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Multimedia, 3G phones at Rs 1,800

December 19, 2006 09:13 IST

To provide original equipment manufacturers the capability to introduce low-cost multimedia-rich feature phones at such affordable prices, Texas Instruments - a designer and supplier of digital signal processing solutions and semiconductor products - recently announced eCosto, a new single-chip platform which has been jointly developed by TI's R&D teams located globally including India.

Sham Banerji, head, software development (India) said the phones built on the eCosto platform would cost less than $40 (around Rs 1,800). Although he did not divulge the name of the handsets manufacturers that are using the platform, he said the handsets were expected to be rolled out in the early next year.

"With the launch of eCosto, we believe that 3G will become affordable to a larger mass. Our R&D efforts are mainly targeted at introducing technology at an affordable prices," said Banerji.

The phone will have features like audio (MP3), camera (upto 3 mega pixel), video stretching, hedging and GPS (Global Positioning System) apart from many other entry-level 3G features.

TI has announced partnerships with Sasken, Motorola, OpenPlug and SKY MobileMedia, to develop applications and software for the platform.

In 2004, TI introduced the industry's first single-chip solution for mobile phones. According to the company, over 15 handset manufacturers worldwide have adopted TI's 'LoCosto' single-chip platform to offer affordable GSM/GPRS handsets.

Apart from eCosto, TI has also launched the OMAP3, a single chip platform for advanced high-end 3G applications like video-conferencing on handsets.

GPS may stunt brain growth?

Satellite navigation systems can stunt your brain, preventing it from developing. Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL's Institute of Neurology have come to this conclusion after discovering that taxi drivers grow more brain cells because of all the knowledge they keep in their heads.

They believe this part of the brain, the mid-posterior hippocampus, is where black-cab drivers store a mental map of London, including up to 25,000 street names and the location of all the major tourist attractions.

The scientists warn that increasingly widespread use of satellite navigation (Global Positioning Satellite or GPS) could change all that since this area (mid-posterior hippocampus) of the brain increased in grey matter volume because of the huge amount or data they have to memorise.

IBM India gets Chief Scientist

IBM on Monday announced the appointment of IBM Fellow, Dr C Mohan as Chief Scientist for IBM India. He will be responsible for development and leadership of IBM's technical community in India.

He will also be a key representative of IBM India's technical community with the government, academia, customers and business partners.

Mohan is an IBM veteran and holds 34 patents to his credit. Till recently, he was at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California where he worked on database and related topics.

Bibhu Mishra in Mumbai
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