Startup Plans Complete Linux Smart Phone OS

By Staff  |  Posted 2006-06-19

Silicon Valley startup a la Mobile plans to ship in September the industrys first "complete" Linux-based smart phone operating system.

The Convergent Linux Platform, or CLP, which aims to streamline Linux phone rollouts by ODMs, OEMs and operators, will enter a field crowded with alternatives from MontaVista, Trolltech, ACCESS/PalmSource and Wind River, among others.

Founder Pauline Lo Alker compares a la Mobiles Convergent Linux Platform to Microsofts Windows Mobile Smartphone platform, in terms of delivering all required software components within a single integrated stack.

The most interesting—and potentially controversial—of a la Mobiles proprietary technologies appears to be its HME (Hardware Mobility Engine) technology, for which the company has applied for two patents, according to Alker.

"You can think of the HME as a BIOS for phones," Alker said. "Its a hardware abstraction layer that abstracts the hardware features and characteristics to present upwards, to the operating system."

Alker says that while the specialized, "one-off" nature of typical embedded applications has prevented the concept of an "embedded BIOS" from taking off, mobile phones—and especially smart phones—have become standardized enough to support a standard BIOS layer.

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