In a move to speed the entry of Linux into the mobile phone mass market, Trolltech and VirtualLogix have integrated Trolltech's Qtopia platform for Linux handsets and VirtualLogix's VLX software on a single-core processor. Trolltech and VirtualLogix(TM)have formed a partnership and will be demonstrating the single-core processor form-factor at 3GSM.
The partnership yields its first results at 3GSM where the demonstration will show VirtualLogix's VLX real-time virtualization software integrated with Trolltech's Qtopia platform on a single ARM9 processor core. By running Qtopia and its Linux host, together with the radio modem stack and its RTOS host, on a single core within a mobile phone form factor, the companies demonstrate that Linux can be quickly introduced into low-cost, high volume feature phones.
To date, the cost of dual-core processors has limited handset manufacturers' ability to ship Linux-based mass market feature phones. Nomura Equity Research estimates that Linux on feature phones will claim 12% of the overall feature phone market by 2009.
The appeal of an alternative to proprietary systems and the ability to customize the user experience has made Linux the fasted growing OS for mobile phones. To date, more than 5 million mobile phones have been shipped in the market running Linux with Qtopia. Now, with a single-core processor, the mass market feature phone is the next ideal segment for the Linux operating system.
The Trolltech/VirtualLogix solution helps reduce the cost of materials for handset manufacturers while still enabling data and rich multi-media applications by eliminating the need for separated application and modem subsystems. A single-core processor solution is expected to be attractive to telecom carriers who are looking to bring lower cost, full-featured mobile devices to their customers.
"Linux and Qtopia running on a single-core processor represent a major breakthrough in the mobile market," said Haavard Nord, co-CEO and co-Founder, Trolltech. "Our partnership and integration with VirtualLogix brings Qtopia to the forefront once again as the mobile Linux platform to watch."
"Bringing Linux and Qtopia into mobile handsets can be a competitive weapon for OEMs to leverage the open, fast developing Linux ecosystem and deliver rich functionality to the market," said Mark Milligan, vice president of marketing at VirtualLogix. "VirtualLogix VLX speeds the inclusion of Linux on lower cost platforms while providing increased security and reliability."