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高通开放网络代码,助力物联网发展

高通开放网络代码,助力物联网发展

Michal Lev-Ram 2013年12月12日
圣诞节即将到来之际,芯片制造商高通为开源社区送上了一份厚礼,宣布计划把网络代码贡献出来,希望借此推动物联网的发展。届时,手机、电视以及其他目前使用不同操作系统驱动的设备就能拥有共同语言,自由沟通。比如,手机里的内容将能够直接传到电视里。

    不远的将来,大家可以走进自己的家里,将手机里的内容直接传进电视里。这个预言听起来是不是很耳熟?那可能是因为这件事情已经进展了至少十年了。

    想要实现家中的无缝连接,最大的障碍之一是互通性问题——电视机、手机和家里的其他设备都是由不同的操作系统驱动的,无法使用同一种语言彼此“交流”。为了解决这个问题,移动产品芯片制造商高通(Qualcomm)开始建立开源的网络平台,希望借此让邻近的设备相互联通。(大体说来,这是一个位于现有操作系统之上的软件层。)本周二上午,这家位于圣迭哥的公司做出了更进一步的努力,宣布向名为“AllSeen联盟”的开源社区的成员公司开放所谓的AllJoyn编码。

    高通的互动平台部门主任罗伯•钱德霍克说:“我们从最开始就希望明确一点:此举的意义在于构建一个生态系统。”

    云计算公司Rackspace创立了开源云平台OpenStack,雅虎(Yahoo)也在大力赞助大数据软件项目Hadoop。与之类似,高通希望通过对社区开放AllJoyn编码,推动这个蓬勃发展的行业的公司来完善编码,同时把它用于研发“物联网”——赋予所有家庭和工业配件微处理能力和联网能力已经成为趋势。高通的最终目标是什么?顾客对智能和联网设备的需求越多,高通的芯片和其他配件就越能大卖。

    LG电子是AllSeen Alliance的早期成员公司之一。这家公司已经宣布将发布与明年生效的开源协议兼容的智能电视。夏普(Sharp)、HTC、松下(Panasonic)、思科(Cisco)和其他许多公司也都是这个联盟的成员公司。

    Linux基金会担任AllSeen联盟的主持,基金会的执行理事的吉姆•泽姆林说:“高通编写的代码是经过深思熟虑的。我们如今可以把它应用于迄今为止从未想过的事情上。”

    目前,高通的大部分精力都围绕着利用AllJoyn共享媒体内容。不过公司相信在不远的将来,开源技术可以应用于安全系统、烟雾警报器、可穿戴设备、医疗设备,当然,还有智能手机之间。

    显然,AllSeen 联盟的成功不仅依赖于有多少公司加入,还依赖于有多少制造商真正把开源代码应用到了他们的新配件上。不过如果说有哪家公司首先开始努力构建物联网,同时团结了各种各样的制造商,这家公司非高通莫属。它已经将产品卖给了大多数配件制造商,还通过以往推动智能手机和高速数据网络的爆炸式增长的经历证明了自身所起的作用。如今,当智能手机的销量增速放缓时,高通希望自己的加入——和整个行业的推动——可以开辟出全新的蓬勃发展的微芯片市场。换句话说,赶紧准备好,在不久的将来,你就能把手机里的内容传输到电视里了。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正  

    Someday in the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to walk into your home and stream content from your phone straight to your TV. Sound like a familiar prediction? That's probably because it's been in the works for at least a decade.

    One of the biggest hurdles to the seamlessly connected house has been the interoperability issue -- the fact that TVs, phones, and other devices around the home are powered by different operating systems and can't "talk" to each other in the same language. To fix this problem, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) has been working on an open-source networking platform that aims to connect nearby devices to each other. (It's basically a software layer that can sit on top of existing operating systems.) On Tuesday morning, the San Diego-based company took its efforts one step further, announcing it will spin out the so-called AllJoyn code to an open-source community of member companies, called the AllSeen Alliance.

    "From the very beginning we wanted to be very clear in that the value of this is to build an ecosystem," says Rob Chandhok, president of Qualcomm's interactive platforms division.

    Much like cloud computing player Rackspace (RAX) did with OpenStack, or Yahoo (YHOO) with its big data software project Hadoop, Qualcomm hopes opening up AllJoyn to the community at large will spawn a booming industry of companies that will both contribute to its code and use it to develop products for the "Internet of things" -- the trend of embedding processing power and connectivity in all sorts of household and industrial appliances. Qualcomm's end goal? The more consumers demand smart, connected devices, the more chips and other components the company sells.

    LG Electronics, one of the early member companies of the AllSeen Alliance, has already announced it will sell a smart TV compatible with the open-source protocol starting next year. Other member companies include Sharp, HTC, Panasonic, and Cisco (CSCO), along with a handful of other players.

    "The code that Qualcomm has developed is well thought out," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, which will play host to the AllSeen Alliance. "We can now apply it to things we haven't thought of to date."

    Currently, most of Qualcomm's public efforts have centered around sharing media content with AllJoyn. But in the near future, the company believes the open-source technology can also be used for connecting between security systems, smoke alarms, wearables, medical devices, and -- of course -- smartphones.

    Obviously, the success of the AllSeen Alliance won't just depend on how many companies join but on how many manufacturers actually implement the open-source code into their upcoming gadgets. But if there's one company that has a shot of leading efforts to streamline the Internet of things and rally a diverse base of manufacturers, it's Qualcomm. The company already sells its wares to most gadget makers, and proved instrumental in driving the explosive growth of smartphones and high-speed data networks in the past. Now, as growth of smartphone sales begins to wane, Qualcomm is hoping its entry -- and industrywide push -- will pave the way to a whole new, burgeoning market for its tiny chips. In other words, get ready to stream content from your phone to your TV sometime soon.

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