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Windows device house comes to Linux, Android

Feb 16, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A company specializing in featurephones and PNDs (portable navigation devices) based on Windows CE has taken a turn toward the Linux-based Android phone stack. At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week, Intrinsyc launched three tools aimed at helping OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) quickly integrate Android Linux phones.

Intrinsyc describes its three tools for Android integrators as follows:

  • RapidRIL for Android is a radio interface layer that can be reused across multiple operating systems.
  • Telephony Test for Android is a script-based test suite that performs radiometric and systematic testing of Android telephony.
  • Telephony Modem Simulator is a software-only tool that allows application developers to test telephony-based use cases and boundary cases without the need for a hardware modem or network.

Underscoring Intrinsyc's commitment to Android, David Manuel, GM of solutions engineering at Intrinsyc, stated, “[These tools] are the first in a series of Android software solutions planned by Intrinsyc.”

Manuel added, “We offer expert Android engineering services in the areas of board support packages, power management, and application development.”

Intrinsyc has development centers in North America and in Asia/Pacific, Manuel noted. The company has experience in both Linux and in handset development, he said.

Strategic shift toward Linux?

Intrinsyc comes to the Android and Linux device world after a strong recent focus on Windows CE. Originally an embedded hardware and services company, Intrinsyc raised $8M in 2005 to fund development of its “Soleus” featurephone stack. Built atop Windows CE, just like Microsoft's own Windows Mobile stack, Soleus targets lower-end, higher-volume devices than Windows Mobile. Intrinsyc launched Soleus at the 2006 Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Subsequently, few high-volume Soleus phones materialized, though the stack was used in some interesting products, like EliteGroup USB cellular modems, and the Mio Moov navigation stack. Our guess is that given all the operator-specific requirements, Intrinsyc have found it easier to create than market a great cellphone software stack.

During the last year, Intrinsyc has increasingly marketed Soleus in the PND (portable navigation device) space. The company underwent a 20 percent reduction in workforce last fall.

Additionally, Intrinsyc's former CEO, Glenda Dorchak, left in January for Linux-focused virtualization company VirtualLogix, which is also demonstrating Android technology at MWC. In a recent interview with LinuxDevices, Dorchak commented, “[At VirtualLogix], we plan to focus on Linux. As you know, I come from Intrinsyc, which has a focus on Windows Mobile and Symbian. But I have 'seen the light.'”

Apparently, so has Intrinsyc.


Intrinsyc's Android tools and development services appear to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

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