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Alliances take shape at 3GSM conference

Posted: 21 Feb 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3gsm world congress? intel? texas instruments? pda? phone?

In a flurry of announcements on the opening day of the 3GSM World Congress 2002 in Cannes, France, Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership with Intel Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. on reference designs for next-generation phones and PDAs. Separately, TI announced deals that will see its Open Multimedia Applications Platform (OMAP) designed into Hewlett-Packard Co.'s next-generation Jornada wireless device and Nokia's Series 60-based terminals.

Microsoft and Intel said they will collaborate on reference designs for Windows-based pocket PCs and smart phones using Intel's Personal Internet Client Architecture (PCA). Intel describes PCA as a "blueprint" for building voice- and data-based wireless handsets and PDAs. The first chips based on the Xscale applications-processing component of PCA were introduced last week.

The Microsoft-TI deal will deliver a 2.5G phone reference design that combines Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 software with TI's OMAP processors and GPRS technology. "Together we have developed a full reference design, based on the 710 [OMAP processor] that will enable e-mail, Web, voice on a single device," said Richard Kerslake, marketing manager for wireless computing at TI. The reference design includes PCBs, schematics, RF, analog, power management and the 710. "We've also worked with Microsoft to take it through all the hardware-testing and field-trial work," said Kerslake. "Customers can just add the plastic and some custom applications and they're all set."

The 710 modem is a triple-processor Class 8 GPRS solution, comprising a C54x DSP coupled to an ARM 7 for the modem, and an ARM925 for the high-level operating system?in this case Smartphone 2002. Both share the same memory on the 710, and the same external memory.

Also in Cannes, TI announced that HP will be using the OMAP 710 in its next generation of wireless digital assistant, the Jornada 928. To date, the Jornada has been based on Intel's StrongARM SA1110 processors. The deal will give GSM/GPRS capabilities to the Jornada. HP plans to roll out the 928 this summer, starting in Europe and Asia, then North America.

Rounding out TI's 3GSM splash, the company announced a partnership with Nokia that combines the Finnish company's Series 60 terminal software platform and software development kit with TI's OMAP and the Symbian operating system. The Complete Smart Phone Reference Platform will be available in the third quarter.

? Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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