4/15/2003 - Virtio Corporation, the creator of virtual platforms for embedded software development, and Metrowerks, a leading provider of software development tools and services, announced that the two companies have joined forces to offer a comprehensive development environment, in software, for mobile phone developers. The cooperative effort is reflected in an alliance that includes a technology license. Under the terms of the agreement, Metrowerks has licensed Virtio’s technology and library of platforms and components to integrate Softboards into Metrowerks’ CodeWarriorTM Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The initial product offering resulting from this joint effort, CodeWarrior for Symbian OS v2, OEM Edition, is expected to incorporate the Softboard of VPXS, Virtio’s Virtual Platform for Intel® PXA250 applications processor development board running Symbian OS v7 and is targeted towards embedded developers building complex, high functionality mobile phone products. Symbian OS is the global industry standard operating system for advanced mobile phones.
The Metrowerks-Virtio alliance is an important step in addressing the changing needs of the embedded systems market. It is the first commercial realization of a comprehensive development environment, in software, that is designed to offer all the pieces—software, hardware, the OS and the IDE--necessary for a successful embedded software product implementation. This combination is expected to yield significant time savings for the overall product development process by providing the ability to concurrently develop, integrate and test software with target hardware—factors that have a serious impact on the ultimate success or failure of today’s mobile phone products.
Shay Ben-Chorin, president and CEO for Virtio, stated, “The product resulting from Virtio’s and Metrowerks’ joint efforts is a software solution that really is the forerunner of how we anticipate embedded systems products are expected to be developed from now on. Symbian OS developers may benefit from early and continuous access to embedded devices driving dramatic gains in software development productivity. Metrowerks and Virtio have combined their engineering efforts to offer this benefit out-of-the-box to developers. The Metrowerks CodeWarrior in-the-box Softboard is engineered to enable Symbian OS developers to boot the operating system and start developing application software with software-based representations of targeted devices. In addition, developers are offered the option to upgrade the Softboard to a Virtual Platform and gain full control and visibility into the hardware to help successfully integrate even low-level software with the targeted device.”
David Clifton, vice president of segment marketing for Metrowerks, noted, “Metrowerks works closely with silicon providers so that we have early access to hardware technology. Now, with this alliance and technology license, we can offer Softboards of current and next-generation hardware as part of our development environment. The resulting product is expected to be a development solution that enables developers to go from device concept to prototype creation to consumer market in significantly less time.”
“We are a software firm with years of expertise in creating tools for software developers,” Clifton continued. “We have long understood that availability of hardware is one of the key factors causing delays in embedded software development schedules and in order to increase the overall value of our product for our customers, we needed to be able to deliver a more comprehensive development environment that incorporates an accurate representation of the final hardware platform. With Virtio’s technology, we are able to deliver that value-add and achieve a significant competitive edge against other providers in the market.”
The combination of Virtio’s VPXS, Symbian OS and CodeWarrior for Symbian OS v2, OEM Edition, is expected to be the first product implementation resulting from the two companies joint development efforts. Metrowerks plans to create a variety of these targeted packages for specific market segments and developers.
Symbian and Intel Endorse the Joint Development Efforts of Virtio/Metrowerks
In response to the first product iteration resulting from the combined Virtio/Metrowerks alliance, Intel®, provider of the Intel PXA250 application processor and Symbian, provider of the Symbian OS, endorsed the development efforts.
Gary Fornim, director of ISV Enabling, Intel Corporation, noted, “Almost a year ago, we were excited to have Virtio announce its VPXS Virtual Platform for the PXA250 application processor as it provided a software-based approach for developing software applications, middleware, and device drivers without the need for physical hardware. Now, with Metrowerks and Virtio working together, this shows the power of virtual platforms as a key component of the software developers’ tool environment. Products of this kind are on target with meeting our customers’ requirements for better solutions to develop software for handheld and wireless devices. The ability to have the CodeWarrior IDE so closely integrated with the VPXS Virtual Platform further enhances the efforts of embedded developers to get their products up and running in a real-world mode without the need for requisite hardware.”
"Metrowerks and Symbian have developed CodeWarrior for Symbian OS to provide a tailored development environment for Symbian OS,” said David Wood, EVP, Partnering, of Symbian. By integrating Virtio Softboard support, Metrowerks delivers new possibilities to Symbian OS developers, including easier debugging of hardware-specific problems and development of device drivers even before the availability of new hardware. We are delighted with the inclusion of the VPXS Softboard into CodeWarrior for Symbian OS v2, OEM Edition."
Virtio Platforms are complete models of embedded systems including processors, peripherals and user interfaces as well as connections to real world-like serial ports and network connections. Virtio offers three types of platform products: Platform Development Kit (PDK) targeted for developers that need the ability to customize the platform to match their embedded device, Virtual Platform (VP) targeted at software developers that need visibility and control of the hardware for integration and Softboard (SB) targeted at application developers that need the hardware functionality but have no need to see inside the hardware. Virtio products offer software teams improved productivity by enabling early software development and integration through focusing on the top three issues in embedded software development—early access to hardware, complete visibility into the hardware for integrating software and the ability to control the hardware during software integration.
Metrowerks creates CodeWarrior software and hardware products and services for developers, with a particular focus on the following industries: consumer electronics; transportation; wireless; and networking and communications. The CodeWarrior product line includes hardware and software development tools and middleware that enable customers to accelerate their time to market. In addition, Metrowerks is a recognized leader in the consumer electronics market, serving customers that include Sharp, SonyEricsson, Nintendo, Motorola PCS and more. The company also offers services, including training and custom software development. Founded in 1985, Metrowerks is today an independent operating subsidiary of Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT). Metrowerks corporate headquarters are in Austin, Texas; Metrowerks Europe is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland; and Metrowerks Japan is headquartered in Tokyo. For more information, please visit http://www.metrowerks.com/.
Virtio powers dramatic gains in software development by delivering early access to fast, full-function software emulation of embedded devices. Virtio is based in Campbell, California in the U.S.A with development centers at Campbell and the Alba Centre, Livingston, Scotland. Additional information about Virtio is available at www.virtio.com.
Symbian develops and licenses the global industry standard operating system for advanced mobile phones. The world’s leading handset manufacturers license Symbian OS, including Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens and Sony Ericsson. In total, Symbian OS licensees represent over 80% of worldwide mobile phone sales.
Symbian's mission is to create a global mass market for Symbian OS mobile phones by enabling its licensees to build winning products. Publicly announced Symbian OS phones include the NTT DoCoMo FOMA F2051, Sony Ericsson P800 Smartphone, Nokia 9210 series, 7650, 3650 and N-Gage. As at January 2003, 9 Symbian licensees had 20 Symbian OS phones in development. For further information about Symbian, please visit www.symbian.com.
Virtio is a trademark of Virtio Corp. MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.
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