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Fast-boot tech claims to load Android or Linux in one second

Mar 23, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 115 views

Tokyo-based Ubiquitous Corp. announced the availability of an ARM-focused technology claimed to load Android or Linux in one second. QuickBoot Release 1.0 preferentially restores memory areas necessary for booting from nonvolatile storage to RAM, says the company.

QuickBoot, which is available in a Linux SDK (see below), is aimed at TVs, STBs, automotive infotainment systems, smartbooks, and smartphones, says Ubiquitous. QuickBoot 1.0 supports ARM9, ARM11, and Cortex-A series processors, says the company, which develops "compact, efficient and high-speed network and database software" for embedded devices.

The QuickBoot technology can boot up in about one second from complete power off, claims Ubiquitous. (We're bound to point out that, as the YouTube video at the end of this story makes clear, QuickBoot is not actually "booting" the operating system, merely achieving a quicker restoration of a running operating system image.)

It's said QuickBoot achieves its quick operation by preferentially restoring memory areas necessary for a restart from nonvolatile storage to RAM. QuickBoot restores necessary portions of the memory image by automatically determining the priority of memory usage for the system, says the company.

QuickBoot architecture

Restart time is not dependent on the amount of memory being used by the operating system, says Ubiquitous. This is because memory areas are read sequentially, and thus barely affect user operations, says the company.

Comparison of QuickBoot (left) vs. typical hibernation methods (right)

QuickBoot is offered in the form of a software development kit provided for developers at OEMs and ODMs. The SDK is said to include a QuickBoot snapshot script and snapshot driver, which together are used to store snapshots of a RAM image to nonvolatile memory.

The SDK also provides a QuickBoot BIOS and QuickBoot IRA (Intelligent Resource Allocator), enabling systems to start instantly by selecting necessary blocks of the stored memory image. All these components are provided as binary files, the company says.

Ubiquitous offers a kernel patch and boot loader sample as source code, as well as documentation. In addition, Atmark's Freescale i.MX31-based Armadillo-500 FX is provided as a reference board for ARM11-based devices.

Workflow in QuickBoot

(Click to enlarge)

The QuickBoot approach appears fairly similar to that of two other Linux fast-boot technologies that emerged from Japan in 2008: the TP InstantBoot technology from the now apparently defunct TriPeaks, and Lineo's Warp 2. The latter technology, which at the time managed to squeeze Linux boot times to just under 3 seconds, similarly used an Armadillo-500 product as its reference board. Last summer, MontaVista also claimed to have booted a Linux device in one second using its Montebello technology.

Ubiquitous says it will continue to expand QuickBoot support for other CPU architectures, as well as for multi-core SMP devices using ARM Cortex-A series processors. The company also hopes to support additional operating systems, other than Linux or Android, although it does not say which ones. Ubiquitous is a member of the Solution Center for Android, and will provide QuickBoot to other SCAmembers upon request, says the company.

Ubiquitous QuickBoot demonstration with Android
(Click to play)

Stated Matt Kawauchi, president of Ubiquitous, "With the instant-on capability of Ubiquitous QuickBoot, devices can be turned off completely with zero stand-by power without sacrificing boot-time, and hence enables OEMs and ODMs to produce eco-friendly devices."

Stated Kevin Smith, VP Segment Marketing, ARM, "Technologies such as QuickBoot enable greater energy savings, complementing ARM architectures that already provide industry leading energy efficiency levels."


QuickBoot 1.0 is available now to OEMs and ODMs, says Ubiquitous, which did not list pricing. More information on Ubiquitous may be found here.

Ubiquitous will be showcasing its QuickBoot technology this week at CCBN (China Content Broadcasting Network Expo) in Beijing, and then at ESC 2010 Silicon Valley at the ARM Connected Community booth in April.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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