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RealTime IT News

QUALCOMM Blends in Java with Its BREW

In a show of cooper-tition, QUALCOMM Thursday said it inked a deal to begin licensing Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) for some of its chipsets.

The partnership is significant considering J2ME and QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) are often seen as competing technologies.

The San Diego-based wireless giant said J2ME technologies will be compatible with select QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipsets beginning with its 6000 series. The compatibility will also extend to BREWapi and system software for wireless devices.

The compatibility means that through QUALCOMM's MSM Launchpad platform, their customers can download and run either BREW or J2ME applications on the same phone.

QUALCOM said it is looking to boost its MSM platform and give its customers access to the wide variety of Java technology-based applications. But despite QUALCOMM's gestures, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun has the advantage when it comes to applications the mobile sector.

According to recent stats, J2ME is present on some 75 million handsets with 34 carriers supporting the language. Compare that to 2.5 million BREW-enabled and activated handsets and six carrier customers that work with QUALCOMM's technology. Notably, all six are operating CDMA networks.

The deal also represents a technical challenge considering BREW and J2ME don't speak the same languages. BREW supports applications written in the C++ programming language. J2ME, both a runtime environment and a language prefers Java.

Representatives with Sun Microsystems said there is no reason the two technologies couldn't share the same space on cell phones and other mobile devices.

"This agreement represents a new era of cooperation between QUALCOMM and Sun that will broaden the reach of the Java platform, and opens up tremendous opportunities for our customers as well as developers in the wireless data services market," said Sun vice president of Consumer and Mobile Systems Group Alan Brenner.

QUALCOMM said it was even able to make room on its chipset through a technique using its radioOne Zero Intermediate Frequency (ZIF) architecture, which eliminates the need for Intermediate Frequency (IF) components.