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Summary:

Motorola Ventures today put an undisclosed amount of money into Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup VirtualLogix, which aims to do for communications equipment and mobile devices what VMware has done for the server. I’m pretty leery of companies throwing around the v-word, but with its take on virtualization, […]

Motorola Ventures today put an undisclosed amount of money into Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup VirtualLogix, which aims to do for communications equipment and mobile devices what VMware has done for the server. I’m pretty leery of companies throwing around the v-word, but with its take on virtualization, VirtualLogix is actually creating value.

For proof, check out the plans for a sub-$100 multimedia 3G phone developed by Purple Labs using NXP chips running VirtualLogix’s software. The software allows a processor to run a rich operating system on the same chip that controls the baseband access. (In a typical smartphone — depending on the applications and radios needed — this takes two or more chips.) The end result is a high-end feature on a low-end phone using fewer chips. That’s excellent for device makers, but VirtualLogix counts among its investors TI and Intel, two companies that want to sell more chips.

VirtualLogix CEO Peter Richards explained this contrast away by saying the chip vendors just want to make customers happier. But while that may be true, what’s really behind the chip firms’ interest is VirtualLogix’s ability to take software written for single-core chips and run it on multicore chips by virtualizing the multicore hardware. Multicore chips aren’t in phones right now, but given how much we want our handheld devices to do, they will be.

The other beneficiary of virtualizing a communications device is the gear market, where VirtualLogix customers such as Alcatel-Lucent are using the software to combine multiple products, like call routing servers, call management servers, etc., into one box rather than four or five. Virtualization as offered by VMware and Xen is creating a lot of savings by allowing companies to reduce the number of servers they use in data centers, so it stands to reason that it can do the same in the telecommunications world.

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  1. Frank Miller Monday, April 21, 2008

    Jeez, anything for a buck I guess.

    It isn’t bad enough that these devices are struggling to do the things asked of them within the power constraints they have. Now you’re going to waste a bunch of charge on virtualization? I suppose if you put enough buzzwords together, you can get any vc to byte…

  2. Robin Wauters Monday, April 21, 2008

    More details about the funding, previous investors and total amount raised so far:

    http://virtualization.com/funding/2008/04/21/motorola-joins-investors-behind-virtuallogix/

  3. In developing markets such as in the Southeast Asia, where 3G network has been roll-out, operators and the general consumers are still bogged down by the high cost of 3G handsets, compared to 2G.

    Hopefully, the this sub $100 3g handsets will hit the market soon.

  4. Carmelo Lisciotto Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    I’m not sold on the whole virtualization hype.
    I’ve yet to see the claimed cost savings in any production environment.

    Carmelo Lisciotto

  5. McGuire’s Law » Blog Archive » Enabling Technology: Week of 4/20/08 Friday, April 25, 2008

    [...] Virtualization [...]

  6. Multicore’s Not-So-Secret Problem – GigaOM Thursday, June 19, 2008

    [...] of a performance drop caused by applications not keeping up with the cores. Software startup VirtualLogix is trying to use virtualization software to govern how multicore chips run applications by making the programs think they’re running [...]

  7. HipLogic Brings Virtualization to the Mobile Phone – GigaOM Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    [...] bringing virtualization to mobile phones include Adobe with its Flash efforts, Opera, and startup VirtualLogix. Since virtualization helps make the more than 1 billion mobile phones out there that aren’t [...]

  8. TI Sees Multicore Phones Coming in 2011 Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    [...] follows on a trend of smarter phones on which TI is banking. (TI has, along Motorola, invested in VirtualLogix, a company that provides virtualization software on mobile [...]

  9. TI Sees Multicore Phones Coming in 2011 | Design Website Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    [...] follows on a trend of smarter phones on which TI is banking. (TI has, along Motorola, invested in VirtualLogix, a company that provides virtualization software on mobile [...]

  10. Mobile Virtualization Bringing One Phone for Both Work and Play: Tech News « Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    [...] like hardware and effectively create a virtually working computer environment within a physical one, which can save on hardware costs. These virtual machines aren’t uncommon today on powerful desktops and notebooks, but are now [...]

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