IBM, MontaVista to strengthen Linux ties to IBM PowerPC processors

East Fishkill, N.Y. and Sunnyvale, Calif. - IBM and MontaVista Software announced on January 22 a technology agreement under which MontaVista's embedded Linux platform will expand its support for the IBM PowerPC microprocessor.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor January 24, 2002

East Fishkill, N.Y. and Sunnyvale, Calif. IBM and MontaVista Software announced on January 22 a technology agreement under which MontaVista’s embedded Linux platform will expand its support for the IBM PowerPC microprocessor.

The agreement is designed to help ensure the IBM PowerPC microprocessors are fully supported by MontaVista Linux for embedded system and networking applications. IBM and MontaVista also plan to pursue joint sales and marketing activities.

In a separate, concurrent action, IBM has also taken a small equity stake in MontaVista. Terms were not disclosed.

‘Linux has become a requirement for many embedded and networking applications, so we’re strengthening our relationship with MontaVista Software to build on the strong enablement of Linux in IBM products,’ said Scottie Ginn, vice president, Pervasive Computing Group, IBM Microelectronics. ‘IBM continues to invest in the hardware and software technology essential to meeting the needs of our customers. We believe that MontaVista Linux along with the IBM PowerPC and IBM PowerNP can provide a consistent, scalable environment for everything from cell phones to routers.’

MontaVista Software was one of the first embedded software companies to develop a Linux-based platform for the IBM PowerPC family of processors, a focus that the company has maintained during its two years of commercial operation. The two companies had previously announced that they are collaborating to make the Linux operating system available for IBM PowerPC-based set-top box chips and IBM PowerNP NP4GS3 network processors.

‘Embedded systems developers have long valued the stability and performance embodied in the PowerPC architecture,’ said Jim Ready, ceo, MontaVista Software. ‘Now these same developers can couple next-generation IBM PowerPC and IBM PowerNP hardware platforms with the openness and performance of MontaVista’s embedded Linux environment. MontaVista Software joins IBM in delivering the software and hardware foundation for the next wave of networking systems and consumer devices.’

The scalable IBM PowerPC architecture provides a common Linux programming platform across the e-business infrastructure. The IBM PowerNP and IBM PowerPC processors and cores are suited for data storage devices and servers that feed the network; wired hubs, routers, and switches that make up the network; and the hand-held communications devices and other pervasive computing products that access the network.

IBM’s stand-alone microprocessors and embedded processors are available in speeds ranging from 25 to 700MHz, each varying in power consumption, cost, size, and level of integration. MontaVista Linux Professional Edition is available direct from MontaVista and MontaVista distribution channels worldwide as a product subscription, providing the MontaVista Linux kernel, software updates, utilities, development tools and one year of technical support. It is open source, royalty-free, and, said to be built from 100 percent pure Linux sources. Also available from MontaVista Software are expanded technology add-on products, including embedded Java, high-availability technology, and graphical toolkits.