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Ubuntu’s mobile and embedded project advances

Jun 7, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Following two months of planning, Canonical Ltd. has updated the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded (UME) project's architecture roadmap. UME aims to create a version of the popular Ubuntu desktop Linux OS tailored to the requirements of Intel-based “mobile Internet devices” (MIDs), expected in 2008.

MIDs, based on a product concept unveiled by Intel in April, are small handheld, battery-powered mobile devices that connect to the Internet via various wireless technologies. They will be powered by processors derived from Intel's forthcoming lpia (low-power on Intel architecture) silicon platform. Intel floated the MID initiative about the same time it began leaking plans to produce an SoC (system-on-chip) that would integrate northbridge and southbridge functions together with a Pentium M-based core. More details about Intel's low-power processor roadmap were leaked several months later.

Ubuntu unveiled UME a month after Intel's announcement of the MID initiative, saying it would work closely with Intel to support low-powered Intel chips — and, presumably, with Intel customers building Linux-based MIDs and other devices utilizing the lpia architecture. Thus, UME is working to port Ubuntu to lpia, starting with an lpia bootloader and a port of the Hildon application framework, best known for its use in the Nokia 770 and N800 Internet tablets.

At the Computex show in Taipei today, Canonical issued a press release suggesting that UME has already received a “great response” from the developer community, and that target specifications and technical milestones have been set. UME goals apparently include outstanding multimedia playback and web browsing, along wtih fast boot and resume times, and small memory and disk footprints.

UME's specific technical goals are listed on the newly updated project roadmap. More general information about the project can be found on the UME Wiki.

In a statement, Canonical director of operations Jane Silber commented, “[We have] a clear roadmap, an active developer community, and a date for release.”

Intel's GM of system software, Doug Fisher, added, “We look forward to collaborating with Canonical to optimize Ubuntu for MIDs based on Intel low power technologies, and working with our customers to bring these devices to market.”


The first pre-alpha release of UME is expected to accompany the 7.10 (“Gutsy Gibbon”) release of Ubuntu in October. Commercial availability of MID hardware, meanwhile, is slated for 2008.

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