Virtualization come to mobiles

Most of the mobiles generally used are not compatible for more than one or two multimedia or web applications. Features found in one handset might be good for one application and not for other applications. In such cases you can't experience the best applications in one single handset. But virtualization can sort out this problem. Virtualization can be used by the handset makers to easily replicate the features used in other devices. It could help cell-phone makers provide a large number of features at a lower price.

The current scenario is that for each different operating system, Symbian, Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Mobile, or Google's (GOOG) Android, the programmers have to rewrite each and every application be it a game or a social networking feature. It takes a lot of time. Let's see how virtualization would help sort out these issues.

Accelerate phone design process

Virtualization software would enable the mobile-phone makers to add several features regardless of the operating system. In such a way, any hand-set manufacturer could use an e-mail application written for one system, calling features designed for another, and a web-browsing application written for a third OS. With the help of virtualization all these features could be integrated in one phone. It would definitely accelerate the phone-design process.

Lesser number of chips

Virtualization could also reduce the number of chips needed to run a phone. Typically a mobile phone require three processors. One baseband processor to communicate, an applications processor required for running applications like e-mail and a multimedia chip, which handles graphics, audio, and video. But a virtualized phone can achieve all of the above with just one or two processors instead of three. It would help the manufacturers to save $5 to $10 per phone.

Needs a boost

However the mobile-virtualization market is still in nascent stage and require sudden boost to flourish. In a recent survey it has been found that less than 5% of some 200 engineer respondents used virtualization in phones or other consumer appliances. Almost 30% of the respondents were not even familiar with this technology and half of them didn't know of its benefits. But the scenario may change in near future as some of the big names like Motorola, Intel, Texas Instruments, Cisco systems are investing in the projects related to virtualization.

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