S60v3FP2 is built on top of Symbian 9.3 according to official Nokia documentation (PDF Document):
S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2, runs on the Symbian OS version 9.3, which is a common core of Symbian APIs and operating system technology. In addition to the common UI components and standard application suite, it contains all the interfaces to the dynamic link libraries, executables and device drivers for controlling the keyboard, display, RTC, Bluetooth, IR, and Flash file devices.
What can we learn from this?
Here are some things the official Symbian press release announcing version 9.3 contains:
Symbian OS v9.3 includes:
Improved phone performance
- Shorter start-up times for phones and key applications
- Improved memory management resulting in more responsive applications and phone features ensuring smartphones work as quickly with better quality features as mid-range phones
Reduced development and ownership cost, and time to market
- New development tools
- Symbian OS awareness for the Eclipse/CDT IDE framework and Nokia’s Carbide.c++ Development Tools for Symbian OS v9.3 phones
- Configuration tools to easily create and customise Symbian OS variants
- The Symbian Verification Suite to support compatibility and phone integration for creating Symbian OS variants, reducing time taken to customize phones for operators targeting different market segments
- A fully searchable on-line edition of the Symbian OS Library including a significant amount of new content
- Backwards compatibility from v9.1, easy migration for phone vendors, technology and third party software providers
- Reference design for Symbian OS v9.3 with Freescale and Nokia S60
- Hindi and Vietnamese language support for improved market coverage
Support for new hardware
- Native support for WiFi
- USB 2.0 on-the-go, allowing faster device connectivity
Support for key operator services and requirements
- Firmware over the air (FOTA) provisioning, FOTA allows network operators to provide OTA software upgrades or fixes lowering cost of ownership
- HSDPA support
- Introduction of IPSec for UMA service (Voice over IP)
- Improved 3GPP R5 support
- Native support for Push To Talk
- Java JSR 248 support
Summary: Improved memory management, faster boot up time, native support for wifi, native support for USB on-the-go, a reference design for Freescale w/ S60, HSDPA support and a whole lot of other things.
So what does that mean Stefan?
Native support for wifi will probably mean better performance.
Native support for USB on-the-go is tricky. I don’t know anything that uses that. Here is what wikipedia has to say:
USB On-The-Go (normally abbreviated USB OTG) is a supplement to the USB 2.0(or USB 1.0) specifications that allows USB devices to have more flexibility in managing USB connection.
The standard USB (USB 1.1/2.0) uses a Master/Slave architecture: a USB host acts as a Master and a USB peripheral (aka USB Device) acts as a Slave. Only the USB Host can schedule the configuration and data transfers over the link. The USB peripherals cannot initiate data transfers, they only respond to instructions given by a Host.
The USB OTG changes that situation. The USB-OTG compatible devices are able to initiate the session, control the connection and exchange Host/Peripheral roles between each other.
In plain English: it is going to be a way for devices to talk to each other via USB.
Faster boot up times and better memory management are pretty self explanatory. Improved responsiveness will be a welcome addition to S60.
A reference design with Freescale for S60 is quite interesting. For those of you who don’t know anything about Freescale, wikipedia to the rescue:
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is an American semiconductor manufacturer. It was created from the semiconductor product sector of Motorola during 2004. Freescale focuses on the embedded and communications markets for their chips. Freescale is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.
So what kind of semiconductors do they make?
Here are the specs of the flagship MXC300-30:
- StarCore SC140 DSP up to 250 MHz
- ARM11â„¢ applications processor up to 532 MHz
- Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- WCDMA tri-band 850/1900/2100 MHz
- Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) data rates (max)â€” DL 384 Kbps, UL 384 Kbps
- HSDPA 1.8 Mbps (DL)
- GSM EDGE Radio Access Network (GERAN) data rates (max)â€” DL 236 Kbps, UL 118 Kbps
- GPRS/EGPRS (EDGE) slot up to class 12 (4d/4u)
- Optimized for open operating systems like Linux and Symbian without the addition of any processor or accelerator
- Single antenna interference cancellation for Gaussian minimum shift keying (GMSK)
- Integrated Imaging Processing Unit (IPU) video accelerator
- Wireless connectivity features
- A-GPS (network assisted) interface support
- Bluetooth interface support
- Wireless local area network (WLAN) 802.11a/b/g interface support
- Digital Video Broadcasting-Handhelds (DVB-H) interface support
Can you say powerful!
I doubt anyone at Nokia will confirm that they are looking in to using Freescale chips. It is a possibility I’m throwing out there based on deductive reasoning.
Nokia hates Qualcomm right now, but they certainly don’t have any beef with Freescale that I’m aware of.
Will this mean triband wcdma Nokia products by the end of this year?
One can only hope.
Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has joined forces with Nokia and Symbian to offer later this year a 3G handset reference design. It will run Nokiaâ€™s S60 software on Symbian operating system, using Freescaleâ€™s single core modem.
Elektrobit Group Plc, a Finnish company specialized in wireless technology design and testing, is implementing this reference design.
Elektrobit is separately developing a 3G S60 â€œreference phoneâ€ running on Symbian OS, scheduled for introduction in the second quarter of 2007. The reference phone will be pre-tested for full type approval and interoperability testing.
Cammal estimated that OEMs, using the new reference design, can ship to operators a 3G phone at a cost â€œless than $150.â€
Conformation that Nokia and Freescale are definitely working together!
It took them a year but we’ll finally see some devices based on this reference platform in 2007.