PORTLAND, Ore. Film star Robert Redford, at the Mobile World Congress this week, will argue that the mobile phone is the "fourth screen"--after theater, television and the iPod--extending the reach of movies to new audiences in the global community.
Several firsts at the Congress will include a WiMax mobile handset reference design from chip maker NextWave Wireless Inc. (San Diego), created in partnership with industrial design house Elektrobit Corp. (EB, Oulunsalo, Finland). Also, a partnership to create its first on-chip hardware accelerator for detecting viruses will be announced by communications processor maker Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Austin, Texas), in partnership with Qosmos (Paris)--a spin-off of the Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris (LIP6)--which specializes in detecting viruses and other malware.
Redford's keynote will claim that independent film makers have a unique opportunity to reach new audiences in the global community via their tiny mobile-phone screens. Last year, the Mobile World Congress showcased independent films on mobile phones from the Sundance Film Festival, which is sponsored by the Sundance Institute, of which Redford is founder and president. This year the Congress invited Redford to participate by keynoting the Mobile Entertainment track within the Congress, where he will address the opportunities for both artists and independent filmmakers to reach mobile-phone viewers worldwide.
The Mobile World Congress "continues to take seriously both the business of delivering content and the art of creating content, as they lead the mobile sector into the future," said Redford about his forthcoming keynote.
First WiMax handset
The WiMax mobile handset reference design will debut using NextWave Wireless's chip-set, consisting of a WiMax baseband SoC (system on a chip) and a companion multi-band RFIC (radio frequency integrated circuit). Integration of the chip set into a reference design for mobile handsets was performed by Elektrobit, including its mechanical design, antenna specification, software configuration and integration of third-party components.
The 4th generation mobile reference design handset is aimed at demonstrating to OEMs and mobile phone network operators that WiMax handsets are ready for deployment today. Network operators are reluctant to provide WiMax infrastructure until mobile handsets are available to use it, and, likewise, OEMs are reluctant to build WiMax-based mobile handsets until the infrastructure to use them is available--a classic chicken-or-egg problem, according to Craig Miller, vice president of marketing for the semiconductor business unit of NextWave Wireless.
"We wanted to sidestep this chicken-or-egg problem by demonstrating to OEMs and network operators that WiMax is ready today to provide carrier-grade voice-over-IP as well as high-speed multimedia services on a compact consumer-friendly handset," said Miller.