New WiFi VoIP Chipset Unveiled

Broadcom's wireless product will help reduce cost and speed time to market for more robust VoIP phones by combining the CPU, voice codecs, and interfaces for mike, speaker, camera, color LCD and USB connectivity on a single chip.

Broadcom Corp., Irvine, Calif., unveiled a new chipset for the VoIP-capable handset market that reduces the cost and should help speed time to market of more robust VoIP phones, according to the company and an industry analyst.

The new voice over wireless LAN chipset includes a pair of chips that have the capability of four earlier chips. This means not only the elimination of two extraneous chips, but also power-filtering and other integrated hardware and software for those extraneous chips, according to Monica Gupta, Broadcom product line manager for wireless VoIP products. So handset manufacturers will be able to produce smaller, lower-cost VoIP-capable phones.

Keith Nissen, senior analyst for In-Stat/MDR, Phoenix, Arizsays the new Broadcom chipset and similar products recently launched or under development by Broadcom competitors, will simplify the production of VoIP-capable phones. This will mean companies will be able to develop these phones and bring them to market more quickly.

The number of broadband IP telephony subscribers will increase with a compound annual growth rate of 122 percent year-to-year in the U.S. from 2004 through 2008, Nissen added.

“By 2008, there will be approximately 75 million subscribers using Wi-Fi-based voice services in the US, and over 145 million subscribers worldwide,” he said. “Wi-Fi phones will help drive the adoption of VoIP by enabling the delivery of advanced VoIP services such as unified messaging and presence directly to the handset.”

Broadcom's wireless IP phone chipset solution consists of the Broadcom BCM1160 mobile VoIP processor and BCM4318 AirForce One54g chip. The BCM1160 is a new Broadcom mobile VoIP processor designed to meet the integration and low-power requirements of wireless handheld devices. The BCM1160 integrates an ARM9™-based CPU, analog voice codec with a direct microphone and high-output speaker interface, 1.3 megapixel camera interface, 262k color LCD display interface, and USB into a single-chip solution.