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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I think the term OS may be a bit overextended when applied to systems which are basically rudimentary executives.

What makes an OS and OS? Can we call DOS and OS? Or does an OS needs at least virtual memory? Or even a (G)UI?

Granted, the average woman/man on the street will use the term OS for Windows (and maybe Linux).
Nowadays even iOS or Android come to mind. But to me these a GP(general purpose)OS'es.
For example, QNX. This is the OS even claims to be an RTOS. But the executive is Neutrino, the ┬Ákernel.

So to me, any SW which handle resource management, offers some kind of IPC and supports multiple tasks is an OS.

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