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Linux phone stack firm gains new chip partners

Feb 8, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Azingo revealed that its Linux-based phone stack will be part of a 3G phone reference design based on Broadcom's dual-ARM-core BCM2153 multimedia baseband system-on-chip (SoC). Azingo also announced that Azingo Mobile will be integrated with a Samsung S3C2442 mobile-device SoC.

Azingo, which changed its name from Celunite last month, introduced Azingo Mobile (pictured at left) last week and quickly followed up with an announcement that the stack would be part of a 3G-handset reference design based on NXP's Nexperia Cellular Solution 7210 single-core hardware reference design. (Purple Labs, meanwhile, also announced a Nexperia-based phone design called Purple Magic, using its own Linux-based phone stack.)

The Azingo Mobile stack is positioned as a comprehensive software/services offering for mid-tier feature-phones compliant with LiMo (Linux Mobile Foundation) requirements. LiMo has adopted some of Azingo's tools as part of its common integration environment (CIE).

Broadcom BCM2153 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The Azingo/Broadcom reference design is primarily targeted at 3G mobile phones, but the companies say that it can also be used for mobile TVs, portable audio, and video and game devices. The dual-core BCM2153 SoC is fabricated with 65-nm technology and integrates a 7.2Mbps Category 8 HSDPA modem with a 312MHz ARM11 CPU. It also includes Broadcom's BCM59035 power management unit, and the BCM4325 combination chip, which supports WiFi, Bluetooth and FM reception. It offers a 480Mbps USB 2.0 OTG, says Broadcom, plus mixed-signal support for speakers, HiFi stereo audio amplifiers and USB transceivers, and full security and digital rights management (DRM) support. There were no diagrams available for the reference design, but it may be similar to the hypothetical system design for the SoC that Broadcom released a year ago when the processor was first announced (see below).

Typical BCM2153-based system design
(Click to enlarge)

The BCM2153 is said to support cameras of up to 3.2 megapixels, and offer TV-out functionality for displaying phone content on standard televisions. It provides 30fps video capture and playback at CIF or QVGA resolutions using MPEG4, H.263, or H.264, says Broadcom, as well as supports T-DMB and DVB-H mobile TV standards. Touted audio features include integrated 64-voice polyphonic ringtones, stereo audio DACs, and two pairs of stereo audio amplifiers to support multiple speaker options, including stereo output, speaker phones, and MP3 headset playback.

The OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner,
which also uses the
Samsung S3C2442

(Click to enlarge)

Samsung's S3C2442

The Azingo/Samsung integration, meanwhile, uses Samsung's S3C2442, the same SoC used in OpenMoko's Neo FreeRunner and two other devices based on it: the Koolu W.E. Phone, and Dash Navigation's Dash Express automotive navigation device. The S3C2442 features an ARM920T core and a 16/32-bit RISC microprocessor, says Samsung. It was developed using 0.13um CMOS standard cells and a memory compiler, which the company claims helps it to greatly reduce power consumption. The SoC also includes a separate 16KB instruction cache and 16KB data cache, a MMU to handle virtual memory management, a TFT and STN LCD controller, NAND flash boot loader, and a system manager.

To provide a sense of the peripherals supported by the Samsung S3C2442, the Neo FreeRunner is said to offer a 640×480, 4.3-inch VGA display, as well as USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometers, and 2.5G tri-band GPRS/GSM cellular modem. The Neo FreeRunner clocks the processor at 500MHz and matches it with 128MB RAM, 256MB flash, and an SMedia 3362 3D graphics accelerator.

Samsung S3C2442 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)


Azingo did not reveal pricing or availability for either the Broadcom reference design or the Samsung integration. However, the Broadcom design will be exhibited at three booths at next week's GSMA show in Barcelona: Azingo (Booth #2.1D57), Broadcom (Booth #4.1HS02) and the LiMo Foundation (Booth #8B135). More information on the Broadcom BCM2153 can be found here, and information on the Samsung SC32442 is here.

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