Centillium Bids For A Piece Of VoIP CPE Market

Centillium Communications is releasing a VoIP-enabled DSL router chip and a standalone VoIP processor.

June 21, 2004

2 Min Read
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WAYNE, N.J. — Broadband chip designer Centillium Communications Inc. will take on Texas Instruments Inc. and Broadcom Corp. in the customer-premisess voice-over-Internet Protocol sector with the release this week of a VoIP-enabled DSL router chip and a standalone VoIP processor.

For years, Centillium's Entropia central-office chip has enabled the transport of VoIP traffic throughout a network. Now the company is chasing customer-premises equipment designs. "We now have the capability to address the CPE side," said vice president of marketing Martin Schenk.

The company is attacking CPE on two fronts. On one, Centillium has embedded its VoIP technology into its digital subscriber line CPE router chips to produce the Palladia 400 chip for residential gateway designs. On the other, the standalone Atlanta 100 chip will bring VoIP capabilities to a CPE product.

Palladia 400 is a two-chip solution based on Centillium's Palladia 220 chip set, launched a year ago. As in the earlier chip set, one IC in the Palladia 400 handles analog front-end and line driver operations and a second the baseband processing. "Eighty percent of the Palladia 400 is based on technology developed for the Palladia 220 chip set," Schenk said.

The biggest change between the 220 and 400 products comes in the baseband chip. To address VoIP processing, Centillium has added a 200-MHz digital signal-processing core and a hardware security block. The voice DSP block can process up to four compressed VoIP channels. The hardware security block, on the other hand, performs encryption tasks such as AES, 3DES, SHA-1 and MD5.Centillium is delivering a host of VoIP software developed for its Entropia line with the Palladia 400 chip set. It includes G.711, G.729, G.726 and G.723 codecs, along with echo cancellation, call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting and pulse dialing.

Hardware queues are also provided for prioritizing voice streams. "These queues allow Palladia 400 to make decisions on the fly in order to prioritize voice traffic," Schenk said.

Centillium's integration strategy differs from the approach taken by lead players TI and Broadcom. Each offers DSL chips and standalone VoIP CPE chips, but neither has an integrated solution. Their VoIP processors and DSL router chips are typically linked through an interface.

For non-DSL apps, Centillium has packaged the VoIP and security-processing elements of the Palladia 400 baseband chip into a standalone VoIP processor called the Atlanta 100.

The Palladia 400 and Atlanta 100 chips were developed in an 0.18-micron process. Palladia 400 consumes less than 1.8 watts while Atlanta 100 consumes less than 1.2 W. Both chips are sampling and are priced at less than $20 each in volume.0

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