When it comes to complexity, a cell phone could easily win an award when it comes to complexity per cubic inch. A cell phone is one of the most intricate and complicated devices that people use every day. Modern digital cell phones are capable of processing millions of calculations per second. They must do this to compress and decompress a voice stream.
When you take a digital cell phone apart you’ll find that it contains a number of individual parts:
• Circuit Board.
• Liquid Crystal Display [LCD].
The cell phone’s circuit board is the heart of the phone system. Its analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion chips translate outgoing audio signals from analog to digital. Then, it translates incoming signals from digital back to analog. A digital signal processor, or DSP, is a highly technical and customized processor designed to perform these signal manipulation calculations at high speeds.
The digital cell phone’s microprocessor takes care of all the main keyboard and display functions. It deals with command and control signals with the base station. It also coordinates the rest of the keyboard’s functionality.
Flash memory chips, and the phone’s ROM, provide room to store the phone’s operating system. It has customizable features like the phone directory. The power section and the radio frequency [RF] handle recharging, power management and deal with hundreds of FM channels. The RF also amplifies signals that travel to and from the antenna.
The cell phone display grew considerably in size as features were added to the phone. Most modern cell phones have built-in phone directories, games, and calculators. Many also have web browsers and PDAs delivered.
Most phones store information like the SID and MIN codes using internal Flash memory. Other phones use external cards like SmartMedia cards.
The speakers and microphones in a cell phone are tiny. So, it’s incredible how well most of these devices reproduce sound. Speakers are about the size of a dime, and microphones are no larger than a watch battery.
What’s really incredible about all of this cell phone technology, and functionality, is how fast the technology has developed. Think about it, 30 short years ago the technology to reproduce the functionality of a digital cell phone
would have filled an entire floor of an office building with gear. Now, it simply fits into a package that sits comfortably in the hand of a child!
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