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Japanese companies to jointly develop platform for 3G handsets
Posted: 08-Feb-2007 [Source: Tokyo]

[Six major Japanese companies have announced a plan to jointly develop a next-generation mobile phone platform for dual-mode handsets supporting HSDPA2/W-CDMA (3G) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G). Completion targeted for Q2, 2008.]

NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Renesas Technology Corp., Fujitsu Limited, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Sharp Corporation, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, today announced that they plan to jointly develop a next-generation mobile phone platform1 for dual-mode handsets supporting HSDPA2/W-CDMA (3G) and GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G). Development of the platform is targeted to complete during Q2, FY2008 (July-September).

The six companies agreed to the joint development project in an effort to provide a platform with advanced functionality for 3G mobile phones. The new platform will be based on the SH-Mobile G3, a single-chip system LSI which implements a baseband processor3 supporting HSDPA cat. 82/W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE communications and an application processor4 with high-end multimedia functions, together with a reference design integrating audio, power supply, and RF front-end modules. The platform will also include common software for basic functions, including a sophisticated operating system such as Symbian, device drivers, middleware, and communication software.

NTT DoCoMo and Renesas have already jointly developed the SH-Mobile G1, a first-generation single-chip LSI for dual-mode handsets supporting W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS. The SH-Mobile G1 is now in mass production and handsets built around it first appeared on the market in the fall of 2006. The second-generation successor, the SH-Mobile G2, and a mobile phone platform integrating core software are currently under development by NTT DoCoMo, Renesas, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, and Sharp. (Handsets employing the G2 are scheduled to appear in the fall of 2007.)

By implementing the platform as a base system, mobile phone manufacturers Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, Sharp, and Sony Ericsson can eliminate the need to develop common handset functions. This will significantly reduce development time and costs, allowing the manufacturers to invest more time and resources in developing distinctive handset features and expanding their product portfolio.

Renesas plans to provide the platform to the worldwide W-CDMA market, in addition to customers in Japan, aiming to further reduce costs.

Ikuya Kawasaki, deputy general manager of system solutions business unit 2 at Renesas Technology, remarks as follows: "I am extremely pleased that six companies will be jointly developing a mobile phone platform with the SH-Mobile G3 as its core. We look forward to rolling out this platform in the W-CDMA market worldwide."

Haruhiko Hisa, president of Symbian Japan, which developed one of the standard operating systems, comments: "Symbian welcomes a mobile phone platform with the SH-Mobile G3 as its core and its potential to enable development of highly functional and low-cost 3G mobile phones, while shortening development times."

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