Broadcom hooks up with Trolltech for Linux VoIP
Riding the LiMo
Days after Trolltech announced it had signed up with LiMo Foundation, after dropping out of the LiPS Forum last year, it has signed a deal with Broadcom to optimise its code for the chip vendor's VoIP hardware.
Broadcom has several multimedia processors suited to low-power applications. This deal focuses on its VoIP (BCM1103) processor and latest multimedia co-processor (BCM1180), the combination of which enables everything from video conferencing to Gigibit Ethernet, which should indicate the range of devices that the companies will be targeting.
While it's possible to do VoIP, and even video conferencing, in software, having dedicated hardware reduces the power consumption massively, and can also enable devices without a high-end central processor. It does reduce flexibility to some extent - and can be more expensive - but the embedding of dedicated VoIP hardware should make VoIP more accessible for low-end devices, if properly supported by the software.
By working closely with Broadcom, Trolltech can be sure its platform properly supports the Broadcom chips, and the companies can pitch the combination of hardware and software to handset manufacturers.
Trolltech dropped out of LiPS last year, apparently as a result of that group selecting the GTK graphical layer rather than Trolltech's Qtopia product - though that is disputed by Trolltech, who claim they were frustrated by the slow speed of progress in LiPS.
LiMo certainly seems to be the faster-developing Linux platform, spurred on by the (still largely theoretical) threat from Google's Android, so Broadcom would do well to have their chips designed in. Still, claims that such a platform will make mobile-video conferencing a reality should be taken with the usual scepticism. ®
Broadcom should bugger off unless...
Broadcom should bugger off unless they can provide Linux drivers for all of their hardware, their wifi and some bluetooth products simply take the piss! They don't release tech specs and they won't release decent drivers.
For instance http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/
QT is the Linux Graphical layer equivalent to GTK (which does have more applications).
Qtopia is the Desktop GUI / Applications framework. Ordinary X based desktops simply are not usable on small screens (320x240) etc.
In theory you could have Nokia Series 60 or UIQ on Linux and Qtopia on Symbian.
SDL is another cross platform Linux graphics layer. Tends to be popular for games development.
You can have QT, GTK and / or SDL all under Gnome on Linux or on Explorer Desktop on Windows. They all have cross platform support.
The biggest issues for all devices smaller than 5" 800x480 approx is the GUI/Desktop and Browser. Conventional desktop Windowing concepts and browsers are rubbish on a small screen.
recent versions of Qtopia are more finger orientated rather than Windows like stylus operated. Nicer on a tiny screen, less functional on a 3.5" screen