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Next-gen phone platform targets Japan market

Posted: 13 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Renesas? Fujitsu? Mitsubishi? Sharp? Sony Ericsson?

NTT Docomo, Renesas Technology and four mobile handset partners are launching a next-generation mobile phone platform based on the Symbian OS and the Renesas single-chip SH-Mobile product. Together, they will support a category of the HSDPA spec targeting W-CDMA.

The six companies expect to complete platform development by Q3 2008. The platform will support dual-mode communications for 3G (HSDPA/W-CDMA) and 2G (GSM/GPRS/Edge). HSDPA (category 8) enables data communications at speeds up to 7.2Mbps.

Renesas intends to offer a single-chip SH-Mobile G3 platform to the global W-CDMA market. 'Six companies will be jointly developing a mobile phone platform with the SH-Mobile G3 at its core,' Ikuya Kawasaki, deputy general manager of system solutions business at Renesas Technology, said in a statement.

Future expansion
The four handset vendorsFujitsu Ltd, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Sharp Corp. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communicationsinitially targeting the Japanese market. The partners expect to expand overseas once the cost of the Renasas chip declines through volume sales.

Through the partnership, the mobile phone manufacturers could eliminate the need to develop common handset functions, reduce development time and cost by using the same platform as a base system while focusing on differentiating features.

Renesas and Docomo began joint development of a dual-mode SH-Mobile chip in 2004. Docomo has invested about $5.8 million in the effort over the past three years.

The first-generation SH-Mobile G1 is a single-chip device integrating a baseband processor for dual-mode W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS communications along with an application processor for multimedia processing. It was implemented in Fujitsu and Mitsubishi handsets that hit the Japanese market last November.

The collaboration was expanded so that Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Sharp could develop a platform based on the second-generation SH-Mobile G2 version. Renesas said it is shipping samples of the second-generation SH-Mobile platform, and the three companies are developing handsets scheduled to reach the Japanese market later this year.

Third step
Last week's announcement marks the third step in the effort, the SH-Mobile G3, which adds Sony Ericsson to the partnership. A Sony Ericsson spokeswoman said it will initially use the platform for Japanese handset models.

Along with the SH-Mobile collaboration with Renesas, Docomo and Fujitsu have developed a software platform named Mobile-Oriented Applications Platform-Symbian. MOAP-S will be the part of middleware for the new platform, according to a Docomo spokeswoman.

Docomo has also joined a Linux-based common platform. The effort is one of six initiatives launched by the Limo Foundation, a Linux- based software platform promotional group.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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