Symbian Operating System

Symbian is among the leading operating systems, designed for smartphones by Symbian Ltd which is currently maintained by Accenture. The concept of Symbian OS originally came as a descendent of EPOC OS, which is only capable of running under devices with or RISC machines (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) or ARM Processors.

Today, Symbian has been modified and turned into an open source platform with features like libraries, interface frameworks and references implementations of common tools. Symbian OS is also considered as the best platform to handle memory protection, pre-emptive multitasking.

Symbian was developed with limited resources, descriptors and clean-up stack are some of the Symbian-specific programming idioms that were devised specifically for conserving memory, as a part of Symbian’s main focus since its foundation as an operating system for handheld devices.

Symbian OS minimize the memory usage with such programming idioms, merged with some other techniques, and it also make memory leaks an infrequent event. Although the disk space on Symbian based devices are flash memory, these techniques are also devised for improving conservation of disk space.

When applications running on Symbian OS are not directly dealing with an event, the operating system shuts down the central processing unit (CPU) by a programing idiom called Active Objective. This automatic shutdown happens due to the event-based nature of Symbian OS. All of such techniques are used to extend the battery life.

Without any FileSystem support and networking which are functions provided by user-side servers, the Symbian OS contains a scheduler and memory management inside the microkernel architecture of the operating system, which means the minimum functionality necessary for robustness, and responsiveness is within the kernel.

Some of the base components such as the user library along with the Kernel are located at the lowest level of Symbian OS. User-side programs are allowed to make request to the Kernel by user library. The base layer of the operating system also contains file server to view the FileSystem on the devices similar to the disk operating system (DOS).

Symbian operating system is compatible with numerous FileSystem including File Allocation Table 32 (FAT32) and Symbian OS-specific NOR flash filing system. The FileSystem is not exposed to the users in the Phone user interface of Symbian OS, system libraries are located at the level right above the base and the software is arranged into a stack above these layers.

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