Symbian Updates Smartphone OS

Symbian has released a new version of the Symbian OS to partners and licensees that enables smart phone designers to build devices that use a single processor for both applications and communications.

Most cell phones and smart phones have traditionally used two chips to handle a phone's basic functions. Phone designers have used an applications processor to run the operating system while tapping a separate chip to initiate and maintain the phone connection.

However, consumer demand for smaller devices with improved performance has led chip designers to consider single-chip products for their phones.

Texas Instruments, the leader in the cell phone processor market, sells both stand-alone applications processors and combination modem/application processor chips. Intel entered the cell phone market last year with a chip that integrates the modem processor core, the applications processor core and flash memory onto a single die.

New Functions

Symbian OS version 8.0 will now support those single-core processors, reducing the cost to build a Symbian phone, the company said. The new version also adds support for remote management by IT staff, the SDIO (Secure Digital I/O) expansion slot and hardware accelerators for multimedia applications.

Sybian unveiled its OS 8.0 at the ongoing 3GSM World Congress in Cannes.

Symbian is a London company founded by several cell phone industry giants, including Nokia, Telefonaktiebolaget Ericsson, and Siemens, to develop an alternative smart phone OS to the Microsoft Windows Smartphone software.

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