in the third quarter of 2003, underscoring the maturity of the technology. In the same timeframe, Broadcom is planning to release its EDGE platform that meets the latest Release 99 protocol stack specifications, enabling operators to offer enhanced network and terminal features.

Broadcom's complete EDGE platform for handset and PC cards solves the complex Radio Frequency (RF) design challenges critical for manufacturing EDGE cellular technology. In addition, Broadcom has already completed exhaustive four-slot receive EDGE testing using all EDGE channel-coding schemes, including incremental redundancy, designed to improve data throughput in areas with low signal strength. Broadcom's BCM2132 single-chip, mixed-signal baseband and RF design EDGE platform solution, demonstrate Broadcom's leadership and ability to provide customers with a world-class solution with early time-to-market advantages.

"Operator interest worldwide in EDGE has significantly increased this year as carriers see continued delays in UMTS. Many are now considering EDGE network upgrades as a high-speed enhancement that utilizes existing spectrum with a minimal investment," said Allen Nogee, Senior Analyst for Instat/MDR. "The bandwidth enabled by four-slot solutions will make EDGE increasingly attractive, while Broadcom's ability to bring EDGE technology to market quickly with turn-key reference designs and testing support will simplify the process for handset manufacturers deploying next generation EDGE handsets with high data rate capabilities."

Broadcom's single-chip BCM2132 EDGE solution uses an ARM926EJ(TM) processor, along with a TeakLite(R) DSP and is targeted at multimedia handset and PC card/data applications. The platform supports a broad array of multimedia messaging features including camera, graphics engine, multiple color displays, USB On-The-Go (OTG), IEEE 802.11 and Bluetooth(TM) technologies. Broadcom's platform includes complete messaging client software that enables video clips or pictures to be sent via EDGE, as well as a broad range of messaging support.

Broadcom's EDGE software/hardware partitioning is unique in that the key radio modem and protocol functions are handled by dedicated hardware and thus do not require the use of a high-speed DSP core to deliver four-slot EDGE functionality. This partitioning, coupled with a novel incremental redundancy implementation that requires very low DSP and ARM processor instructions, results in low power consumption and leaves more processing power available to run multimedia applications.

Broadcom's EDGE multimedia platform consists of a complete radio reference design including protocol stack, flexible software, application programming interface, application enablers and all layer 1/DSP software. A complete multimedia framework is also available for supporting full feature terminals and man-machine interface (MMI) development.

Broadcom complements its industry leading technology solutions with a complete end-to-end solution, including target PCB form factor design, carrier interoperability testing (IOT) and a production support program that enables cellular handset and PC data card manufacturers to achieve significant time-to-market advantages.

Broadcom Corp.

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