BREW (Wireless Binary Runtime Environment)

Basic information

BREW is the abbreviation of Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless. It is a value-added service based on the CDMA network "Wireless Internet Launch Platform" launched by Qualcomm in 2001 The basic platform for development and operation. Compared to Java, BREW is a lower-level technology.

Manufacturers and developers can expand the operating environment at any time to provide various additional performance modules required by the application, such as the multimedia, multiple connection methods, and location services included in the "wireless Internet launch platform" , User interface, network and other functional suites. The functional environment provided by BREW is like an operating system on a PC, which can be used by downloading specific types of applications or games through the service provider. At the same time, through the BREW interface function, the supplier can provide a complete set of information, business, and entertainment functions. In future versions, the BREW kernel class will be able to provide services such as Bluetooth technology, global positioning system (GPS) and data-based telephone services. Since fewer internal application development and integration tasks are required, OEMs can introduce new devices more quickly. Users can choose and download wireless software that suits their personal preferences. In this way, users will promote the development of new wireless data applications and service markets.

BREW is mainly used in the field of mobile communications. BREW is similar to an open and free PC operating system. Other manufacturers can design various applications on this platform. As a mobile phone application platform, BREW can support dozens of data services such as high-speed Internet access, downloading games, and wireless shopping. Manufacturers use BREW to design an application software that can be used by all mobile phones loaded with Qualcomm chips, and there will be no trouble of designing different mobile phone models on JAVA (another platform). In addition, BREW is also compatible with other languages, including JAVA and FLASH.

The BREW platform is part of a complete end-to-end solution for wireless application development, device configuration, application distribution, and billing and payment. The BREW solution includes the following components:

BREW application platform and migration tools for device manufacturers; BREW software development kit (SDK) for application developers; BREW managed and controlled by network operators Distribution system (BDS), with this distribution system, operators can easily put applications developed by developers into the market and coordinate billing and payment processes.

What is BREW

So, is BREW an operating system or a virtual machine (VM)? Neither. BREW is an abstraction layer on top of the embedded chip operating system, which can provide access to some low-level functions, environment variables and subroutines. It is not a VM, because it does not act as an interpreter, and the Java VM interprets the bytecode of the compiled Java program class files at runtime.

On the other hand, BREW is similar to embedded development using C language. Unlike J2ME, developers can write C code, which will be directly compiled for ARM processors in a highly constrained environment. This makes BREW compiled code more efficient in size and execution. Developers can write full-featured mail client programs less than 50KB in BREW. BREW also allows access to system-level functions such as integrating applications with TAPI interfaces. For example, users can make voice calls from within the BREW application. This is impossible in the J2ME environment.

BREW is also not a browser or i-Mode-like browser-based service. A browser is a program that allows users to view or download content from a website written in a specific markup language. For example, i-Mode uses CHTML to send data and services to the device. This means that the operation of i-Mode is limited to the CHTML markup set, and applications usually require the device to connect to the i-Mode server. If you use BREW, the connection status depends entirely on the function of the application, and has almost nothing to do with the BREW application platform. Developers can also write a browser in BREW to perform the operations performed by i-Mode, but that is not a function of the BREW platform.

The basic characteristics of BREW include binary, runtime, environment and wireless.

(1) Binary: The BREW API is a set of binary libraries and components. The generated target program is a CPU instruction that can be directly executed in a binary environment. This means that BREW applications are efficient and do not need to undergo any intermediate layer conversion.

(2) Runtime: BREW applications and extensions are discovered at runtime and loaded and run as needed. This not only provides a runtime support, but also shows that BREW uses an on-demand loading method, which saves the most system resources.

(3) Environment: An open and flexible client/server environment for wireless communication devices. It is such a structure that completely changed the awkward situation of a single application on a handheld device. At the same time, it is precisely because BREW provides a complete set of solutions that the environment for the survival of BREW applications is cultivated.

(4) Wireless (Wireless): It is specially designed for wireless communication equipment. This means that its requirements are concise and efficient, and it can be connected to the network anytime, anywhere, conveniently and quickly.

Development technology

The execution environment of BREW is called BREW AEE (Application Execution Environment), which is a middle-tier application with high efficiency, low cost and scalability. The BREW examples commonly seen are all written in C, but BREW development fully supports the C++ language, and it was announced in 2003 to support the Java language. At the BREW Developer Conference held in San Diego in July 2002, IBM and Insignia demonstrated the JAVA virtual machine (JVM) in the BREW environment. HP also switched its MicrochaiVM platform to BREW. IBM will provide a BREW development kit in the WebSphere Studio Device Developer product.

The BREW SDK has released multiple versions, 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.1, 4.0.4, and backward compatible. The latest version is 4.0.4. SDK is a set of API functions provided by BREW. OEM developers can use BREW to build application software for wireless devices (now wireless phones).

