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MontaVista Pushes Linux Mobility

Embedded Linux vendor MontaVista today announced a program to help it advance the penetration of Linux into the cell phone market.

The Mobilinux Open Framework Program is a compilation of different mobile software components taken from different vendors all pulled into one reference architecture to produce software for a mobile Linux phone.

The software components are all ports designed to run on top of the MontaVista Linux operating system and will run on a variety of semiconductor platforms. MontaVista claims that the initiative already has the support of vendors like PalmSource , Texas Instruments , ARM, Openware, Intel , and numerous others.

Though the program was only officially announced today, there are already at least seven phones powered by Mobilinux from vendors Motorola, NEC and Panasonic, according to company.

Motorola A780
Motorola A780
Source: Mobilinux

Back in November 2004, MontaVista and NEC announced a partnership to extend the Linux into NEC's consumer electronic devices. At the time there was no specific mention of the Mobilinux framework.

Motorola's MontaVista cell phone integration began in March 2003 when it announced the Motorola A760 cell phone.

Both the Motorola A760 and A780 use Linux components from vendor Trolltech, whose qt cross-platform software development framework also underpins the KDE Linux desktop.

"Our handset customers view Linux as a strategic platform enabling them to differentiate their phones and meet increasingly complex operator specifications," said Jim Ready, CEO of MontaVista, in a statement. "The Mobilinux program creates an open framework that helps solve the challenge of integrating disparate hardware and software components from a diverse group of vendors."

At the end of January, MontaVista announced a partnership with Esmertec to run Esmertec's J2ME platform on top of MontaVista's Linux OS. The companies said they will market the combination to wireless semiconductor and mobile handset vendors.