SAN JOSE, Calif. Adobe Systems and ARM Ltd. aim to bring Web video to a broad class of mobile systems with their collaboration on a new version of Adobe Flash Player 10. But the software may not be widely available until early next year, and even then it will require OEMs to write or at least review fine details of the code for optimal performance.
As much as 80 percent of Web video today is based on Adobe Flash written for the x86 processor and Microsoft Windows. Adobe and ARM announced last year their plans for a native ARM version geared for smart phones, netbooks and other devices.
In an update on the effort, the duo said progress has been good, but the complexity of the job may push out broad availability until early 2010. That's because the job requires significant work on graphics, codecs and Adobe's scripting language as well as significant integration and testing among separate chip, software and systems vendors.
"We're coming down to home stretch and soon the work shifts to delivering [code] to OEMs," said Anup Murarka, director of technology strategy and partner development, for Flash at Adobe.
"We're on track [to finish internal work midyear, have a] summer or early fall beta with OEMs and a final production release at the end of this year, but it's really looking like it will be very early next year" before systems ship using the code, he said.
"We're doing code drops on a regular basis to OEM partners to ensure releases are out early," Murarka said. "It's complex, but we want to make it happen as soon as we can."
Since late last year, Adobe has demonstrated versions of Flash 10 on ARM working under operating systems including Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Palm announced in February it is working with Adobe on a version of Flash 10 for its upcoming Pre handsets. Neither Adobe nor Apple has made any announcements about versions for the iPhone.
Although geared for the high volume smart phone, the same code is expected to run on a variety of mobile devices that support a full operating system including netbooks.