12/13/2002 - Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE:TXN) (TI) and STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) (ST) announced a significant initiative to jointly define and promote an open standard for wireless application processor interfaces. The two companies expect the new OMAPI(SM) Standard will promote faster and broader deployment of multimedia-enhanced mobile devices and applications. ST and TI also intend to invite companies such as operating system (OS) vendors, middleware vendors, software application developers, hardware peripheral manufacturers and other industry players to embrace the new standard.
(Details of the announcement will be covered in a press conference call and webcast at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time, 4 p.m. Central European Time. Call-in number: United States: 1-800-223-9488; Outside the United States: +1-785-830-1979. Webcast URL: http://www.firstcallevents.com/service/ajwz370862312gf12.html.)
The new OMAPI Standard provides the Open Mobile Application Processor Interfaces for application processors targeting 2.5G and 3G mobile phones, PDAs and other portable and multimedia products. The OMAPI Standard will be comprised of a set of software interfaces to the operating system and a set of hardware interfaces defining common application peripherals. The initiative builds on both the market success and wide acceptance of TI's OMAPTM platform and its position as the worldwide leading supplier of wireless ICs and ST's position as the worldwide number one supplier of digital multimedia processing chips and its expertise in low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) design. Details of the new standard are expected to be made public in the first quarter of 2003.
Driving A Common Standard for Accelerated Industry Growth
"The OMAPI Standard is important to the wireless industry because it will expand the proliferation of application software and drive the growth of the emerging market for mobile multimedia services," said Gilles Delfassy, TI Senior Vice President and General Manager of TI's Wireless Business Unit. "By providing common interfaces, these two leading mobile wireless chip makers are promoting software compatibility."
As part of the first phase of the initiative ST and TI developed common software and hardware interfaces to maximize application software re-use and accelerate the design cycle, resulting in rapid innovation and faster time to market for wireless manufacturers.
The initiative also will be beneficial for OS vendors because it will enable them to define common software APIs (Application Program Interfaces) and device drivers for different application processors, maximizing re-use and commonality in the OS port.
Software developers will have a common and standard set of hardware interfaces to write applications that will significantly reduce development resources, allowing them to deliver products to market faster and improve market potential as a result of having applications that run on multiple platforms.
"By creating this new, open standard for interfaces to application processors and peripheral components supported by multiple vendors, we are simplifying both software and hardware development. It is a significant step towards our joint vision of a truly interoperable mobile multimedia world where the end user can access any service on any network using any kind of mobile terminal," said Aldo Romano, Corporate VP and General Manager of ST's Telecommunications, Peripherals and Automotive groups.
Both companies have plans for their own application processors in compliance with the new standard to be available in 2003. ST will soon launch its family of multimedia application processors complying with the OMAPI standard. TI will support a range of OMAPI Standard compliant products, leveraging the current available OMAP processors.
Moving ahead, the companies intend to expand the initiative to encompass additional levels of commonality and standardization including applications, multimedia and OS support, security features, and the alignment of software development tool chains.
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