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Motorola touts updated Linux/Java phone platform

Feb 12, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

[Updated 3:00 P.M.] — Motorola is showcasing its Linux and “kJava” based music phone for U.S. and European markets, at the 3GSM World Congress this week in Barcelona. The MotoRIZR Z6 is said to be based on a “new Linux operating system that incorporates kJava.”

Jennifer Lyons, marcom specialist for mobile devices at Motorola, confirmed that the Z6 is based on a MontaVista Linux kernel and a Java KVM (K virtual machine) from Sun. Instead of the 2.4.20 kernel used in half a dozen earlier Motorola phones, however, the Z6 will use a 2.6.10 kernel, she said.

Lyons also said the Z6 will be based on a Freescale SCMA-11 processor, a derivative of Freescale's ARM11-based i.MX31 processor. And, she confirmed that the phone will have a “single-core” architecture, in which a single processor handles both application processing and real-time tasks, such as signal processing and modem control.

Lyons did not say whether the Z6 phone uses Linux for real-time processing, or whether it has a separate real-time operating system (RTOS) running alongside Linux on top of virtualization software, the approach used by NXP's Nexperia reference design. However, MontaVista's Mobilinux 4.1 operating system, released last fall for the i.MX31 processor and based on a 2.6.10 kernel, explicitly targets single-core mobile phones.

Motorola S9 Bluetooth headphones
(Click to enlarge)

Motorola is touting the Z6 as the first device to feature compatibility with Windows Media Player formats — thus enabling support for more than 200 Windows Media Player compatible online music stores, Motorola says. The company also highlighted a multimedia content partnership with Warner Music Group, and the Z6's compatibility for its newly available S9 Bluetooth headphones (pictured at right), which can be used for calls as well as for music listening.

Additional touted Z6 features include:

  • Easy to use PC syncing/transfer via USB 2.0
  • Mobile Phone Tools support for PC synch of phonebook, contacts, and media
  • 64MB of user file storage, expandable via MicroSD cards up to 2GB
  • Dedicated music key launches music library
  • 2-megapixel camera with “camera light” (flash?) and landscape viewfinder
  • Video capture and playback, MPEG 4 3GPP, h.263 support
  • Supports Bluetooth photo printers
  • First Linux-Java software based handset that incorporates Windows Media technology
  • Supported formats include Windows WMAv10 plus Janus DRM, MP3, AAC, AAC+, AAC+ enhanced, AMR NB, WAV, XMF
  • Built-in FM radio
  • Mirror-like finish, soft-touch feel glass and metal
  • Airplane mode
  • Messaging via MMS, SMS, IM, Email/POP3
  • Talk Time: approximately 180-420 minutes; Standby Time: approximately 200-400 hours


The Z6 is expected to ship in the first half of 2007.

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