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Trend: Handsets will be doing more with more

Doing more with less is the motto of the frugal set, but in the handset market they will be doing more with more. A new report from the Linley Group says the next-generation of feature phones and smart phones will deliver advanced functionality using highly integrated, complex chips which include application processors and baseband functions, often on the same device, and multimedia engines and other handset interfaces. These advanced processors will allow newer phones to play 3D games, deliver high-quality video and execute popular business applications without compromising handset cost, battery life, size, and weight.

"The growth in this market is being driven by demand for applications requiring video decoding and 3D, support for higher-resolution displays, and camera sensors. A year ago, handset processors weren't offering integrated analog baseband or multimedia acceleration to support these functions," said Linley Gwennap of the Linley Group. "Today, those functions are standard in the processors currently sampling that will appear in handsets shipping in 2007. We also expect to see emphasis on integration of Bluetooth and other connectivity functions that remain rare in current processors."

The report details the size of the handset-processor market and breaks down the market and technology trends which will play out over the next few years. You will find in-depth coverage of Texas Instrument's OMAP2 and new OMAP3 processors; Qualcomm's multimedia chips in the MSM6000 and MSM7000 families; Philip's Nexperia platforms, focusing on the PNX5220 3G baseband and PNX4008 applications processor; Intel's PXA application and baseband processors, including the new Hermon chip; Freescale's 2.75G and 3G baseband processors and i.MX application processors; and Broadcom's new Cellairity platform. There is also coverage of multimedia-enabled baseband processors from Agere and Infineon as well as application processors such as AMD's Au1200, STMicroelectronics' Nomadik and the SH-mobile from Renesas.

With handset technology evolving so rapidly, it can be difficult to keep up with the terminology. The report sorts out the different air interfaces and their data rates, explains how video and 3D performance is measured, discusses the various codecs for voice, audio, and video, and describes the interfaces used to tie together all of the platform components. It also delivers meaningful comparisons and conclusions on the products and vendors covered, provides a forward-looking view of the market and long-term market directions.

For more on trends in handsets:
- see the Linley Group's Web site 

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