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Linux mobile distro supports Cortex-A8 SoC

Apr 16, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

MontaVista Software announced a version of its mobile phone distribution that supports the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP3430 system-on-chip (SoC). Mobilinux for the OMAP3430 is available immediately, says the company.

The OMAP3430 is among the first available SoC's based on ARM's Cortex-A8 architecture. Cortex-A8 is positioned as burning similar power to ARM11, while delivering two-to-three times better performance. The OMAP3430 clocks its core up to 800MHz.

MontaVista Mobilinux powers over 90 percent of Linux-based smartphones shipped in 2007, claims the company. Mobilinux 5.0, which shipped last Fall, adds new security, power, networking, and quick-boot capabilities, along with footprint reductions and real-time improvements.

OMAP3430 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

In February Aricent announced audio and video codecs aimed at letting phones based on the OMAP3430 play and record high-definition (HD) video in MPEG-4 format. Linux mobile phone integrator Azingo also announced support for the chip. Around the same time, Wind River demonstrated a Google Android-based design of its mobile phone distribution that supports the OMAP3430, and the SoC popped up in a portable gaming device running Linux called Pandora. Last year, the OMAP3430 was targeted by Access for phones, and was designed into an Ericsson mobile phone reference design.

Stated Patrick MacCartee, director of product management at MontaVista, “We have customers already building designs with Mobilinux 5.0 on the OMAP3430 processor, including a large mobile phone manufacturer, a major automobile manufacturer, and others.”

Given its support for the OMAP3430, MontaVista will also likely support the interesting OMAP3440 part, probably via its baseline “Professional Edition” product. Whereas the OMAP3430 is available only in volume, targeting mobile phone vendors exclusively, the OMAP3440 is virtually identical, yet available in small quantities, and with low-cost development boards. Available in five versions with varying support for 3D graphics and HD video, the OMAP3440 is positioned as bringing the very latest mobile phone processor technology within reach of application developers, via $150 developer boards preinstalled with Linux BSPs.


MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 for the OMAP3430 processor is available now from MontaVista, says the company.

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