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Major chip, mobile firms join processor standards team

Intel, Motorola get MIPI directorships, too

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Intel has joined the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) initiative, and been immediately promoted to the organisation's board of directors. So has Motorola.

The two companies' membership - and high-level appointment - was announced yesterday. Some 33 other firms pledged allegiance to MIPI and its goal of defining a standard set of features offered by handheld device processors. Anyone who builds their systems to MIPI specifications will be safe in the knowledge they can throw any MIPI-compatible CPU from any vendor into it.

MIPI was formed last July by ARM, Nokia, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics. It based its initial version one spec. around TI's ARM-based OMAP processor.

Chipzilla was originally invited to join last August. At the time, it said it was "evaluating" the proposal. Clearly, MIPI has managed to persuade Intel that it wants a broader base than that, and that the chip giant's XScale processors are welcome to join the party.

Motorola is present as a wireless device maker, rather than a chip company. Other members include ATI, Nvidia, Emblaze and NeoMagic - to cover the graphics and media side of the story - along with DRAM and Flash specialists (FASL, Infineon), radio chip firms (Agilent, Cambridge Silicon Radio), phone makers (Sendo, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Samsung) and a others like Toshiba, Seiko Epson, Nat Semi and more.

According to MIPI, its work will tie in with the parallel software and services standards being developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), and the third-generation wireless standards body, 3GPP. Indeed, MIPI members will next month be attending a launch meeting in Sophia Antipolis, France - also the home of the 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre.

All three groups hope that their work will dovetail, creating a foundation for future mobile systems and the commercial services they will offer. ®

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