Google engineers work on Fuchsia operating system

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Google engineers work on Fuchsia operating system

Advanced-stage project spotted on Github.

Google is thought to be working on a replacement for its Linux-based Android and ChromeOS operating systems, after an advanced-stage project called Fuchsia was spotted on the Github open source code repository.

There has been no official announcement around Fuchsia so far, but three operating system specialists are working on it and have so far committed a range of components to Github.

Five of those working on Fuschia - Adam BarthBrian Swetland, Travis Geiselbrecht, Petr Hosek (who made the intial commit to Github) and Eric Holland are all presently engineers at Google. 

Barth, Swetland and Geiselbrecht have in the past worked on a range of operating systems that including Palm and Hewlett-Packard's webOS, and BeOS that was once destined to compete against MacOS and Windows.

Although the initial commit to Github was made in June this year, copyright notices in the source code license suggest the project may have gestated in 2008.

Fuchsia currently has two related kernels: Magenta and LK (Little Kernel). Whereas Magenta is aimed at modern smartphones and computers with fast processors and plenty of memory, as well as peripherals, LK is a stripped-down version that is designed for small, embedded systems.

Based on the Github repository and Barth's presentations, Fuchsia could use the open source Flutter high-performance user interface framework with Mojo as the interprocess communications layer and application runtime.

Dart, a programming language developed by Google, is used to Flutter code apps, with a rendering engine named Escher taking care of graphics effects, using the OpenGL and Vulkan application programming interfaces.

A range of userland tools for the operating system, including compilers, codecs and emulators have also been ported to Fuchsia. Support for Raspberry PI3 is currently being worked on.

Fuchsia and its associated components can be built for Intel x86-64 and ARM AArch64 processor architectures, using the Ubuntu Linux distribution, with macOS in the wings.

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