Symbian, Intel show off reference design

As part of its efforts to target mass market devices, Symbian Ltd. demonstrated Tuesday at the Smartphone Show in London a reference design for Symbian OS phones that it developed with Intel Corp. It's the first reference design announced by Symbian, although the company is working with other chip makers too, said Simon Garth, vice president of marketing for Symbian.

Historically, handset makers assemble all the components necessary to build a phone, including the silicon, the OS and the user interface. "Each had to do the same thing," Garth said. "It's inefficient."

Symbian is now working with chip makers like Intel to offer handset manufacturers a reference design that includes silicon, the OS and drivers such as for video capabilities. Symbian expects the reference design will help drive down costs for handset makers, which can still customize their handsets on top of the reference design.

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