Munich, Germany – April 27, 2006 - Infineon Technologies, a leading provider of Communication ICs, today announced the availability of a new chipset for Digital Cordless Phones that supports advanced features and helps to reduce total system cost. Infineon also announced that it will integrate the digital and RF functionalities of the chipset to produce an industry-first, single-chip DECT solution that will provide customers with a powerful, price and performance competitive, and flexible platform for next generation DECT phones now being defined by international standards organizations.
The new chipset incorporates the Infineon Step8 DECT baseband controller, an eighth generation device from the company that pioneered the digital cordless market segment in the early 1990s. The Step8 leverages Infineon’s expertise to provide new functionalities like polyphonic ringing, color display support and a microcontroller optimized for maximum performance. The Step8 is used along with a Radio Frequency (RF) transceiver and power amplifier to provide a very price competitive solution with an extended feature set for digital cordless handsets.
Concurrently, Infineon unveiled the development of an industry first single-chip DECT solution that will integrate the baseband, transceiver, and power amplifier. Named COSIC (COrdless SIngle Chip), the highly integrated and future-proof device will provide a very price and performance competitive solution for next generation cordless phones. Slated for sample availability late in 2006, COSIC reduces the number of components required for a DECT system (base station and handset) up to 50 percent, with a concurrent reduction in production cost estimated at 40 percent. This makes it the ideal platform to continue the roadmap for the DECT Next Generation, as it combines the lower cost for DECT functions with an increase in board space to integrate additional features such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and IMS (Integrated Message Services) related value features.
“There is a great global market potential for digital cordless phones as there is still a high percentage of European and US households using corded and analogue phones, while emerging markets like China and Eastern Europe are driving significant new demand for DECT phones,” said Dr. Michael Neuhäuser, responsible for the Cordless Business at Infineon. “Additionally previous generations of digital cordless phones will be replaced because of the availability of highly integrated chips offering new features at low prices for the end consumer.”
Market researchers from Instat (2006) forecasted that the market for residential DECT based phones will increase from about 38 million units in 2005 to more then 55 million DECT phones in 2009, with a CAGR of 10.5 percent. Infineon expects that the cordless telephone segment priced at less then 50 EUR will grow above-average to 70 percent in 2008 from less then 40 percent in 2005. To support this segment of the market, phone system manufacturers targeting this segment will look for very low cost platforms that do not sacrifice user features.
About the Step8 Baseband Controller and the COSIC Roadmap
The new Step8 baseband controller is manufactured on a 0.13µm CMOS process and supports all DECT frequencies. The enhanced feature set includes polyphonic ringing, color display support and I2C, JTAG and SPI Interfaces. The Step8 also includes all necessary software, including an API to allow easy adaptation into the final product, to ensure fast time to market. Engineering samples of different variants adapted to various applications are already available and volume production will start in Q3/2006.
To fully support the cost driven cordless market, Infineon also will produce the first true single-chip DECT solution, integrating the Step8 baseband controller and RF circuits (transceiver and power amplifier) on one 0.13µm CMOS device. Similar to its approach in the mobile phone segment, Infineon will offer this highly integrated solution to enable its customers to create innovative low cost and feature rich DECT cordless phones. All major features, including color display support, full duplex hands free functionality, polyphonic ringing, adjustable on-chip audio amplifier and enhanced interfaces will be available. The flexible architecture supports all major standards like DECT, DECT6.0 and 2.4GHz WDCT with an integrated PA. Support for 5.8GHz is possible with an external PA. COSIC devices will be offered in optimized variants to support all market segments from low end to high end phones with integrated answering machine. Engineering samples of the COSIC will be available in Q4 2006, with volume production planned in Q3 2007.
Driving the DECT Next Generation Standard
With the new COSIC solution, Infineon will offer a technology platform to drive the DECT Next Generation standardization, which is moving to new functionalities such as value added IMS based services. The standardization process is a joint approach of DECT Forum and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute).
Based on the existing DECT standard, DECT Next Generation supports the cutting-edge of cordless IP telephony and offers various new features and enhancements to satisfy the customer demands in the fields of voice (VoIP), audio (e.g. Internet radio), phone and address book administration, security, ease of use, and compatibility to existing DECT equipment and quality.
Infineon is well prepared and positioned to serve this growing market driven by the DECT Next Generation standard with its innovative portfolio on cordless phone chips combined with leading edge VoIP, home networking and xDSL access technologies.