Zarlink Unveils First Single-Chip Radio Transceiver for Multi-Mode 2.5G Cellular Networks

- Highly integrated transceiver cuts size, cost of cell phone radios

- First commercial radio chip to support both 2G TDMA/AMPS/GSM networks and 2.5G GPRS/EDGE
high-speed data platforms

OTTAWA, CANADA, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE/TSX:ZL) today unveiled the world's first off-the-shelf, single-chip radio transceiver (transmitter/receiver) for cell phones used in multi-band, multi-mode, 2G and 2.5G digital cellular networks.
Zarlink's ZL(TM)20250 chip - the industry's smallest and most flexible commercial radio transceiver - is targeted primarily at handsets for GAIT overlay networks that add GSM capability and mobile Internet data services to existing TDMA/AMPS wireless infrastructure. Multi-mode GAIT cellular networks are being deployed extensively across North America.
Zarlink's new transceiver eliminates about 60 separate components from GAIT cell phones, shrinking the size of the radio by more than half, and reducing BOM (bill of material) costs by up to 40%. The device supports high- quality reception of all GAIT voice services, as well as high-speed data services based on the 2.5G GPRS and EDGE platforms. Zarlink's is the first commercial cell phone radio that handles two-way data services at 384 Kb/s
(kilobits per second) - the top EDGE rate - without using external circuitry.
"As the first commercial GAIT chip to combine receive and transmit circuitry on one piece of silicon, and the only one with full-rate duplex GPRS/EDGE, the ZL20250 offers unmatched integration and performance," said Derek Rye, cellular marketing manager, User Access business unit, Zarlink Semiconductor.

Industry's most advanced 2.5G radio chip
Zarlink's ZL20250 transceiver is the first off-the-shelf cell phone radio chip with full, two-way compatibility for 8PSK (8-level phase shift keying), the high-density digital modulation scheme that gives EDGE its fast, 384 Kb/s data rate. GAIT radio chips from other vendors rely on separate external components for 8PSK uplinks. In addition, Zarlink's transceiver supports the
normal GMSK (Gaussian minimum shift keying) modulation technique used by GSM and GPRS applications.
The ZL20250 is also the first commercial single-chip, 2.5G cell phone radio transceiver. Traditionally, cellular receive and transmit functions have been implemented on two or more chips to ensure that sensitive RF (radio frequency) front-end receive circuits are isolated from transmit signals. However, the ZL20250 integrates receive and transmit circuits on the same silicon chip by using a high-performance, two-stage receiver design to
overcome these isolation issues.
The chip's receive circuitry has two IF (intermediate frequency) inputs, one for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, the other for TDMA/AMPS. Incoming signals are mixed with synthesized LO (local oscillator) signals from an on-chip VHF VCO (very high frequency, voltage-controlled oscillator), amplified, and downconverted
to the baseband frequency.
The ZL20250 receiver has integrated channel filters that allow the chip to connect directly to most baseband processors. Other vendors typically implement these channel filters off-chip in complex, costly, and multi-component analog circuitry.

Highly linear transmitter circuitry
The transmitter on the ZL20250 is a highly linear circuit with a
quadrature modulator, IF gain control, and a single-ended output. The single-ended output delivers enough power to directly drive a two-stage power amplifier, eliminating the need for an external balun (balanced/unbalanced) transformer.
The ZL20250 uses a high-performance, fractional-N synthesizer to control its UHF (ultra high frequency) VCO, allowing it to switch rapidly between frequencies. The radio gives designers control over power consumption, with programmable features to adjust receive and transmit currents to accommodate different operating requirements.

Standards compliant
Zarlink's multi-mode ZL20250 transceiver operates in four key cellular frequency bands: 850 MHz (megahertz), 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 1900 MHz. This quad-band capability allows the transceiver to support TDMA/AMPS/GSM/GPRS/EDGE
services in North America, as well as many GSM/GPRS/EDGE operating environments in Europe and other regions.
The chip is fully compliant with the TIA/EIA IS (interim standard)-136 specification, and with protocols for GSM, EDGE, and GPRS defined by ETSI.

Availability, packaging, and pricing
The ZL20250 is entering volume production. It is designed in an advanced SiGe (silicon germanium) BiCMOS (bipolar complementary metal oxide silicon) process, and offered in a 56-pin MLP (micro-lead frame package) with dimensions of 8 mm (millimeter) x 8 mm. An evaluation board and API (application programming interface) software support the chip. In high
volumes, the ZL20250 is priced at less than US$7.00. For more information please visit