NEC's Musical Cellphone Microchip

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

In response to the rapid increase in the number of mobile phones being used as music players in Japan, NEC Electronics has developed a dedicated SLI chip for audio. This is a companion chip made specifically to enhance audio in cellphones. It has a CPU dedicated to music play, a digital signal processor and a connection for an application processor. It functions with SD cards and supports copyright protection (CPRM). The chip also minimizes battery drain, thus enabling continuous music play for 50 hours. Sampling started yesterday, and mass production is planned for April. Sample price is $13. Hopefully we'll see these in stateside handsets before the end of the decade.

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