Under the agreement, AMD and LSI will produce architectural blueprints for cell phones or subsystems inside cell phones. The two companies also will cooperate on "multi-chip packages" that will permit cell phone makers to obtain most of the necessary innards for their products in one fell swoop.
The alliance between the two companies reflects an ongoing trend among semiconductor companies to take over more of the design and engineering efforts on their products. By adopting these architectural standards, cell phone companies can reduce both the cost and time required in creating products from scratch.
By providing a complete package of chips rather than one or two parts, semiconductor manufacturers also can drive more revenue out of their customer bases and make them less susceptible to poaching from competitors. Texas Instruments, Intel and Motorola already have been promoting their own architectural plans to cell phone makers.
Collaboration between AMD and LSI is a natural fit because the companies produce some, but not all, of the required components for building a handset. Under the collaboration, AMD will concentrate on flash memory, the memory chips used to store programs and data. Meanwhile, LSI will focus on developing communications chips.
"Next-generation mobile terminals will require an optimized interface between the flash memory and the baseband processors to harness wireless broadband capabilities," Walid Maghribi, group vice president of AMD's memory group, said in a statement.