Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Nov 2013 23:06 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I've always known this, and I'm sure most of you do too, but we never really talk about it. Every smartphone or other device with mobile communications capability (e.g. 3G or LTE) actually runs not one, but two operating systems. Aside from the operating system that we as end-users see (Android, iOS, PalmOS), it also runs a small operating system that manages everything related to radio. Since this functionality is highly timing-dependent, a real-time operating system is required.

This operating system is stored in firmware, and runs on the baseband processor. As far as I know, this baseband RTOS is always entirely proprietary. For instance, the RTOS inside Qualcomm baseband processors (in this specific case, the MSM6280) is called AMSS, built upon their own proprietary REX kernel, and is made up of 69 concurrent tasks, handling everything from USB to GPS. It runs on an ARMv5 processor.

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What about QNX
by dsmogor on Wed 13th Nov 2013 13:04 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

It's an RTOS and is perfectly capable of running basband and radio on the same SOC.
BlackBerry could possibly design a cheapest smartphone ever if they exploited their gem fully.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about QNX
by zima on Tue 19th Nov 2013 23:25 in reply to "What about QNX"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Some Symbian devices already had that architecture, it didn't really result in major enough cost savings.

Reply Parent Score: 2