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MontaVista touts Android readiness

Nov 19, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

MontaVista announced that it will support developers who use MontaVista Linux with Google's Linux/Java Android mobile platform. In other Android news, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Korean handset manufacturer KTF will produce an Android phone next year, says a Reuters story.

To show off its Android chops, MontaVista will demonstrate the Google-sponsored Android mobile stack running on top of MontaVista Linux on a Texas Instruments OMAP3 system-on-chip (SoC). The demo will be held this week at Embedded Technology 2008 in Yokohama, Japan. Last month, MontaVista announced that its distribution had been optimized for the Cortex-A8-based OMAP3 SoCs.

Beyond that, MontaVista offered no details about its Android support. Last month, rival Wind River announced that it was developing a vertical-market “Platform” for Android. Wind River said it had already supplied Android-related software integration services to Kyocera Wireless Corp.

So far, the only Android phone to ship is the HTC G1, offered by T-Mobile. Google representatives at the G1 launch event told LinuxDevices that Google staff ported Linux to the G1 hardware themselves.

Motorola VE66
(Click for details)

Moto-droid? Andro-rola?

MontaVista claims that over 50 million handsets have shipped with its distribution. Many of those were manufactured by the leading vendor of Linux phones, Motorola. The company has been using MontaVista Linux in its phones for years, including the latest VE66 phone (pictured), which uses the MotoMAGX Linux/Java development platform. Mot recently announced, however, that it will no longer develop phones based on either Symbian UIQ or MotoMAGX, in order to focus on Android and Windows Mobile.

Motorola will reportedly deliver its first Android phone in 2Q 2009. The company is likely to continue to use MontaVista, but the shift to Android would provide it an opportunity to move to a different foundational Linux distribution, should it desire to do so.

MontaVista claims that MontaVista Linux, which is offered in a tailored Mobilinux version for handsets, is the only Linux distro “to demonstrate support of and integration with all major Linux mobile software stacks.” It also touts its support for IPv6, as well as for “new mobile device processors from Freescale Semiconductor, Intel, Texas Instruments and others.”

Stated Joerg Bertholdt, VP of marketing at MontaVista, “We are bringing MontaVista Linux's advanced features and hardware support, along with our professional Linux support, to developers of Android devices to help device manufacturers embrace the Android platform and bring innovative handsets to market quickly.”

Panasonic FOMA P706ie
(Click for details)

NTT DoCoMo partners with KTF on Android

Japan carrier NTT DoCoMo owns 10 percent of Korea-based KTF, which will manufacture a jointly developed Android phone, says the Reuters story. NTT DoCoMo is a member of both the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which oversees Android, as well as the rival LiMo Foundation, which also counts KTF as a member. NEC and Panasonic have both released LiMo-based phones that target NTT DoCoMo's 3G FOMA network infrastructure. MontaVista and Access are key Linux kernel and stack suppliers, respectively, for DoCoMo phones.

The Reuters story had no further details, except that the firms hoped to release the phone sometime in 2009. In addition, the story reported that the companies expect to sell the phone at a 20 percent lower cost than typical smartphones, thanks to the open source Android stack.


MontaVista will be demonstrating its Android implementation at booth E-07 at Embedded Technology 2008 in Yokohama, Japan, November 19-21.

The Reuters story on the NTT DoCoMo/KTF Android phone, should be here.

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