Electronic Design

Mobile Operating System Optimized For Portables

Do cell-phone users realize that they're carrying a highly sophisticated operating system (OS)? Probably not. Even if they did, would they care? Nope. But those of you who have to design the next generation of cell phones and other mobile devices know you're going to need something that scales better than the OSs now in use. And, it better support multimedia and all the other stuff that carriers want.

Based on MontaVista's widely deployed Linux platform, Mobilinux 4.0 is designed for such mobile applications. It serves as the core of the Mobilinux Open Framework, an industry-wide program for creating and promoting Linux-based handset reference architectures.

Unlike the current aging OSs, Mobilinux gives developers a scalable platform that lets them create their own differentiated feature phones or smart phones that can handle the high-speed data services users and carriers want.

While only about 30% to 40% of all phones have these advanced features, as many as 80% will incorporate advanced multimedia applications in a few years. Manufacturers need an OS that can adapt to the simple voice phone or the more advanced multimedia smart phones.

Mobilinux is based on the Linux 2.6 kernel. Developers have access to the source code directly, so they have more flexibility in creating the unique code for their own designs. Its advanced real-time support can ensure immediate action by the hardware and software in as fast as 150 µs in some cases. Its dynamic power-management (DPM) capability gives designers a way to improve power performance via adjustments that can be made on the fly. A cross-platform DPM library is available.

Mobilinux 4.0 runs on ARM9 and ARM11 processors. Versions for selected Freescale, Intel XScale, and Texas Instruments processors also are available. The MontaVista DevRocket software development environment includes ARM's embedded Application Binary Interface (EABI) support for compatibility with standard third-party tools.

Built on updated Eclipse 3.0.1 and CDT 2.1 technology, the environment includes advanced management and measurement tools. The graphical layer and user interfaces are built on an open KDrive and graphical tool kit (GTK) used to design cameras, games, and other multimedia applications.

Mobilinux will be available in the second quarter. For information on pricing options, contact the company.

MontaVista Software Inc.

Mobilinux Open Framework

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