Cell Phone Maker Calls on USB
Qualcomm announced this week that it will license the intellectual property for USB-on-the-Go from TransDimension.
USB-on-the-Go, also known as OTG, is a portable supplement to the USB 2.0
When integrated into a handset, users would be able to connect their phones to USB printers, portable keyboards, CD-ROM drives, MP3 players, and digital cameras among the hundreds of other USB devices now available.
In addition, a
Although most hardware devices require unique hardware specific drivers, USB divides peripherals into four classes: human input, audio, mass storage, and communications. Any device that includes one of these class drivers can talk directly to any device in that category using OTG, according to David Murray, vice president of marketing at TransDimension, in Irvine, California.
The licensing deal will see Qualcomm include OTG technology as part of its
With the exception of screen size and memory, cell phones may soon be as feature rich as any mobile handheld device.
The Qualcomm chipsets include a broad array of features including Secure Digital, voice recognition, 2D/3D graphics acceleration, MPEG-4 encoder/decoder, JPEG encoder/decoder, Bluetooth base band processor, and USB On-the-Go.
Currently, Qualcomm ships about 70 million CDMA chipsets per year and estimates about 15 million will be 3G chipsets in the fourth quarter. The MSM6500 and MSM6250 chipsets will ship in the second quarter of 2003.
One industry analyst said that the prevalence of USB on most devices will bring greater standardization among peripherals.
"Bluetooth is an important connection technology but [OTG] makes it far easier for most of the device manufacturers to support," said David Hayden, president of MobileWeek in Palo Alto, California.
TransDimension is shipping its OTG single chip chipset solution now which is currently incorporated into the Samsung Nexio device, a converged PDA and cell phone.
Murray believes that USB On-the-Go technology will compete directly, and favorably, with Bluetooth solutions, estimating that there are about 1.3 billion devices all ready enabled with USB.
"USB didn't take off until Intel supported it in its chipset. Qualcomm supporting USB On-the-Go in its chipset is the equivalent," Murray said.