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Microsoft, ARM team with eight more silicon vendors

Posted: 22 Sep 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microsoft? arm? ip core? controller? windows

Microsoft Corp. and ARM Ltd said they have added eight new companies to their list of silicon vendors developing ARM core solutions for the Windows CE.NET embedded operating system.

The companies - Centrality Communications, Cirrus Logic Inc., Conexant Systems, Inc., Globespan Virata, LSI Logic Corp., MagicEyes Digital Co. Ltd., Nvidia Corp., and Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas - will optimize silicon intended for products ranging from DSL modems to smart displays to voice-over-IP phones.

"It enables them to develop better processors for their customers," said Karen Carter, group product manager for Microsoft's Embedded Devices Group.

Microsoft said the eight vendors will work with them and with ARM to create board support packages and to validate software drivers.

The eight vendors join five others - Intel Corp., Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector, NeoMagic Corp, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Texas Instruments Inc. - also working with Microsoft and ARM on embedded solutions.

The intention of the joint effort is to integrate hardware, software and communications protocols, many of which are adding layers of complexity for designers of consumer devices. Ultimately, the eight vendors hope to provide the preintegrated, optimized silicon to their customers, consumer electronic manufacturers.

Microsoft executives said the joint efforts are especially important for the new breed of 32-bit-based products such as gateways and VoIP phones, which are inherently more complex than other embedded applications.

"People today want their devices to do more," Carter said. "To meet those needs, manufacturers want to spend less time on the operating system layer and more time on differentiating their products."

- Charles J. Murray

EE Times

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