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Texas Instruments Addresses How the Unconnected will Get Connected with Ultra Low Cost Handsets

Nov 30, 2005

SAN DIEGO (November 30, 2005) - Handset makers, semiconductor manufacturers, operators, and other key players in the wireless industry have important roles to play in bringing low-cost mobile telephony to emerging markets, according to Dr. Bill Krenik, manager of advanced wireless architectures for Texas Instruments' Wireless Terminals Business Unit. Addressing leaders in the worldwide mobile handset industry during his morning keynote address today at the World Handset Forum in San Diego, Calif., Dr. Krenik emphasized that while the next billion wireless subscribers are likely to come from emerging economies, the significance of the low cost market goes well beyond economics and into the humanitarian realm.
"With the advent of ultra low-cost GSM phones at the sub-$40 (USD) wholesale cost, we are finally able to bring mobile communications to economically disadvantaged regions of the world," noted Dr. Krenik. "The GSM Association's 'Connecting the Unconnected' program is playing a leadership role in serving developing nations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and South America."
In the roughly 20 years since wireless technology has become widely available, mobile phones have become an essential part of the fabric of everyday life in many parts of the world. Yet despite the fact that mobile telephony has become ubiquitous in Western countries and parts of Asia, hundreds of millions of people across the globe have never used a mobile phone.
"As the wireless industry continues to decrease the cost of bringing mobile telephony to these underserved regions, we will see great improvements in commerce, social interaction, and even safety," said Dr. Krenik.
Already, TI and other major wireless players including leading handset manufacturers and operators have helped to decrease the total cost of a voice-only handset to around U.S. $40. The next plateau, the even more affordable $30 voice-only mobile phone, is just ahead. Dr. Krenik explained that in order to achieve economies of scale with ultra-low-cost handsets, silicon electronics integration is critical because silicon cost is a major factor in a phone's overall cost.
Texas Instruments is investing heavily in silicon integration, notably in its digital RF processor technology and in aggressive deep sub-micron node scaling. TI's DRPTM technology approach integrates mobile phone components onto a single chip, leading to lower priced handsets. The company's process node evolution has chips sampling at the 65 nanometer process node.
In closing his remarks, Dr. Krenik pointed out that the DRP single chip integration technology leveraged for ultra-low-cost phones is finding its way into other types of mobile phones as well, including those with GPS, WLAN, Bluetooth, and mobile TV capabilities. He noted that DRP will also find more use in the cellular space in additional EDGE and UMTS/WCDMA applications.
To view Dr. Krenik's presentation, see: focus.ti.com/pdfs/wtbu/ti_ultralowcosthandsets.pdf

About Dr. Krenik

Bill Krenik is a critical member of TI's wireless business, helping to shape Texas Instruments' future in the wireless marketplace. As Wireless Advanced Architectures Manager, Dr. Krenik manages TI's advanced wireless research team and studies wireless technologies and system architectures to determine what impact they will have on future wireless communications. He also helps launch advanced wireless product developments to support future TI wireless business growth. Dr. Krenik has been employed by TI since 1984. 

Dr. Krenik received a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas. He also received a master's degree in electrical engineering at Southern Methodist University and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Krenik was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2005. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas and holds 38 U.S. patents.