Huawei HarmonyOS NEXT to run on company-developed “Harmony Kernel”

By Rajesh Regmi 3 Min Read

HarmonyOS NEXT is shaping up to be Huawei’s most ambitious project yet. At their recent developer conference, the company shared updates about their new operating system. And the big news is that HarmonyOS NEXT will have its own kernel, aptly named “Harmony Kernel.”

The shift to a custom kernel follows Huawei’s previous confirmation that HarmonyOS NEXT will not support Android apps. It’s clear now that the company is pushing for a completely independent system with the new version of HarmonyOS.

What is a kernel?

For those who might not know, a kernel is essentially the heart and soul of an operating system. It is responsible for everything from managing traffic (processes) to allocating resources (memory) and ensuring smooth operation. Think of it as the foundation upon which everything else in the operating system is built.

Android Platform Architecture at Kernel level

While operating systems like Android and macOS rely on existing open-source kernels (Linux and Unix, respectively), Huawei decided to take on the big job of making its own kernel from the ground up. It’s a tough gig, but it will give Huawei more granular control and flexibility over its OS.

Harmony Kernel is 3x more efficient than Linux

Initially, Huawei is claiming the Harmony Kernel is three times more memory efficient than Linux. It’s designed to be highly efficient and fluid using what they call a ‘heterogeneous native-like’ mechanism.

Harmony Kernel Memory Efficiency

The company also revealed that its new operating system has received three top-tier security certifications at the kernel level. Plus, they’re jumping on the AI trend, equipping their OS with built-in AI to hold its own against other custom Android versions.

HarmonyOS NEXT apps

At the same time, Huawei has been collaborating with major Chinese companies to develop native apps for HarmonyOS NEXT. Their goal is to train over 100,000 developers each month to help grow the HarmonyOS app ecosystem. 

The company is currently aiming to have 5,000 native apps available in the HarmonyOS app store by the end of 2024. And looking forward, Huawei aims to exceed 500,000 native apps for HarmonyOS soon. 

Huawei says its goal with HarmonyOS NEXT is to create a privacy-focused, smooth, and user-friendly operating system. This move will also help it to be less dependent on US technology for its smartphone operating systems.

It’s an ambitious project, and only time will tell if Huawei can deliver on all its promises with HarmonyOS NEXT. The system is currently in the developer preview phase, with a full launch planned for the fourth quarter of 2024.

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