NXP does not stand still in its first Q

01 November 2006

Since spinning out of Royal Philips to become NXP (www.nxp.com), the former Philips Semiconductor has hardly had time to catch its breath as it insists on continuing the momentum of the new company with ARM
controller and WiMAX announcements and the purchase of shares in SSMC, the manufacturing joint venture between Philips and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company).

The European semiconductor company, now owned by an investment consortium, with Royal Philips maintaining a 19.9 per cent share, will focus on products for automotive, identification, home, mobile and personal and what it labels as ‘multimarket’ markets.

The first products out of the NXP stable are the ARM7-based 32bit microcontrollers, the LPC2300 and LPC2400 and what are claimed to be the world’s first fully integrated WiMAX transceivers specifically for mobile and handheld applications.

The LPC2300 and LPC2400 can be used in high-performance communications, including infotainment, medical devices and point of sale applications.

The dual, high-speed buses are described as the only ARM7 microcontrollers with two ARM high-speed buses (AHBs) for simultaneous operation of high bandwidth peripherals, i.e. Ethernet, USB-on-the-Go, USB Host, CAN, SDRAM and on-chip Flash. The LPC2400 additionally has two-port USB host capability, so that it can be used for multiple communications applications.

A real-time clock uses the 2kByte of battery back-up SRAM to continue running even when the chip’s power is shut down. Both microcontrollers also have three independent direct memory access engines, which allow multiple high-bandwidth peripherals to operate simultaneously without adversely affecting the bus.

The UXF23480 WiMAX transceiver operates in the 2.3 to 2.4GHz spectrum for North America and Australia and the UXF23460 operates at 2.5 to 2.7GHz for use in Europe, North America, Japan and Taiwan. Both are 802.16e-compliant, have low power consumption, a noise figure of <3dB, high adjacent channel rejection and reduce the amount of external components, and therefore design time required for mobile, nomadic and
fixed wireless access equipment.

The transceivers are interoperable, working with different basebands by using standard analogue and serial interfacing to co-exist with mobile, WLAN and Bluetooth standards.

The acquisition of shares held by EDBI (EDB Investments) in SSMC (Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company) in Singapore is expected to be completed at the end of this calendar year, at a cost of around $113million. Afterwards, the company will be a joint venture between Philips, owning 50.5 per cent, TSMC
with 38.8 per cent and NXP with 10.7 per cent.

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