CANNES, France -- In a move to play more of its cards in the next-generation "smart phone" marketplace, Microsoft Corp. today announced its Windows Powered Smartphone 2002 software is available on a DSP-based design reference platform from Texas Instruments Inc. Microsoft today also announced a platform alliance with Intel Corp. in personal digital assistants (PDAs) as well as smart phones (see today's story).
Under the TI alliance, Microsoft is providing smart phone support for the OMAP integrated digital signal processor platform from Texas Instruments. During the 3GSM World Congress conference in Cannes, Dallas-based TI also announced a platform alliance with its biggest DSP customer, Nokia Group, which is offering its software for a complete solution in cell phones as well (see Feb. 18 story).
The bundling of software, operating systems, and processor platforms is part of a major trend in cellular phone and wireless communications devices, which are now being manufactured by a growing number of contract assembly houses in Asia. Part of the goal in reference design platforms is to help these contractors and smaller systems suppliers quickly launch 2.5 and 3G phones that work with standard third-party software.
"Utilizing Microsoft and TI's leading-edge technologies, the new smart phone reference design will make the transition from 2.5G product concept to production fast and simple for handset manufacturers," said Ben Waldman, vice president of Microsoft's Mobile Devices Division. He said the platform with TI enables a smart phone that weighs only 100 grams and is 110 cubic centimeters.
From a hardware perspective, the Smartphone 2002 reference design is based on TI's TCS2500 chip set and reference design. Released in December, the chip set includes key 2.5G building blocks, including the single-chip OMAP710 DSP-based GSM/GPRS digital baseband engine with a dedicated applications processor. The building blocks also include analog baseband and RF companion chips, as well as complete software with protocol stacks.