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Ericsson Offers Mobile Multimedia Platform

The U500 can be deployed in phones or other devices to offer features such as a camcorder, camera, 3-D gaming, CD-quality audio, and high-res video for mobile TV.

Ericsson, the joint owner of phone maker Sony Ericsson, on Thursday introduced a mobile platform designed to help manufacturers develop devices with multimedia and advanced multitasking capabilities.

The new platform, called U500, is Ericsson's response to the growing demand for multimedia and better user experience on mobile devices, the company said. It combines a triple processor and a multimedia subsystem.

More specifically, the U500 is comprised of three ARM11 CPUs, which are high performance microprocessors and hardware accelerators on top of a platform architecture. Those components are integrated with the digital baseband and an advanced multimedia companion chip into a single-die processor, according to Ericsson.

Additionally, the platform comes with a graphics processor for high-quality video that consumes only small amounts of power, which is especially important when taking into consideration the battery life of mobile devices.

"The U500 is a powerful multimedia platform with performance, graphics, and usability more resembling a mobile computer than today's mobile phones," said Robert Puskaric, head of Ericsson's mobile platforms business, in a statement.

The platform can be deployed in mobile phones or other Internet-capable devices to enable features such as a high-quality camcorder, 12-megapixel camera, 3-D gaming, 3-D user interface, CD-quality audio, and high-resolution video for mobile TV, Ericsson said.

Ericsson plans to commercially launch the U500 in the first half of next year.

In a related development, Ericsson partnered with Lenovo earlier this week to embed High Speed Packet Access mobile broadband modules in the PC maker's ThinkPad notebook computers starting this year. This is the first time Ericsson's mobile broadband technology will be included in a laptop since the company entered the market last year. Ericsson predicts that half of all notebook computers will come with a built-in HSPA mobile broadband module by 2011.

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