Feeds

EU taxpayer to fund Symbian

€22m pledged to embed Epoc in the cloud

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Commission has thrown Symbian a lifeline, with €22m of fresh investment for new embedded work, including €11m of taxpayers' money. You've heard of a "Song For Europe". Well, Symbian has been anointed (quite literally) "The Embedded Operating System for Europe", or "Symbeose".

Funding will be matched with similar contributions from the private sector, and 24 organisations are involved. It's channelled through the EC's controversial JTI (Joint Technology Initiatives) program.

The cash will be used to research cloud computing and multiprocessing. Or, as a blog post at the Symbian Foundation puts it:

"Core system capabilities within mobile platforms in general need to be better understood in terms of improving platform efficiency and the performance of cloud-based services. Gaining this understanding and using it to enhance the Symbian platform is one of the fundamental objectives of the SYMBEOSE project."

Symbian development began at Psion in 1994, and the OS was initially called Epoc. It made its debut in real products in 1997. The following year Psion spun it out to an independent joint venture supported by the (then) three largest handset manufacturers Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola, and Psion.

Nokia acquired the venture in 2008, took the code open source, and spun out the administration to a nonprofit called the Symbian Foundation. Symbian remains the most popular operating system for smartphones, but has lost much industry support: major licensees including Samsung and Sony Ericsson have snubbed the system recently in favour of Google's Android.

The Foundation has always been in a tricky position. Nokia currently has 4,000 developers working on Symbian, but the Foundation has no development staff of its own.

The blog post from the Foundation adds that "the proposed advances to the Symbian platform will focus on radically improving the basis for new device creation on Symbian".

The JTI was created to "achieve greater coherence of R&D" across Europe, harmonise procedures, increase public and private investment and enchance education and training in two key areas: embedded systems and semiconductors, according to the first Evaluation of the program published in July.

So the JTI funds two programs - Artemis for embedded, and Eniac for silicon. The Artemis project goal is "to maintain a strong technological capability in both supply and application of embedded systems by overcoming fragmentation in the Embedded Systems supply base for components and tools".

It's no small change, either. The Artemis plan envisages €2.6bn of money (€745m from member states, €410m from the Commission, and the rest from matching private sector funds) and Eniac absorbing €2.8bn. But it hasn't quite worked out. Member states haven't fulfilled their pledges, and as a result private sector contributions are also short. As the evaluation study from July noted:

"State funding levels are not rising annually at the anticipated rate, the present projection is that neither JTI will achieve even half of their planned total funding."

Of the two programs, the UK is funding only Artemis. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.