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December 16, 2008

Slashing development time

GLOBAL – Nokia and NXP, who have teamed up to work on a research project centred around device development, have announced the results of their first project, NoTA (Network on Terminal Architecture). The project is exploring a concept of developing and building devices using a modular, rather than platform-based approach, and the initial research results look very promising.

The concept principle is pretty simple. Create components that work happily together and can easily be used in any number of combinations within any number of devices. At the moment, devices are designed using a platform approach, where several devices are developed along the same platform, or framework. Switching to a modular system could mean devices become much cheaper, and faster, to developer and, we might suppose, make it easier to do more of them. EngadgetMobile sums it up nicely

NXP is a semi-conductor company set up by Philips which for the last three years has been working with Nokia to develop the concept. In some cases, Nokia believes development cost savings of up to 98 per cent could be achieved, which is astonishing.

There’s a lot more to it than we’ve described, but as a concept it makes a lot of sense to us. The benefits are varied, including getting new technology to market faster than before, making devices cheaper to develop potentially makes them cheaper to manufacture too (Five Dollar Phone anyone?) and it means component developers and manufacturers get to see some upside as well. Finally, environmentally, this has to be a good thing, given that any kind of efficiency found in the development and manufacturing process is generally for the greater good.