For the mobile phone field, BREW is a thin client, occupying about 150K of memory space, between application software and underlying system software (Application Specific Integrated Circuit, ASIC) Between. Therefore, developers can independently develop BREW applications without relevant device's chipset or air interface. CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) chipsets are a patent (specialty) of QUALCOMM, but BREW can also be implemented on mobile phones that use other wireless interface standards.

The BREW SDK is provided for free, but developers still need to install Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 or its subsequent version Visual C++.NET before using the BREW Simulator provided by the SDK to develop and test applications. BREW Simulator is a Windows program that can be compared to the AEE (Application Execution Environment) on the phone. The application program can be executed in BREW Simulator in the form of DLL. Because the DLL can only be used on the Windows platform, BREW Simulator can execute this DLL. Most mobile phones currently on the market use ARM kernel, not about DLL files.

BREW's Application Execution Environment (AEE) is a sophisticated software interface layer. Equipment manufacturers integrate it into their own software to support the BREW API and execution environment. Providing AEE in a new terminal device requires that the device manufacturer only needs to transplant AEE. In addition, BREW Emulator provides an AEE Windows port, so BREW Emulator can execute small programs for Windows. As the random memory and flash memory occupied by AEE are extremely small, it is suitable for low-end mainstream models.

In addition to providing BREW API services to the application, AEE also manages the execution of the application, responding to users and some emergencies in a timely manner. For example, when a running BREW application receives an incoming call, it can Automatically immediately suspend (suspend); and automatically resume (resume) work after the call is over.

In the BREW environment, Module is the basic organizational unit. The development of a BREW application can be interpreted from three parts, Module, Applet, and Extension. A Module can contain more than one Applet, or more than one Extension. Module A has one Applet A, and Applet A references Extension X; Module X only has one Extension; Module B has two Applets and one Extension. Some Modules are the code space (OEM Module image) at the factory, and some Modules are stored in the file system by downloading. These Modules can be divided into static and dynamic according to their nature, mainly including: dynamic Module (Applet), static Module (Applet) and dynamic extension class (Module).

Application Type

BREW allows users to customize handheld devices with only the applications they need. Users only need to press a few buttons to choose from numerous applications.

● Communication-instant messaging, email, ringtones and other interactive messaging

● Location-mapping, browsing, traffic and other specific location content

● Efficiency tools-mobile synchronization office applications and practical tools to improve personal efficiency

● Games-interactive games between a single player and multiple players

● Mobile commerce-account balance, Financial transactions such as retail and stock trading.

● Entertainment-music, video, humor, and even tracking an event

● Information-flight tracking, news, weather, sports and other daily information

● Extension-A powerful third-party extension of the BREW platform that developers can use in applications

Main content

The BREW runtime environment is a thinner software interface layer located on the chip On the wireless device between the system software and the application program, the end user can download the program wirelessly and run it on the BREW-enabled device. BREW has high flash memory and RAM usage efficiency. It includes the following:

BREW Application Platform

The complete BREW solution starts with an open, standard application execution platform residing on wireless devices.

● Thin-BREW is not just a reduced version of the product developed for PC or PDA, it is many times smaller than other application platforms or mature operating systems.

● Fast-The BREW platform is on top of the chip system software, enabling fast C/C++ native applications, as well as browsers and virtual machines based on Java technology and extensions (such as game engines and music players) ) Easy integration.

● Open-In addition to native C/C++, BREW also supports multiple languages, including Java, Extensible Markup Language (XML), Flash and other execution environments. Moreover, since it can reside on smartphones using any mobile operating system (OS) such as Palm, it can use the BREW Distribution System (BDS) to wirelessly download applications written for these OSs and make them like BREW applications Commercialization.

● Extensible-third parties can write extensions for the BREW platform to provide additional functionality to the application.

● Cost-effective-Reduce development costs and shorten the time to market for equipment manufacturers. Device manufacturers can spend less time developing applications and equipping different models of products with applications, while devoting more time to product design.

● Security-BREW provides protection for basic telephone and wireless network operations.

BREW Migration Package

The BREW platform promises unlimited simplification of the development and manufacturing of products and services, and its core is the BREW Migration Package. It shortens the process of integrating the BREW platform into newly developed equipment.

BREW SDK (software development kit)

BREW SDK allows developers to use standard tools to work in a familiar environment. In other words, it is possible to write applications used in BREW-based devices without knowing the source code of the chip system and having no direct relationship with the device manufacturer.

BREW Publishing System (BDS)

BDS allows operators to easily put applications obtained from developers on the market, and coordinate settlement and payment.

Operators can adjust BDS as needed, including managing their own application release and pricing, and choosing third-party management applications.

