ST Ericsson’s dual-core Symbian demo missing in action

by Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Wireless

Nokia has substantially expanded its supply chain for cellphone chips for the HSPA family – the key focus for its smartphone and webphone new developments – this week, by adding Qualcomm and promoting Broadcom from the EDGE segment. STMicro, now ST Ericsson, has been its major HSPA partner with the fading of Texas Instruments, so it must have rubbed salt in the wound of the new competition for STE, when it failed to show its promised demonstration of Symbian on its dual-core platform.

This would have highlighted the area where STE and TI are strong, applications processors – Qualcomm, by contrast, favors a single-chip approach. ST Ericsson had made some noise about showing Symbian on the dual-core Cortex-A9, on the same day that TI launched the latest iteration of its OMAP apps processor platform, OMAP-4. However, the Swiss company’s demo remained firmly in Geneva, said EETimes, which speculated that the design would only see the commercial light in 2010 or beyond.

The other main supplier to Nokia handsets is Infineon, at the GSM end, but the German company is trying hard to expand its position in 3G by focusing on low cost, low power implementations (though its flagship customer, of course, is the iPhone). It said it is developing a full platform for fast mobile internet access over cost optimized 3G, and will start sampling in June, probably with Nokia’s growing activity in webphones for emerging markets in mind.

The XMM 6130 platform includes a mixed-signal system chip, the X-Gold 613 with analog, baseband and power management functions, an RF engine, a reference design, a dual-mode protocol stack with a common software API layer and Infineon’s user interface and application framework.

“Having proven to be uniquely successful mobile phones are now for many the only means of gaining access to the Internet. With our XMM 6130 we help to bring cost effective 3G solutions to a mass market,” said Weng Kuan Tan, VP of the wireless division, in a statement.

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