Japan giants develop next-gen phone platform
01 June 2007
Six Japanese companies will jointly develop a next-generation mobile phone platform for dual- mode handsets, supporting HSDPA2/W- CDMA (3G) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G). NTT DoCoMo, Renesas, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Sharp and Sony, in the guise of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, expect to complete the platform development by mid to late 2008.
The platform should provide advanced functionality for 3G mobile phones and will be based on the SH-Mobile G3, a single-chip system LSI that implements a baseband processor supporting HSDPA category 82/W- CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE communications. NTT DoCoMo and Renesas have jointly developed SH-Mobile G1, which is currently in mass production and used in handsets that have been available since the end of last year.
The SH-Mobile G2 is presently in development. Phone manufacturers in the consortium, namely Fujitsu, Mitsubish, Sharp and Sony Ericsson, can use the platform as a base system to eliminate the need to develop common handset functions. The advantage of this is a reduction in development time and cost allowing core investment in developing distinctive handset features. An application processor with multimedia functions, will enable users to process emails with still pictures and film, audio and video playback and video telephony. The platform, according to Haruhiko Hisa, president of Symbian, Japan, has the ‘potential to enable development of highly functional and low-cost 3G mobile phones, while shortening development times’. A reference design integrating audio, power supply and RF front- end modules is also expected to become available.
The platform will include common software for basic functions, including a common operating system, such as Symbian, device drivers, middleware and communications software.
Renesas plans to provide the platform for the W-CDMA market outside Japan. By offering it to customers around the world, the company is predicting that it will be able to lower costs further still.
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