AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — TV-on-mobile” is a hot button issue among many broadcasters and technology companies at this year's International Broadcast Convention (IBC).

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<p>Well, that's almost right. System-level tools must address verification, but that alone won't solve our system design crisis of complexity. You can't verify something that doesn't yet exist, so system-level design must involve more. The path to effective electronic system level (ESL) design entails both functional verification and the ability to rapidly move design functionality from concept to optimal implementation.</p>

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — TV-on-mobile” is a hot button issue among many broadcasters and technology companies at this year's International Broadcast Convention (IBC).

Who will set definition?

It remains unclear how much of the next-generation mobile architecture has been defined by any chip company today, and which silicon vendors are best-positioned to fulfill Ericsson Mobile Platforms' vision on its next-generation architecture, possibly at the best cost.

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Mario Rivas, executive vice president for the communications business at Philips Semiconductors, wouldn't say whether his company is in the running for selection as Ericsson Mobile Platforms' fab partner.

Philips is working on architectural mapping” that allows it to move certain multimedia features-such as MP3 decoding-from an applications processor to a baseband processor on the Nexperia platform, while keeping the integrity of real-time code. The strategy is to make intellectual property as portable as possible,” Rivas said, by maintaining the address and data buses” between the baseband and multimedia processors.

On a broader scale, said Rivas, the industry needs a set of standards defining interconnects of the two, to allow mixing and matching among baseband and multimedia processors.

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Turley observed that handset companies tend to standardize on the baseband processor, because that piece requires regulatory approval. The applications processor is much less critical, so you have room to experiment.”

While there remains a window of opportunity for graphics vendors, no 3-D graphics chip companies have been very successful in handsets, said Turley. The ICs are far too powerful and power-hungry for battery-sensitive mobile designs, he noted.

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Nvidia, however, is trying to take on the likes of TI and Intel in this space. The company, with a team of engineers dedicated to handheld devices for almost a year, recently doubled its engineering staff to about 70 people by acquiring MediaQ, said Manish Singh, director of product marketing at Nvidia's handheld-product division. By completing the integration of the two teams, we can bring to the mobile-handset market our products featuring camera/imaging, or 3-D graphics technologies, much sooner than either company could have done [alone],” said Phil Carmack, Nvidia's vice president and general manager responsible for handheld products.

Carmack, although not ready to chart a long-term road map, claimed that Nvidia-a $2 billion graphics chip company with a diversified portfolio-has important intellectual property relevant to mobile handsets. Working with top content creators of gaming software, [we] could have profound influence” in defining the next-generation mobile-gaming experience, said Carmack.

Madison, Wis. – Artesyn Communication Products is increasing the density of its SS7 signaling capabilities with the release of a signaling blade that can deliver up to 64 SS7 signaling channels in wireless-infrastructure and soft-switch designs.

With cellular deployments increasing and telcos looking to keep costs down, system designers are being pressed to pack as many SS7 signaling channels as possible into chassis architectures. Recognizing this need, Artesyn reworked its existing SpiderWareSS7 blade, which supports up to 32 SS7 channels, and developed the SpiderWareSS7 2.0, which pushes SS7 signaling density into the 64-channel range.

Artesyn's SpiderWareSS7 comes with a baseboard developed around an 800-MHz IBM PowerPC 750FX processor. The board also provides two PCI mezzanine card (PMC) slots, 32 kbytes each of L1 instruction and data cache, 512 kbytes of L2 cache and up to 1 Gbyte of synchronous DRAM memory.

To add SS7 capabilities to the baseboard, designers plug two modules into the PMC slots. Developed around the PowerQuicc II processor, each module can deliver up to 32 channels of SSL signaling as well as support for up to eight T1/E1 ports. They also offer 128 Mbytes of SDRAM, 16 Mbytes of flash and 1 Mbyte of SRAM.

To complement the modules, Artesyn provides an SS7 software package. The base SpiderWareSS7 platform is delivered with a Streams-based implementation for SS7's lower-level message transport part 1 (MTP1) and MTP2 protocol layers. Upper layer SSL protocols, such as MTP3, ISUP and MCCP, are also available.

Indeed the two companies agreed to collaborate on marketing and developer programs though they did not specify the value of those investments.

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