You’ll have come across the term ‘mobile virtualization‘ I’m sure — but what does it mean and why’s there a business therein? Well, I had a chat with Glenda Dorchak, CEO of VirtualLogix, one of the leading companies in the space to find out more.
Let’s get started with the Q&A…
1: Glenda, in Barcelona I kept hearing about mobile virtualization and what a big deal it is. But it sounds complex. Can you explain, in a nutshell, what your company does?
Glenda: Sure, first off, VirtualLogix is a mobile virtualization software supplier with a long history. We are here because of smartphones. The big need we address is enabling low cost consumer smartphones.
2: Yes, we are hearing a lot about the sub $100 smartphone. Can you comment on what you see happening in the industry right now and where VirtualLogix fits in?
Glenda: Sure, this is what I see happening and where we play:
1) There is no question that as an industry we are seeing Moore’s Law take affect in lowering the cost of silicon, we saw this help along the PC industry, and we are seeing the need for a similar transition in mobile.
2) Our customers are ultimately the end users of handsets but the way we add value is by helping silicon vendors– including our newest customers announced at MWC, ST Ericsson and Infineon —- to take a low cost single chip implementation and turn it into rich functioning platform that OEMs can design on.
3: Ok, that is a good overview. Can you take it a level deeper to really outline the big benefits we can see from mobile virtualization technologies like yours?
Glenda: Of course. In the past, hardware, operating systems and peripherals were all integrated because there was not enough horsepower. Now, you can slip in a virtualization layer, right onto the metal, which is what we do. This abstracts and removes interdependencies of the hardware and the core layer from the OS and from various platform management technologies. So we are able to remove some of hardware dependencies through our patented technology that ultimately achieves much faster time to market for device makers.
But what is a mobile device now? New e-readers, new classes of handheld devices where gadget guys need lots of resources with video and graphics also want to compete in the handset space. So we create software that allows devices to be customized so it is easier to modify a phone into an e-reader. We will see a whole host of OEMs in Asia with a real strength in electronics doing this.
4: Last year, everyone was talking about Google and how Android was going to be fantastic. But we’ve seen quite a delay. What do you see?
Glenda: Android needs to grow up from an open source OS to a battle-hardened phone platform. Sure, it’s Linux, but look, RedHat and Novell have made businesses around Linux. The challenge with Android is that Google needs to understand how to make a business around open source and be able to lose some control of the brand.
5: Does your software work on any platform?
Glenda: Yes. The background on the company is around an engineering team that has been together for 20 years working with every form of OS environment. Our focus is on mobile with ARM platforms, and we are the only supplier that is both X86 and ARM complaint. Because of the team’s knowledge, we know how to design for mobile.
6: How are carriers part of the virtualization equation?
Glenda: We have had specific carriers that are more involved than others. Some, like China Mobile for example, very actively look at hardware architectures and are aware of how we play into that. The silicon customers or OEMs that we work with are having these discussions with the carrier or us directly.
What we say is they need an environment where they can both create compelling service solutions for subscribers to deliver best and stickiest service and need platforms to do this. We enable them to do that because of what our software enables, faster time to market, lower handset costs, and another piece that is growing issue is that of security. As these carriers subscribers use more resources like licensed video content and e-wallets then security is a huge issue.
Because our software creates safety zones to allow secure resources to stop malware, worms, viruses, etc. at the handset level. Have not seen attacks on handsets yet —- but we are hearing more concerns from OEMs and operators as smarter hackers are born.
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Thank you very much for taking the time, Glenda!
You can find out a lot more about VirtualLogix on their site: http://www.virtuallogix.com/