Toshiba, Infineon to link 3G video chips

The companies have developed an interface to link Toshiba's MPEG4 single-chip codec (coder/decoder) chip with Infineon's dual-mode UMTS/GSM (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System/Global System for Mobile communications) single-chip baseband chip.

The two chips, which handle the coding and decoding of MPEG4 data and the radio transmission functions of the mobile phone, when linked provide all the necessary functions required for video communication on dual mode GSM and 3G cellular telephones, the companies said in a statement.

The new Toshiba chip that will be linked with Infineon's baseband device was announced in January and is designed for use in handsets that include video cameras and can transmit and receive video. The two companies plan to give the system its first public demonstration at the GSM World Congress which begins on Tuesday and runs for four days in Cannes, France.

Video is being predicted as a key application of 3G cellular telephones. New 3G networks, such as that to be launched by NTT DoCoMo in Tokyo in late May, can support much higher communications speeds than current networks and will be much more suited to carrying video at higher quality.

The cooperation is not the first between the two companies. In late 2000 they announced plans to work together on the research and development of Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (FeRAM) chips, a new type of memory chip that can keep its contents when switched off, like Static RAM (SRAM) chips used in mobile phones, and can operate at high speed.

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Martyn Williams

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