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SOMA Networks Brings Triple Play Services to the "Last-Mile" with Texas Instruments Digital Signal Processors

DSP-powered solution delivers primary-line VoIP to areas never before practical

Feb 22, 2006

HOUSTON (February 22, 2006) - Today Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced that SOMA Networks Inc., a leading provider of broadband wireless access technology, is using TI's TMS320C5509A digital signal processors (DSPs), TMS320C5416 DSPs and TMS320C6415 DSPs within SOMAport™ 300 Wireless Broadband Gateway modems and SOMA Macro Base Stations to bring its last-mile technology to customers around the world. TI supplies a complete offering of digital processors to meet the compact, yet demanding component needs of SOMA Networks; from the ultra-low power C5509A DSP to the high performance C6415 DSP.

SOMA Networks’ SoftAir™ wireless systems have been enabling service providers around the world to implement standards-based solutions that meet their business requirements. Rural service providers, carriers in emerging economies, incumbent local exchange carriers and inter-exchange carriers looking for cost effective alternatives to wired access technology to offer revenue generating services such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and other advanced applications turn to broadband wireless technologies such as the SOMA SoftAir wireless system. This unique, end-to-end solution is comprised of a compact, non-line-of-sight, plug-and-play wireless gateway modem; a macro-cellular base station; and an advanced air interface and software.

The SoftAir platform quickly and cost effectively delivers primary-line voice, multi-megabit broadband access, and future 802.11 wireless access capabilities, to residential and small office subscribers. Tapping into the high-performance of TI DSPs, the 1 GHz TI C6415 DSP is included in the SOMA macro base station which serves a typical cell radius of up to ten miles and thousands of subscribers at 12 Mbps. Along with the C5509A DSP-enabled SOMAport 300 wireless gateway modem, service providers can offer fully converged voice and broadband services to a wide range of geographic regions.

"Both the TI C5509A DSP and C5416 DSP provide the small form factor and high performance necessary to handle the advanced features of our products. The ability to deliver primary-line VoIP and advanced applications have been critical to the SOMAport design from day one, and the C5000™ platform offers a large number of options for third party software support," said Dr. Robin Grindley, chief scientist of hardware systems at SOMA Networks. "The TI C6415 DSP is ideal for the SOMA Macro Base Station because it brings the computing power of a 1 GHz DSP to our high performance base station."

In areas where installing copper or fiber are impractical, SOMA Networks offers service providers a complete turnkey wireless solution that can be up and running within a matter of weeks rather than years. The SOMA solution does not require line-of-sight access to a base station or an external antenna, greatly simplifying installation and deployment. The high-performance SOMAport 300 wireless gateway device requires flexible, low power and inexpensive processors with a small footprint to mesh with their systems. The small size of this high capacity memory chip and the low power functionality of the C5509A DSP made it the ideal choice for their design. SOMA Networks selected the C5416 DSP for its robust VoIP functionality alongside TI third party software such as vocoders, echo cancellers, and fax modems to provide primary-line voice quality and features.

"SOMA Networks is an excellent example of a customer leveraging the strength of Texas Instruments DSP to power their designs. They maximize the size and low power benefits of the extremely popular C5000 DSP Platform while taking full advantage of the high performance of the C6000™ DSP Platform," said Thomas Brooks, platform marketing manager, Texas Instruments.