In a recent turn of events, Google is now developing a new operating system that is in no way related to either Android or Chrome OS. This is a completely new, different and open-source OS that has recently seen lots of code commits from Google engineers in the last few weeks.
The new operating that Google is working on is codenamed ‘Fuchsia‘. The Mountain View-based tech giant is currently keeping mum on the details, but has dropped a cryptic message saying,
Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)
Atleast, this confirms to us that Fuchsia is actually an operating system under development at the moment. Diving deeper and looking at the docs attached with the code submissions, we find that Fuschia isn’t being built upon Linux but is using Magenta and LK(Little Kernel) for development.
Little Kernel is a tiny lightweight OS that is best suited for small embedded applications, bootloaders, and other primitive environment functions. Such embedded systems have a limited amount of RAM, a fixed set of peripherals and a closed set of task to perform. Being open-source and available under a MIT license makes it is good alternative to commercial offerings like FreeRTOS or ThreadX.
The usage of LK in the development gives us the idea that Google is now building a separate lightweight operating system to power its growing range of smart home and IoT devices.
As stated above, Fuchsia is also making use of a new Magenta kernel to lay ground for its new OS offering. Magenta, if you’re unaware, is designed to target modern phones and personal computers with fast processors, arbitrary amounts of RAM, and peripherals.
In Fuchsia, Google is using Magenta to build the inner constructs based on LK but the layers above are new. A Magenta process is made of LK-level constructs such as threads and memory. This, however, to the layman should mean that Fuchsia is being designed to be scalable all the way upto smartphones and personal computers(woah!).
In addition to this, the default programming language for the new OS is Dart. The code commits also show a lot of comments from Flutter, a project to help developers build high-performance mobile apps for iOS and Android from a single codebase. This indicates that the OS is likely to use Material Design for its user interface.
As for the currently supported hardware, the documentation provides booting instructions for Intel NUC and Acer Switch 12 laptop, but support for Raspberry Pi 3 is expected to be added very soon. If you’re interested in knowing more or contributing to the project, head to the Github page of the project.