RealTime IT News

Qualcomm Throws Support to Linux

At long last, Qualcomm is supporting Linux on its chip solutions. This marks the first time the company has ever supported a third-party OS.

Integrated single-chip Linux support on Qualcomm's Mobile Station Modem (MSM) 6550, according to the company, improves the efficiency of running Linux on a cell phone, becuase it eliminates the need for a separate co-processor. The single-chip design is also said to reduce complexity and design costs that are associated with multi-chip implementations.

"By introducing Linux on the MSM, Qualcomm supports manufacturer partners who wish to leverage existing Linux applications, third-party developers and application catalogs to reduce their software development costs and improve time-to-market," said Sanjay K. Jha, president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

The MSM6550 is the first of many Qualcomm chipsets expected to support Linux. Linux on cell phones has been a growing concern since Motorola first adopted Linux in some of its products back in 2003.

Trolltech is among the vendors pushing Linux on mobile devices, with its embedded Linux solutions and was not surprised by Qualcomm's announcement.

"We are pleased that Qualcomm is endorsing Linux in the mobile phone market," Haavard Nord, CEO of Trolltech, told internetnews.com. "This is not a surprise to us, and we expect to see more news like this as Linux continues steamrolling into the mobile and embedded markets."

Embedded OS player MontaVista Linux recently announced Mobilinux 4.0, its latest mobile Linux OS.