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Embedded processor, WLAN chip makers align

Jan 25, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Chipmaker Renesas Technology Corp. has invested in wireless LAN chipset vendor Key Stream Corporation (KSC). Additionally, the companies plan to collaborate on product integration, WiFi-enabled “single-chip” system-on-chip (SoC) designs, and the development of next-generation wireless standards.

Renesas spun out of a collaboration between Hitachi and Mitsubishi in 2003. It is best known for SoCs and microcontrollers based on the Super-H (aka SH) architecture.

Renesas claims to have the “world's leading manufacturing capability of microcontrollers (MCU) and advanced system-on-chip (SoC) technology.” It currently sells chips into the mobile, digital consumer electronics, and automotive markets.

Renesas describes KSC's wireless LAN chipsets as “the most advanced of their kind,” in part due to ultra-low power consumption. The chips are currently used in VoIP (voice-over-IP) handsets and portable multimedia players (PMPs), Renesas says.

Renesas says the companies will work together to achieve a high level of interoperability across their product lines. After that, they plan to collaborate on advanced SoC products with built-in wireless LAN functionality. Finally, the companies plan to “jointly develop IP supporting next-generation wireless standards,” Renesas says.

Shiro Baba, GM of system solutions at Renesas, stated, “By embedding low-power wireless LAN technology from Key Stream into [our Exreal] platform, we will be able to deliver large-scale SoC-based wireless LAN solutions to market much faster.”

Renesas's Exreal chip line (Japanese website) appears to support embedded Linux, Windows, and uItron operating systems. It supports modern interfaces and interconnects, such as USB 2.0, digital LCDs, and DDR RAM, and targets flat-panel TVs, automotive infotainment, and mobile phones.

Renesas Exreal diagram
(Click to enlarge slightly)

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