Five major advantages

Advantage one

First, for operators, BREW technology has nothing to do with the network. This means that it can be applied equally to all leading wireless technologies. The BREW platform can also be used successfully with existing circuit-switched networks to meet the needs of all parties, including those operators who cannot build packet networks in the near future and those who are deploying packet networks. This is very different from server-side solutions (such as WAP). The BREW platform is completely immune to network delays by virtue of its client-side execution functions. More advanced networks can improve the performance of BREW, but in any case, BREW can provide a good user experience for any existing 2G network or networks built in the future. Even without a 3G network, BREW applications can provide powerful services. At the same time, BREW can evolve and develop continuously with the upgrading of networks and equipment.

Advantage two

Secondly, for device manufacturers, the past mobile data services proved that due to high prices, efficient operating systems are not an efficient solution for wireless data applications , And the ideal situation is that the application should be perfect for all types of phones of different grades, make full use of the resources of the phone, and bring users an infinitely beautiful experience. The BREW application operating environment can be tightly integrated with the processing chips in the flash memory and RAM of the mobile device to achieve wide applicability. Essentially, BREW can provide software connections between the low-level functions of mobile devices and high-level applications written by third parties. The advantages of this scheme are obvious: software development becomes smoother and efficiency is improved. The simplicity of BREW software migration makes BREW function suitable for any handheld device manufacturer. The BREW platform is independent of the air interface and can be transplanted to CDMAIS-95A, IS-95B, 1x, 1xEV-DO and GSM/GPRS mobile phones. Because BREW only occupies about 150k of storage capacity in the entire system, manufacturers can provide more practical and interesting applications in low-end phones. This simple and inexpensive chip-level integration means that BREW can meet the preferences of the mass market.

Advantage Three

Thirdly, for application developers, quickly launching new applications to the market is the key to the success of software developers. The BREW execution platform is based on the popular programming language C/C++. This language has a huge user base. At present, 7 million developers use this language. They only need to master a little mobile phone knowledge to realize BREW support. The BREW development tool suite is free to download. And Java programmers can also benefit from BREW's chip-level integration. Generally speaking, Java applications need the support of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). IBM has written a separate JVM as an extension of BREW. Java developers can make full use of this JVM to write Java applications at one time and run them on all devices that support BREW, regardless of the manufacturer. In addition, BREW makes the installation of Java applications on mobile phones easier and easier, and can realize JVM upgrades and recalls wirelessly. With BREW, Java applications can run more easily on more phones. More importantly, the BREW solution includes a comprehensive billing and payment infrastructure-the BREW distribution system, which can ensure that developers can earn appropriate profits from their applications.

Advantage four

Fourth, for mobile phone users, BREW can be integrated at the chipset level, allowing network operators to provide practical applications to the lowest-cost mobile phones. Even users who are very price conscious can get new applications on their phones. Users can enjoy rich BREW services through BREW mobile phones. Users can wirelessly download various interesting and practical applications developed on the BREW platform to fully enjoy the infinite fun brought by personalized mobile phones.

At present, there are more than 50 BREW mobile phones on the market in the world. Kyocera of Japan and LG Electronics of South Korea have successively launched their respective BREW mobile phones. It is reported that these two mobile phones are the first to be launched by China Unicom for users. BREW mobile phone.

Advantage 5

A few days before China Unicom announced the launch of BREW business, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest CDMA mobile phone manufacturer, announced that it would launch Samsung SCH in the Chinese market. -X339CDMA1X mobile phone. The phone also supports the full range of value-added services of China Unicom, including BREW application download, color e (U-IMAP), interactive vision (WAP1.1) and UTK SMS value-added services

Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Binary operating environment

Qualcomm (QUALCOMM) launched

A mobile phone operating system (OS)

A complete set of end-to-end solutions for wireless data services

Before October 1, 2008, China Unicom will be responsible for operation.

After October 1, 2008, it will be transferred to China Telecom. Applications and games can be downloaded from Tianyi Space.

Compared with the operating system of the Java platform, BREW has many advantages: it is relatively safe (if there is no Qualcomm authorization or developer sig, users cannot install applications through other means), and Coverage is relatively wide. At present, 90% of CDMA functional phones can support BREW. Because brew uses C/C++ as a development language, applications are directly compiled into native code, and the running speed on mobile phones will be much faster than the java platform. At the same time, it also facilitates many companies and developers to quickly port their games on smartphones. In addition, the memory of mobile phones based on the brew platform is much larger than that of other platforms (non-smart phones). At the same time, the API provided by the brew platform is not available on many platforms, such as startup, background operation, SMS interception, etc.

Due to the rapid development of smart phones, Qualcomm has launched an operating system, Brew MP, on the brew platform, which can run applications and games on the brew platform.

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