Huawei launches its own Harmony operating system
At the Huawei Developer Conference, Huawei launched HarmonyOS – a new microkernel-based, distributed operating system designed to deliver a cohesive user experience across all devices and scenarios.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, explained the company’s thoughts behind developing this new OS. “We’re entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios. To support this, we felt it was important to have an operating system with improved cross-platform capabilities. We needed an OS that supports all scenarios, that can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms, and that can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security.”
“These were our goals with HarmonyOS,” he continued. “HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a microkernel-based, distributed OS that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios. It has a trustworthy and secure architecture, and it supports seamless collaboration across devices. You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices.”
Traditionally, new operating systems are released alongside new types of devices. As early as 10 years ago, Huawei envisioned a future where intelligence would seamlessly integrate with all aspects of our lives, and it began exploring how it might deliver this experience – one that would transcend the boundaries of physical space and span different hardware and platforms.
HarmonyOS is a lightweight, compact operating system with powerful functionality, and it will first be used for smart devices like smart watches, smart screens, in-vehicle systems, and smart speakers. Through this implementation, Huawei aims to establish an integrated and shared ecosystem across devices, create a secure and reliable runtime environment, and deliver a holistic intelligent experience across every interaction with every device.
By adopting distributed architecture and distributed virtual bus technology, HarmonyOS offers a shared communications platform, distributed data management, distributed task scheduling, and virtual peripherals. With HarmonyOS, app developers won’t have to deal with the underlying technology for distributed apps, allowing them to focus on their own individual service logic. Developing distributed apps will be easier than ever before. Apps built on HarmonyOS can run on different devices while delivering a seamless, collaborative experience across all scenarios.
HarmonyOS will address underperformance challenges with a Deterministic Latency Engine and high-performance Inter Process Communication (IPC). The Deterministic Latency Engine sets task execution priorities and time limits for scheduling in advance. Resources will gravitate toward tasks with higher priorities, reducing the response latency of apps by 25.7%. The microkernel can make IPC performance up to five times more efficient than existing systems.
HarmonyOS also uses a brand-new microkernel design that features enhanced security and low latency. This microkernel was designed to simplify kernel functions, implement as many system services as possible in user mode outside the kernel, and add mutual security protection. The microkernel itself provides only the most basic services like thread scheduling and IPC.
Powered by a multi-device IDE, multi-language unified compilation, and a distributed architecture kit, HarmonyOS can automatically adapt to different screen layout controls and interactions, and support both drag-and-drop control and preview-oriented visual programming. This allows developers to more efficiently build apps that run on multiple devices. With a multi-device IDE, developers can code their apps once and deploy them across multiple devices, creating a tightly integrated ecosystem across all user devices.