The Symbian Foundation has announced the open-source release of its microkernel (EKA2) and supporting SDK under the Eclipse Public License (EPL). The real-time microkernel, comprising a multi-tasking architecture, manages all system resources and frameworks necessary for the co-existence of the processes and applications that make up the complete system.
"The release of the micro kernel demonstrates three vital, guiding principles of the foundation: first, the commitment of many community members to the development of the platform -- in this case, Accenture, ARM, Nokia and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) all made contributions; second, progress in fulfilling our commitment to a complete open source release of Symbian; and third, a tangible example of providing the most advanced mobile platform in the world," said Lee Williams, Executive Director, Symbian Foundation.
To enable the community to fully utilize the open source kernel, Symbian is providing a freely available SDK that includes ARM's high-performance RVCT compiler toolchain. The SDK, which can be downloaded here, consists of:
- Open source kernel and other complementary packages
- High-performance ARM compiler toolchain (RVCT4.0): free to developers and companies of less than 20 employees
- Open source simulation environment based on QEMU
- Open source base support package for the low cost Beagle Board
- Supporting binaries
- Hardware execution environment
The Symbian Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation whose mission is to enable an open ecosystem for mobile devices. Symbian maintains the code for an open source software platform based on Symbian OS and software assets contributed by Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and Sony Ericsson, including the S60 and MOAP(S) user interfaces. Portions of the platform's source code have already been moved to open source, under the Eclipse Public License.