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Post: #1

Symbian OS is a robust multi-tasking operating system, designed specifically for real-world wireless environments and the constraints of mobile phones (including limited amount of memory). Symbian OS is natively IP-based, with fully integrated communications and messaging. It supports all the leading industry standards that will be essential for this generation of data-enabled mobile phones. Symbian OS enables a large community of developers. The open platform allows the installation of third party software to further enhance the platform.Symbian OS is the open, standard operating system. It is designed for the specific requirements of data-enabled 2G, 2.5G and 3G mobile phones. Symbian OS includes a robust multi-tasking kernel, integrated telephony support, communications protocols, data management, advanced graphics support, a low-level graphical user interface framework and a variety of applications.
Post: #2
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Symbian OS is designed for the mobile phone environment. Symbian is an operating system targeted at mobile phones that offers a high level of integration with communication and personal information management (PIM) functionality.
Symbian OS is proven on several platforms. It started life as the operating system for the Psion series of consumer PDA products (including Series 5mx, Revo and netBook), and various adaptations by Diamond, Oregon Scientific and Ericsson. The first dedicated mobile phone incorporating Symbian OS was the Ericsson R380 Smartphone and the recently available is the Nokia 9210 Communicator.
The five key points - small mobile devices, mass-market, intermittent wireless connectivity, diversity of products and an open platform for independent software developers - are the premises on which Symbian OS was designed and developed. This makes it distinct from any desktop, workstation or server operating system. This also makes Symbian OS different from embedded operating systems.
Symbian is committed to open standards. Symbian OS has a POSIX-compliant interface and a Sun-approved JVM, and the company is actively working with emerging standards, such as J2ME, Bluetooth, MMS, IPV6 etc.
This document provides information about what is Symbian OS, its Architecture, features and applications.
Post: #3
1 .1 What is symbian os

Section 1.01 Symbian is an operating system (OS) targeted at mobile phones that offers a high-level of integration with communication and personal information management (PIM) functionality. Symbian OS combines middleware with wireless communications through an integrated mailbox and the integration of Java and PIM functionality (agenda and contacts). The Symbian OS is open for third-party development by independent software vendors, enterprise IT departments, network operators and Symbian OS licensees.
Symbian itself grew out of Psion Software (hence many of the similarities -often under the hood- between Psion's EPOC operating system and modern Symbian software platforms). Recognizing that the future was a connected one, with messaging, email and web central, mobile phone giants Ericsson and Nokia (plus a few others) were involved in setting up the new consortium with the Psion staff.
Today (2005), Psion itself has more or less ceased to exist, leaving Nokia and Sony Ericsson as the two dominant partners, at least in terms of investment and new products.
1.2 What is Symbian's significance in the wireless market?
Symbian plays a central role within the wireless market: Symbian's licensees represented over 80% of mobile phone sales in 2002. The importance of this role was underlined by Jorma Ollila, Chairman & CEO of Nokia, when he stated in May 2001, that ".by 2004, 50% of Nokia's 3G phones will be Symbian OS based"
The wireless market is changing, driven by customers who want access to services and applications that will add value to their leisure and work, and by operators who need a return on their huge investments in 3G licenses and infrastructure. They will have invested something like €300bn in Europe.
So we see fantastic opportunities. Opportunities for new services and applications, such as multi-user games, location based services for route planning or localized advertising, and soon wireless commerce. However this is a new world. Both handset manufactures and operators are moving from closed systems to open systems, giving users the ability to download applications and services. This change isn't going to be painless; however Symbian is in a unique position to minimize the cost of change. Symbian OS is an advanced, open platform and Symbian is committed to supporting, implementing, and guiding the major wireless standards. But perhaps most importantly of all, Symbian understands the wireless market and the way it is changing. This includes the necessary security infrastructure, application and service provisioning and their business models, and rapid service development.
Why Symbian OS?
2.1 Addressing specific needs

