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Mobile stack aims to Flash up Cortex-A8 devices

Jan 7, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Movial has ported its Linux-ready mobile multimedia stack to Texas Instruments's ARM Cortex-A8-based OMAP3530 system-on-chip (SoC). Apparently targeting ARM-based MIDs (mobile Internet devices), Movial's IXS Internet Experience Suite for TI's OMAP3530 is designed to optimize browser… and Flash interface development on Linux-based devices, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the Movial IXS Internet Browser)

Movial calls its IXS Toolkit a “white label application suite for creating custom branded user interfaces.” The kit comprises a browser, media player, and Movial's Communicator suite. Communicator adds HD video telephony, presence, instant messaging, and video-sharing software, and has primarily been marketed direct to PC end-users, in the past.

Movial says its IXS Tookit lets Web developers and designers “rapidly” create mobile device user interfaces, using standard Web technologies such as JavaScript and XML. This lowers development costs, while making it possible to update device interfaces and applications without the risk of reflashing ROM firmware.

The IXS suite is maintained by Movial's 65-person “Creative Technologies” division, CEO Tom Rauste told LinuxDevices in an interview. The group has about 40 engineers, as well as an additional 10 on a “user experience design” team, Rauste said. Movial's other 55 employees work primarily on the Communicator product, he said.

Asked about the recent trend of large companies like Intel and Nokia acquiring small user-interface specialists, Rauste replied, “At the moment, we're seeing our own path. The market is blooming as Linux comes to the mobile device, and we see huge opportunities.” The company is based in Helsinki, with sales offices in Palo Alto, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

Stated Kevin Hawkins, OMAP35x marketing manager, TI, “IXS allows operator services, Internet content, and contextual information from the device to be smoothly combined into an integrated user experience.”


Last June, Movial announced that IXS would support TI's other OMAP3x processor, the handset-focused OMAP3430. Earlier last year, MontaVista and Movial announced they would jointly integrate, market, and support MontaVista's Mobilinux OS and DevRocket development tools with IXS.

The OMAP3530 is the most powerful of the four general-purpose OMAP35xx processors introduced by TI last summer. It includes both the OMAP3525's DSP/video accelerator capability and the OMAP3515's OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics engine. (The low-end OMAP3503 part lacks either of these enhancements.) The HD-ready OMAP3530 is designed for low-power, high-performance video and gaming applications, says TI.

In other recent Movial news, the company recently released an open source “Movial Octopus Media Engine”, which is said to provide a central point of contact for “all” multimedia use cases on a Linux-based device. Earlier last year, it made a separate LGPL code release of its D-Bus Bridge technology, which comprises Webkit and Gecko extensions that harness the open-source D-Bus inter-process communication (IPC) technology.


Movial IXS Internet Experience Suite for OMAP3530 is available immediately, says the company. Pricing was not stated.

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