CANNES, France -- The race to provide packaged solutions for next-generation cellular phone handsets is heating up. Finland's Nokia Group and Texas Instruments Inc. today announced complete "open and standards-based" reference platforms for 2.5- and third-generation (3G) smart phones using Nokia's Series 60 terminal software and TI's OMAP integrated digital signal processor.
Disclosed before the start of the 3GSM World Congress cell phone conference in Cannes, the move comes a half-year after Motorola Inc. announced it would no longer protect its cellular-phone technologies while providing complete bundled solutions of semiconductors, software, and handset designs to customers (see July 27 story). Last September, Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector introduced a 2.5G solution for digital handsets based on its i250 platform (see Sept. 17 story).
Now, Nokia and Dallas-based TI are planning to offer the Series 60-based "complete" smart phone reference platform, which is slated to be available in the third quarter of 2002.
In addition to Nokia's Series 60 terminal software platform and software development kit, the platform includes TI's digital signal processor-based OMAP (Open Multimedia Application Platform) and the Symbian operating system. The Series 60-based reference platforms will be delivered as solutions ready for manufacturing and integration into final products, according to Nokia and TI.
"The Series 60 platform supports critical enabling technologies, such as XHTML, MMS Multimedia Messaging Service and Java software standards from Sun Microsystems to ensure interoperability among mobile devices, different network infrastructures and content," said Pertti Korhonen, senior vice president of mobile software at Nokia. "Our long-term cooperation with TI has resulted in this new reference design platform that combines the Series 60 with TI's OMAP processors."
Nearly three years ago, TI announced that Nokia had selected the OMAP integrated DSP platform for future wireless information devices, including 3G cellular phones (see May 27, 1999, story).
Nokia said the complete OMAP-based solution is "highly cost-efficient and will significantly reduce the time-to-market." The Finnish telecommunications giant said the reference platform for 2.5- and 3G handsets is available for licensing along with rights to the source-code, which will give manufacturers "extra confidence" in long-term hardware and software investments.