According to industry research, Linux is ready to secure a significant share of the smart-phone market segment in the next design cycle. For designers who wish to get a jump on development for the growing UMTS/EDGE smart-phone market, there's now a smart-phone reference design based on Linux. Developed by Infineon Technologies, Samsung Electronics, Trolltech, and Emuzed, the reference platform showcases many advanced 3G and multimedia services. These services include the following: UMTS/EDGE dual-mode voice calls; video calls and video streaming; high-performance multimedia applications (H.264, MPEG-4, AAC+, and MP3); and ultra-fast Web browsing. The platform also offers stereo 3D audio and Java-based 3D gaming.
This platform was designed to support the UMTS and EDGE cellular standards. It enables users to have vast mobile-network coverage while benefiting from advanced multimedia features that are delivered at high data rates. The hardware portion of the platform, which is engineered for small-form-factor designs, includes Samsung's S3C24A0 application processor and camera module. It also contains Infineon's MP-U UMTS/EDGE modem platform (SEE FIGURE).
On the software side of the ledger is a pre-integrated package. This package consists of Infineon's UMTS/EDGE dual-mode protocol stack and Samsung's optimized Linux kernel and drivers, which are certified by Montavista. Trolltech contributed its Qtopia software platform for Linux-based mobile phones, while Emuzed provided its audio and video applications. New Java applications will be showcased on Sun's high-performance Java implementation. The software package also includes ARM and Superscape's Swerve 3D rendering engine, Opera's browser, and QSound Labs' 3D audio and ringtone products.
The Qtopia software platform from Trolltech serves as the "face" of Linux on mobile phones. It offers a customizable application environment and user interface. Emuzed's integrated multimedia application, which is called HipMedia, allows a rich end-user experience for recording, playing back, and sharing home movies, photo albums, and music in an intuitive, easy-to-use manner.
The open-source Linux operating system is rapidly becoming a force among software platforms for smart phones. By providing a common platform with a huge developer community, Linux offers vendors more independence along with control over branding and the user interface. The reference platform makes it easy for OEMs to take advantage of the benefits that Linux brings in terms of cost efficiencies, flexibility, and functionality.