Small devices come in many shapes and sizes, each addressing distinct target markets that have different requirements. The market segment we are interested in is that of the mobile phone. The primary requirement of this market segment is that all products are great phones. This segment spans voice-centric phones with information capability (such as Series 60 phones) to information-centric devices with voice capability (such as UIQ and Series 80 phones). These advanced mobile phones integrate fully-featured personal digital assistant (PDA) capabilities with those of a traditional mobile phone in a single unit. In this article we’ll be looking at the critical factors for operating systems in this market.
It is important to look at the mobile phone market in isolation. It has specific needs that make it unlike markets for PCs or fixed domestic appliances. Scaling down a PC operating system, or bolting communication capabilities onto a small and basic operating system, results in too many fundamental compromises. Symbian believes that the mobile phone market has five key characteristics that make it unique, and result in the need for a specifically designed operating system:
 mobile phones are both small and mobile
 mobile phones are ubiquitous – they target a mass-market of consumer, enterprise and professional users
 mobile phones are occasionally connected – they can be used when connected to the wireless phone network, locally to other devices, or on their own
 manufacturers need to differentiate their products in order to innovate and compete in a fast-evolving market
 the platform has to be open to enable independent technology and software vendors to develop third-party applications, technologies and services
The way to grow the mobile phone market is to create good products – and the only way to create good products is to address each of these characteristics and ensure that technology doesn’t limit functionality. Meeting the impressive growth forecast by analysts in a reasonable time frame is only possible with the right operating system
2.2 Small and mobile, but always available
Mobile phones are both small and, by definition, mobile. This creates high user expectations. For instance, if you have your agenda on a phone that you also use to make calls and exchange data, you expect to be able to carry it with you at all times and to be instantly available whenever you want to use it.
Fulfilling these expectations makes considerable demands on power management. The device needs to be responsive in all situations, and cannot afford to go through a long boot sequence when it is turned on. In fact, the device should never be powered down completely since it needs to activate timed alarms or handle incoming calls. At the same time, a mobile phone must provide many hours of operation on a single charge or set of batteries. Meeting these contradictory requirements can only be done if the whole operating system is designed for efficiency.
2.3 Addressing the mass-market
Reliability is a major issue for mass-market phones. Data loss in a personal mobile phone causes a loss of trust between the user and the phone. A mobile phone therefore must be at least as resilient as paper diaries and agendas. Recalling phones to install service packs is a commercial and practical last resort – a mobile phone should never lock up or come with a major software defect. In fact, to use a PC term, it should never ever need a “reboot”! This is a far cry from desktop computers where bugs, crashes and reboots are expected.
However, reliability alone is not enough to make good products. Sound consumer design is also necessary, where:
• product applications take advantage of the mobile phone’s unique characteristics as well as its environment
• products should be designed to meet current usability and future developments in wireless technology
• Consistency of style is paramount – if a feature is too complex to use, then it cannot justify either the time it took to develop or the space it takes in the device.
An operating system targeted at mobile phones must support these design principles by offering a high-level of integration with communication and personal information management (PIM) functionality. Symbian OS combines high functionality middleware with superior wireless communications through an integrated mailbox and the integration of Java and PIM functionality (agenda and contacts).
2.4 Handling occasional connectivity
Accessing remote data, sending email or synchronizing calendars requires some type of connection. Mobility constraints generally make a wireless connection preferable – whether wide area (using wireless telephony) or personal area (such as infrared or Bluetooth links).
2.5 Product diversity
There is an apparent contradiction between software developers who want to develop for just one popular platform and manufacturers who each want to have a range of distinctive and innovative products. The circle can be squared by separating the user interface from the core operating system.
Advanced mobile phones or “smart phones” come in all sorts of shapes – from traditional designs resembling today’s mobile phones with main input via the phone keypad, to a tablet form factor operated with a stylus, to phones with larger screens and small keyboards.
This strategy ensures that Symbian OS phone manufacturers can create highly differentiated products while sharing a technology platform and keeping the learning curve to a minimum.
2.6 Open platform
An operating system for the mass-market must be open for third-party development – by independent software vendors, enterprise IT departments, network operators and Symbian OS licensees. In turn, this implies a manageable learning curve, standard languages such as C++ and Java, along with SDKs, tools, documentation, books, technical support and training. Symbian OS has a rich set of APIs for independent software developers, partners and licensees to write their applications.
Traditional standards such as Unicode for internationalization, a POSIX API, and Java are a must, but for an operating system to take its place in the connected world, open standards such as TCP/IP, POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, OBEX, WAP, i-mode, Java and SyncML should also be supported.
Symbian has trusted leading partners in the mobile phone market and actively participates in standards organizations (such as the Open Mobile Alliance and the Java Community Process). Through these, Symbian has advance
Furthermore, a user interface framework, data service enablers and application engines provide a solid base for application developers to target.
Post: #4
Post: #5
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Post: #6



Just like PCs have an operating system like Windows, Symbian is the O.S for mobile phones. But unlike PC design, mobile phone put constrains on a suitable O.S. The operating system has to have a low memory footprint, and low dynamic memory usage, and efficient power management framework and real time support for communication and telephony protocols. Symbian OS is designed for the mobile phone environment .It addresses constraints of mobile phones by providing a framework to handle low memory situations, a power management., and a rich software layer implementing industry standards for communication , telephony and data rendering .


Symbian OS development was a joint venture of world’s leading mobile phone companies like Nokia , Ericsson and Motorola . After the introduction of first generation mobile phones, these companies realized that adding new functionalities to their handsets was a key market sector. Thus back in 1998, they jointly developed an operating system suited for mobile phone environment.


Central to data enabled mobile phones is a fast, low power, low cost CPU core, which has a compact code and can be highly integrated with peripherals .The family of ARM architecture RISC processors are usually used .The CPU core has a memory management unit (MMU) for efficient usage of valuable memory space, and a cache for speedy access of data. The CPU core must be capable of operating in various privileged access modes to handle interrupts and exceptions .It is here, all the logic calculations and decisions are being carried out.


The CPU core is placed in an SoC . SoC also contains timers, interrupt controllers, DMA controllers and other vital peripherals for the effective functioning of phone operating system.These SoCs are often commercially available and are some times custom build by handset manufacturers . Some of the SoCs developed by Intel are Intel strong ARM processor series and Intel X-scale series.


Phone PCB is the motherboard of mobile. The system on chip (SoC) is placed in the phone PCB. The I\O systems like LCD , keypad , audio codec , radio , etc. are connected to this PCB. It also contains some memory.

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