NXP, Purple Labs Debut Sub-$100 3G Linux Mobile Phone Reference Design

NXP Semiconductors, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, and Purple Labs, a leading supplier of embedded Linux solutions for mobile phones, jointly announced the release of a 3G Linux reference feature phone offering video telephony, music playback, high-speed Internet browsing and video streaming at a transfer price below US$100. The new Purple Magic phone serves as a reference design for phone manufacturers creating entry-level 3G handsets, including those targeting mobile markets such as Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

According to the GSA mobile industry trade group, there are now 197 commercial 3G/WCDMA networks in 87 countries, but the adoption of 3G services is concentrated in mature European and Asian markets. The viability of 3G services in emerging markets requires large volumes of affordable data-capable devices – and the 3G Purple Magic has been highly optimized specifically to meet this market challenge.

“During the recent holiday period, mobile operators were purchasing entry-level 3G phones for $120 to $145,” commented Simon Wilkinson, CEO of Purple Labs. “Leveraging our Linux technology, the Purple Magic design now enables manufacturers to deliver compelling 3G products at a transfer price below $100.”

The Purple Magic reference phone is based on the NXP Nexperia Cellular System Solution 7210 for 3G, coupled with the Purple Labs Linux suite, and is available as a fully integrated, turnkey solution. Production of an initial quantity of fully working phones has enabled Purple Labs to undertake considerable testing and validation, further reducing investment and time to market for OEMs and ODMs that leverage the Purple Magic design.

NXP offers powerful 3G and 3.5G multimedia platforms running on a single ARM926 processor core. The Nexperia Cellular System Solutions with Linux support true UMTS performance, delivering seamless service coverage in 2G and 3G networks as well as advanced multimedia features that allow consumers to take full advantage of next generation applications and mobile operator services.

“NXP believes in Linux as the basis for the next generation of mobile handset innovation,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cellular Business, NXP Semiconductors. “We’ve been working closely with Purple Labs to develop Linux-based mobile terminals that meet the cost and performance requirements of the mass market. Our joint achievement is to bring the advantages of an Open OS environment to the mass market based on industry leading silicon and software.”

“The Purple Magic reference phone clearly demonstrates our combined leadership in the mobile Linux arena,” added Wilkinson. “While the mobile Linux industry has largely concentrated on high-end devices, the Purple Magic is the first 3G Linux mass-market reference feature phone available today.”

The Purple Magic phone will be exhibited at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 11-14, 2008 in the NXP booth (Hall 8, B110).

About NXP Semiconductors
NXP is a top-10 semiconductor company founded by Philips more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in Europe, the company has 37,000 employees working in more than 20 countries and posted sales of EUR 5 billion in 2006. NXP creates semiconductors, system solutions and software that deliver better sensory experiences in mobile phones, personal media players, TVs, set-top boxes, identification applications, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices.

About Purple Labs
Founded in 2001, Purple Labs offers a full Linux software suite to the wireless industry packaged as a customisable software solution or as part of full hardware and software reference design. The company offers comprehensive solutions allowing design houses, ODMs and phone manufacturers to quickly address market demands and segment their offer. Working with pre-defined but modular platforms, Purple Labs enables its customers to deliver cost-effective and state-of-the-art mobile handsets within an optimised lead time.