TI's OMAP to support Linux

Texas Instruments has promised embedded Linux developers that its Open Multimedia Applications Architecture (OMAP) will soon support 2.5G and 3G wireless applications from Texas Instruments.

"Linux's reliability, flexibility and ease of use combined with TI's highly advanced OMAP architecture will be an attractive solution for developers creating applications for mobile Internet devices," said Paul Werp, TI's OMAP platform marketing manager.

TI's OMAP (Open Multimedia Applications Platform) is designed to enable developers to create digital audio, streaming video, and other rich media applications for low-power mobile devices, such as cell phones and PDAs. The OMAP architecture includes hardware in form of TI's digital signal processors (DSPs) and a microcontroller. It also includes a software management layer.

According to TI, Linux developers can now program applications in a familiar Linux environment with quick porting to the OMAP architecture. Developers creating multimedia applications for 3G handsets, will have access to the real-time functionality of TI's DSPs, which are known for their high performance and low power consumption. The OMAP DSP/BIOS Bridge provides standard APIs that give wireless application developers access to DSP multimedia algorithms.

The OMAP platform's claim to fame is its ability to provide a combination of high functionality with long battery life for mobile appliances. It combines the DSPs and RISC into power-efficient processing units.

OMAP architecture seems to be on its way to becoming something of a standard platform for 2.5G and 3G with public endorsements from OEMs like Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, and Handspring.

TI has tapped RidgeRun, the developer of the DSPLinux operating system, to provide direct customer support of Linux with specific enhancements to take advantage of the OMAP platform's real-time multimedia capabilities. DSPLinux offers a comprehensive development environment, which includes an optimized Linux kernel, reference product implementations, appliance simulators, and GNUbased ARM tools.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].