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Androids flock to mobile phone show

Feb 11, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 19 views

[Updated Feb. 13] — A dozen companies are showing off Google's Android stack for Linux-based mobile phones, according to reports from the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona. Among them is the Open Handset Alliance's sole Linux integration partner, Wind River, which is showing off three Linux-Android ports.

To date, no phone vendors or carriers appear to have announced deals with Google to license the Android stack for use in actual commercial products. However, about a dozen companies at the show are demonstrating the preview release of Android running on various demonstration platforms, according to a BBC News item.

One such company is Wind River, which calls itself the only “Linux Commercialization Partner” involved in the Google-backed Open Handset Alliance (OHA). At the show, Wind River is showing its Linux and Android integration running on mobile phone platforms that include:

ST's Nomadik family of mobile applications processors combine ARM926EJ cores with lots of on-chip hardware for video acceleration and audiovisual decompression, an approach aimed at delivering adequate performance for multimedia-enabled devices, along with conservative power requirements. ST launched Nomadik in 2003 with the debut of the STn8800, following up in 2005 with the STn8810/11/12 models. Then, a STn8815 model appeared in 2006, followed by a STn8811A12 model in 2007. The company appears to be in the process of launching a new STn8820 model.

Monica de Virgiliis, GM of wireless at ST, stated, “Our innovative Nomadik architecture and multimedia chips are designed to deliver today's active information and entertainment experiences on energy-sensitive mobile platforms. Wind River's commercialization expertise in mobile Linux unleashes the potential of our hardware.”

NEC launched its Medity line of mobile applications processors in 2006. The first Medity chips were available with a Linux- and Qtopia-based software reference design called “PlatformOvia.” The PlatformOvia stack remains available for second-generation Medity M2 chips, and will be demonstrated alongside Android at the show, Wind River said.

NEC describes its Medity M2 or “Medity2” chip as an LSI (large-scale integration) combining a Medity application processor core with a dual-band baseband (DBB) processor supporting both W-CDMA and HSDPA 3.6M. The LSI performs well and consumes power moderately, NEC said.

Katsuhiko Itagaki, GM of SoCs at NEC, stated, “Medity M2 is the second evolution of the Medity family of chips with industry-leading features such as low-power consumption and support of MPEG-4/H.264 video and 2D and 3D graphics. We are delighted with Wind River's enabling of advanced mobile platforms onto Medity M2.”

Jason Whitmire, GM of mobile at Wind River, stated, “This is a very exciting time for mobile Linux. We are seeing tremendous interest in the Android platform from OEMs, silicon vendors, and device manufacturers.”

Wind River CMO John Bruggeman stated, “We are excited to have the opportunity to officially demonstrate the first Android-based solution on LogicPD's Zoom MDK. As a strategic member of both the Open Handset Alliance and the LiMo Foundation, Wind River is in a unique position to help deliver on the industry's need for an open, standards-based Linux platform for mobile handsets and devices.”

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