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Linux mobile phone stack vendors align

Oct 24, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 145 views

MontaVista and Access have pledged to work together to produce a version of MontaVista's Linux-based mobile phone operating system optimized for Access's mobile phone software application and middleware stack. Additionally, MontaVista is among six new members of Access's partner ecosystem, which now numbers 73.

The companies will optimize MontaVista's just-released Mobilinux 5.0 operating system to support the Access Linux Platform (ALP), they say. Mobilinux comprises low-level components such as a Linux kernel, drivers, and OS-level libraries, while ALP comprises higher-level components like a user interface, applications, and middleware. Both environments include development tools based on the Eclipse platform for cross-vendor tools integration.

MontaVista's latest Mobilinux OS is touted as smaller, lighter, and more real-time capable than previous releases. It is said to offer sub-50 microsecond latency, and footprints ranging from 3MB to 14MB depending on configuration. Additional features include varying levels of access and control for different users via SELinux integration, and dynamic power management, an API (application programming interface) aimed at letting user-space applications control hardware power consumption.

Mobilinux function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Access's ALP stack includes a set of higher-level mobile phone software and middleware components designed to work on top of a kernel and other OS components of the device developer's choosing. There's a user interface and mobile phone application stack, a Garnet virtual machine capable of executing the thousands of applications written for Palm OS, and Access's interesting Hiker Application Framework, aimed at supporting native Linux application installation and management in a standardized, uniform, scalable way.

ALP function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The other newly announced ACE partners are:

  • Careland Information System Co., Ltd. — GPS software
  • Collabora Ltd. — open-source consultants
  • Mobile Complete Inc. — mobile handset support
  • NEC Electronics Corporation — consumer electronics
  • SECOM Trust Systems Co., Ltd. — information services and security
  • Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. — wireless baseband chipsets

Access CEO Toru Arakawa stated, “MontaVista's Access Linux Platform-ready platform will [enable] easier deployment and smoother integration.”

MontaVista has a similar partnership with Access phone-stack rival Trolltech, and belongs to Trolltech's Greensuite mobile phone ecosystem. MontaVista Linux kernels have powered “90 percent of Linux smart phones” shipped to date, MontaVista claims.

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