Feeds

Symbian releases real-time, one-chip OS

Breakthrough

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

3GSM Although Symbian's press conference was consumed by politics - which is hardly surprising as Nokia is the most powerful company in the industry, and Symbian is the runaway smart phone OS provider - the company had some significant product news.

Version 8.0 of the Symbian OS now has real-time capabilities, allowing phone vendors to build one-chip phones. At present, the most popular smart phone platforms, such as Texas Instruments' OMAP, typically feature two processors: one to handle the radio communications and one to handle the data operating system that the user sees.

In some cases, one CPU juggles two operating systems, as is the case with the Nokia Communicator, which runs Symbian OS as a thread from the Nokia "operating system". (It's generous to call it an operating system, it's more of an instruction pointer, but we digress). However, in both cases the radio communications - the GSM stack - is not handled by the operating system that the user sees.

With version 8.0, phone manufacturers will be able to use just one OS, and Symbian will take on the workload of handling the radio. It's the first major contender to boast the ability, and it's far from trivial. The OS must be able to handle requests quickly, and users expect the phone not to crash.

What does it all mean? The Intel philosophy is that integration leads to cheaper devices, but two cheap chips may still be continue to be more appealing for manufacturers for the forseeable future than one more expensive CPU. We'll see.

Version 8.0 also features updated Java, better APIs for controlling the phone application and "enhanced multimedia capabilities", which means stronger DRM - which translates to 'significantly degraded multimedia capabilities', in real life, of course.

Symbian snagged two new licensees this week: LG Electronics and Chinese giant Legend, which trades under the name Lenovo, have both signed up to produce phones based on Series 60. ®

The Register 3GSM coverage in full

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.