Microsoft Hosts Silicon Makers at Redmond Confab

Goal: Spread the embedded Windows CE gospel among leading chip makers and partners.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Microsofts embedded devices group is hosting a private event for chip makers and a few key integration partners aimed at providing them with an update on Redmonds Windows CE 4.2-based technologies.

At its second annual ARM summit, Microsoft and its chip partners will provide roadmaps and demonstrations of its Smartphone, Pocket PC PDAs, home-network gateways, voice-over-IP (VOIP) phones, set-top boxes, Media2Go portable media player and other products that embed the Windows CE operating system.

Microsoft also will talk up its shared source program for Windows CE, says Scott Horn, director of Microsofts embedded devices group.

"A number of these partners are working on new reference designs. We should see some of these in the next couple of months," Horn says.

Microsoft and ARM also announced eight chip partners have agreed to build new ARM-core-based solutions on top of Windows CE. The eight are Centrality Communications, Cirrus Logic, Conexant Systems, Globespan Virata, LSI Logic, MagicEyes Digital Co. Ltd., Nvidia and Sharp Microelectronics. Existing consortium partners include Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments and other key silicon makers.

ARM is a eading provider of 16-/32- bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. ARM and Microsoft have worked together jointly since 1996.

Horn says about 80 executives from more than 40 companies — 50 percent more than last year — are attending this years ARM summit.