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Kit enables long-distance cell upgrades

Posted: 09 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:extended systems? software development kit? device-management protocol? cellphone? bluetooth?

Extended Systems Inc. will announce a software development kit that lets manufacturers embed client-side device-management protocols in cellphones. The kit leverages the company's expertise in compact code generation for Bluetooth and irda wireless devices and complies with open mobile alliance (OMA) SyncML-based specs.

Client-side device management is one leg of a three-part system that allows operators to provide over-the-air firmware patch upgrades and applications distribution and provisioning on cellphones, said Brian Senese, an applications engineer at Extended Systems. The other two parts--a device-management server and patch server--lie on the carrier side, he said. The former sends and receives data from a caller; the latter handles upgrades for different cell phone models.

Extended Systems is staying on the client side. Its client includes a data-management tree that contains OMA-defined provisioning data, such as the cellphone manufacturer and device number. The client, for which the company has developed the XTNDAccess software development kit (SDK), facilitates the sending of information to and from a cellphone. But that wasn't the initial intent, said Senese.

"We started out developing a SyncML client kit to manage local data, including synchronization and pin management. From there we found we could do full device management based on SyncML," he said. "But carriers wanted to do over-the-air upgrades."

Carriers also "want to be able to buy from multiple sources, and we're fully tested under OMA," Senese said. "We've been doing SyncML for over 1 1/2 years and we have 10 years' experience in embedded with IrDA and then Bluetooth." As a result, Extended's device manager can be kept to under 40KB of program memory, he said.

The SDK comprises a suite of portable source code, including SyncML parsers, APIs and sample applications. The kit is available now, priced at $38,500, while a maintenance contract costs $7,500. Taiwan's Quanta Computer Inc. has already licensed the kit, Extended Systems said.

- Patrick Mannion

EE Times

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