Tuesday, February 26, 2008

TI expands application chips beyond phones

Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.N: QuoteProfile , Research) unveiled new application chips on Tuesday that can be used in everything from music players to medical equipment, with an aim of expanding its business beyond the cell phone chip market.

TI, which faces competition from Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O: QuoteProfile , Research) in the wireless market, said it would address broader markets with by expanding its OMAP product line, which is mostly used to support features like gaming and video in cell phone.

"We're basically making this technology available to thousands of customers instead of tens of customers," said Neil Anderskouv, vice president of TI's digital systems business.

TI would not disclose any revenue projections.

TI's OMAP 3500 line of digital chips would support features such as graphics displays in navigation equipment, medical imaging equipment or music players, he said.

The company is working with as many as 100 clients on making products using the new chips, Anderskouv said, but did not name the clients.

TI, whose biggest client is the world's largest cell phone maker Nokia (NOK1V.HE: QuoteProfile , Research), derives about 40 percent of its revenue from wireless chips.

San Diego-based Qualcomm has been making inroads on TI in the market for advanced phones, and overtook its Dallas-based rival in the wireless chip market in the first quarter of 2007.

Qualcomm ended 2007 with an 18.2 percent share of the $30.8 billion cellular chip market, compared with TI's 16 percent share, according to estimates from research firm iSuppli.

In-Stat analyst Jim McGregor said it made sense for TI to bring out versions of OMAP to suit other markets.

"It wasn't necessarily the best fit outside wireless," McGregor said.

TI said its OMAP3503 chipset would ship within four weeks. It also announced OMAP3515, OMAP3525 and OMAP530, which it said would be available in the second half of the year.

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