TOKYO NEC Electronics Corp. has proposed an open platform dubbed platformOViA for embedded software deployment and reuse.
Compared with platforms such as Toshiba's MeP and Matsushita's Unifier, which are based on specific processors, platformOViA (Open, Value Interface for your Applications) runs on a variety of ASSPs. NEC Electronics said it intends to focus on mobile phones, digital audio/video systems and car information systems as the first target markets.
NEC has MP-series chips for mobile phones, EMMArchitecture devices for digital audio/video products and its proprietary VR series processors for high-performance applications. It will introduce an OViA-compliant version of the MP series by the end of 2005 and EMMArchtecture chips next year.
The platformOViA includes three hardware layers, basic software and middleware. NEC Electronics will supply the first two layers. In between the basic software and middleware layers, NEC is proposing a media interface. Upper layers of the media interface will not depend on the hardware, and are therefore reusable. Interface specifications will be opened by as early as October.
NEC Electronics is negotiating with vendors to supply basic software and middleware for OViA. Vendors include: Access Co. Ltd. for browser software; Aprix Corp. and Esmertec AG for Java; MontaVista Software Inc. for Linux operating system software; and Wind River Systems Inc. for the development environment supported the platformOViA. NEC said it will increase the number of software partners to about 50 worldwide by March 2007.
“OViA does not necessarily change the business structure of our ASSP products. We have been offering our system-on-chip LSIs with driver software separately for each applications, but it's the time for integration,” said Toshio Nakajima, executive vice president of NEC Electronics.
The platform assumes Linux as the main operating system, though it uses other operating systems as well. The platform helps customers to shift from real-time operating systems to higher-level operating systems. “To realize recent rich multimedia functions, the shift is essential,” said Nakajima.