Freescale Semiconductor, Nokia Corp. and Symbian Limited are joining hands to create the first 3G mobile phone reference design using Freescale’s single core modem, targeted to run Nokia’s S60 software on Symbian operating system (OS). This reference design is expected to provide handset manufacturers and operators the first real solution to address the mid-tier 3G market segment, and to reduce device development time by up to 50%, said Freescale. The foundation of this new reference design will be Freescale’s MXC300-30 platform, part of the Mobile eXtreme Convergence architecture. The reference design is expected to offer a pre-integrated development and verification environment, providing shorter time-to-market for phone manufacturers, operators and system integrators. Freescale is showcasing the MXC300-30 platform at next week’s 3GSM World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain.

“This S60 on Symbian OS-based single core reference design is a great step forward for OEMs to align feature sets and dramatically reduce development time for next-generation mid-tier 3G mobile phones,” said Franz Fink, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Wireless and Mobile Systems Group. “Additionally, operators can increase their coverage by adding more people to the network and recouping 3G infrastructure investments.”

”This collaboration with Freescale and Symbian is an excellent milestone for S60 and 3G evolution. Together we expect to create a solution that further supports the solid volume growth of S60 and serves the mid-tier 3G market segments,” said Matti Vänskä, vice president, mobile software sales and marketing, Nokia. “The reference design provides our customers an efficient way to introduce S60 devices with advanced capabilities for imaging, multimedia and business services expected in today’s 3G handsets.”

Elektrobit Group Plc, a Finnish company specialized in wireless technology design and testing, is implementing this reference design using Elektrobit’s expertise in 3G technology and S60. Not only is this reference design expected to help handset manufacturers address key market segments, it is designed to simultaneously provide operators the opportunity to add more users to the network and recoup 3G investments, stated Elektrobit.

“We are encouraged by the initiative taken by Freescale, Nokia and Symbian to develop a reference design based upon the MXC300-30 platform, which we hope will enable lower cost 3G S60 devices based on Symbian OS in 2007,” said Jens Schulte-Bockum, Vodafone group director of Terminals.