LONDON Sun Microsystems has started porting its OpenSolaris operating system on to ARM processor cores, targeting mobile, handheld and embedded applications, on the heels of being made available on Sparc processors targeting mainframes and servers.
Sun outlined its plans for the latest OpenSoalris version 2009.06 earlier this month.
The company which is in the midst of being acquired for $5.6 bn by Oracle said late last year that OpenSolaris was supported on Intel's Atom processors.
The OpenSolaris ARM port is actually based on the initial 2008.05 Project Indiana release of the operating system, which is now two releases behind.
Sun first started talking about bringing OpenSolaris into the mobile space in 2007 when Project Indiana was beginning to take off.
The new ARM port initially and specifically for NEC's NaviEngine 1, a multicore ARM11 based SoC and a reference board designed primarily for car computers and portable navigation devices as outlined in the release notes could soon make this a reality, though the project is still at an early stage.
"The OpenSolaris Operating System has many features well suited for embedded systems now and in the future. The kernel is fully preemptable and multithreaded, it provides real-time capabilities, and the modular architecture is highly configurable," the OpenSolaris ARM project page says. "Because of these advanced capabilities, we feel there are interesting opportunities to extend OpenSolaris to new platforms, such as the ARM architecture."