An Android operating system (OS) port now is available as open source code for embedded systems. The port was a collaborative effort between IBM, Mentor Graphics, XGI (now part of SIS) and AppliedMicro. The feature set of the Android OS, and the performance and integration of Freescale and IBM processors based on Power Architecture can help embedded systems designers create products for networking, printing and imaging, industrial, storage and media equipment applications.
Mentor Graphics completed the Android RTOS port for IBM with the IBM 460S core, which is designed to address the performance and power demands of today’s communications, consumer electronics and storage embedded applications. In addition, the set-up included an AppliedMicro Canyonlands board and a Z11 graphics card from XGI.
Android’s multitasking, thread support, and other advanced OS features are ideal for embedded applications like digital routers, cable modems, industrial equipment, switches, television, notebooks, multifunction printers, touch screen interfaces for system controls, and networking appliances. Google Android offers ready-made application frameworks that enable developers to quickly build an application with the desired features and interface. For example, Android could manage a high-end printer equipped with a touch screen, not only the printer engine and network interface, but also the screen’s display and any interactions for changing print or network settings.