Thursday, November 13, 2008

VMware Adds Virtualization To Mobile Phones

On Monday virtualization pioneer VMware unveiled its new Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) for Mobile Phones, based on technology it acquired fom Trango Virtual Processors last month.

"VMware is excited to extend the benefits of virtualization, which we pioneered for x86 hardware, to the mobile phone market. By abstracting the applications and data from the hardware itself, we expect that virtualization will not only enable handset vendors to accelerate time to market but can also pave the way for innovative applications and services for phone users. We look forward to working closely with our partners to bring new mobile solutions to market faster." Paul Maritz, President and Chief Executive Officer of VMware

VMware MVP is a thin layer of software that is embedded on a mobile phone to decouple the applications and data from the underlying hardware. It is optimized to run efficiently on low power consuming and memory constrained mobile phones. The MVP currently supports a wide range of real-time and rich operating systems including Windows CE 5.0 and 6.0, Linux 2.6.x, Symbian 9.x, eCos, µITRON NORTi and µC/OS-II.

The intent is to isolate the applications and data from the hardware so that handset manufacturers can deploy devices more quickly and so that application developers can write a mobile app or service once and run it anywhere. VMware notes: "Today handset vendors spend significant time and effort getting new phones to market due to the use of multiple chipsets, operating systems and device drivers across the product family. This means the same software stack does not work across all the phones and considerable time and effort is spent porting the software stack multiple times, once for each platform, a slow and expensive process which slows time to market. Because VMware MVP virtualizes the hardware, handset vendors can develop a software stack with an operating system and a set of applications not tied to the underlying hardware allowing them to deploy the same software stack on a wide variety of phones without worrying about the underlying hardware differences. At the same time, by isolating the device drivers from the operating system, handset vendors can further reduce porting costs by using the same drivers irrespective of the operating system deployed on the phone."

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