GDC 2010: Qualcomm on bringing smartphones to India and China via Brew MP
Low cost smartphones get high-end features
However the more dynamic mobile world of Android, iPhone and other smartphone and app store technologies, has forced Qualcomm to have a serious rethink over the past few years about how Brew will work.
That's why it's split the client and the delivery parts of Brew, coming up with Brew MP; a backwards compatible mobile OS platform designed for what the company calls low-cost smartphones and feature-rich mid-tier handsets.
This includes devices with a range of CPUs from 300 - 700 MHz.
This market, which it expects to be hundreds of millions of units-strong, will be particularly important in areas such as China, India and Latin America where consumers can't afford $600 devices, and where carriers can't subside them.
Brewing up a storm
Support has already come from carriers such as Verizon and AT&T who expect to have devices out in late 2010. Indeed, AT&T will be using Brew MP across its entire Quick Messaging Devices range.
Qualcomm says dozens of Brew MP devices should be available in 2010.
In terms of how the technology works, it's a mixture of tight hardware integration and a consistent set of APIs, with an open philosophy when it comes to development and services.
In this way, you can create for Brew MP using either Java, Flash, widgets or native C/C++.
It will support OpenGL ES 2.0 hardware acceleration, and have touchscreen support including multi-touch. OpenMax will be used for the multimedia subsystem that will be introduced in Brew MP 1.1.
"We can support any technology that makes sense to the consumer, handset manufacturers or carriers," explains Qualcomm's director of product management Jason Kenagy.
"What's important is we have consistent applications and to get the highest performance out of the handsets."
You can find out more about Brew MP via its website.