Kada Systems to Provide Highly Configurable Software Backplanes for Mobile Devices

2/19/2003 - Kada Systems, a leading innovator of software technologies and solutions focused on advancing mobile client computing capabilities, announced its plans to offer an integration design for mobile devices that will significantly change how mobile handsets are brought to market. Code named “Katahdin,” it will allow mobile original device manufacturers (ODMs) to quickly develop new devices by providing a highly configurable software “backplane” that custom components can easily be plugged into with little modification. It also enables ODMs to offer highly differentiated mobile devices and product lines to meet the demands of rapidly segmenting user and geographic markets without ‘starting from scratch” for each new product.

“Mobile device development has traditionally been done one device at a time, and centered on the choice of operating system,” said Chris Lanfear, embedded software group manager for Venture Development Corp. “This approach locks the developer into a particular operating system and will ultimately stifle device innovation much like it has in the desktop world. Kada´s solution is aimed at standardizing the development process rather than standardizing the operating system which will enable device developers to streamline production and maintain design flexibility.”

Reducing the Time to Market and Increasing Product Innovation
Today a device manufacturer with multiple product lines typically specifies each line with its own OS, unique drivers, user interface capabilities and native Java virtual machine implementation. Katahdin, a software based silicon and operating system independent device integration platform, will enable device manufacturers to rapidly assemble their own mobile platforms from commercially available and internally developed components. In addition to enabling customization of devices, many of the Katahdin components will be reusable. This will reduce reducing development costs, while enabling the ODM to retain their existing software infrastructure.

Katahdin will benefit handset ODM’s who manufacture between 1 and 20 million devices per year. This includes the emerging breed of device manufacturers that are relying on first generation mobile reference platforms such as those provided by Kada and those vendors with more sophisticated software design capabilities.

The company has taken the first steps in delivering on Katahdin with its delivery of a fully optimized and compliant reference implementation of the Java 2 Micro edition (J2ME) specification that is ready to port and optimize on target platforms. Texas Instruments and other mobile device manufacturers have adopted this platform. With these J2ME relationships in place, Kada will deliver the full implementation of Katahdin by the end of 2003.

“The risks exist that as the mobile device market continues to grow it will evolve into a commodity market, much like that of the PC arena,” said Jim Acquaviva, CEO of Kada. “Today, device manufacturers are seeking strategies that balance the difficulties with the cost and time it takes to develop new handsets that offer functions and features to differentiate them in the market. This has given rise to a critical need for effective mobile platforms that serve as kits to enable electronic device manufacturers to assemble handsets from reusable hardware and software components.”

Mobile “Integration Design Platform”
Katahdin is a highly configurable next generation reference design for mobile devices that shields both Java and platform specific applications and device drivers from the operating system and associated libraries. The Katahdin design provides APIs and software runtime components that implement an API integration layer and a set of device driver abstraction layers. This software “backplane” will allow developers to quickly plug in new features on top of a standard set of device characteristics, develop new form factors and scale to new operating systems, all without modifying the software base.

Katahdin will support software components from industry standard operating systems, APIs, Device Drivers and Applications. It will also support widely deployed hardware standards for the infrastructure, wireless and user interfaces such as keyboards and voice codecs. Additionally it will offer synergy with other mobile platforms including Texas Instrument’s Wireless software foundation, Qualcomm’s Brew platform, Palm and the Symbian and .Net operating systems.

About Kada Systems
Kada Systems is shaping the future of distributed mobile computing delivering innovative technologies and solutions with an exclusive focus on the client side. As the leading provider of compliant operating system independent deployment solutions for mobile solution providers, Kada concentrates its resources on enabling its customers to achieve rapid time to market and maximum return on investment. Kada´s flagship product, its mature Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is a best-of-breed solution designed to meet the criteria, beyond small size and fast performance that OEMs, ODMs, developers and manufacturers require to go to market quickly. In partnership with leading organizations such as SUN, Cisco and Texas Instruments, Kada is actively advancing capabilities for smart handheld and wireless devices. Kada is headquartered in Burlington, Mass. The company has received funding from JK&B Capital of Chicago. For more information on Kada Systems and its products, visit the company on the Web at www.kadasystems.com.

Kada is a registered trademark of Kada Systems, Inc. Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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