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Atmel bundles embedded Linux dev service with ARM SoCs

May 3, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Chip-maker Atmel has selected the TimeSys LinuxLink service as the “primary Linux distribution mechanism” for its new ARM-based processors, TimeSys says. Atmel customers will receive a free one-month subscription to LinuxLink, providing them with a starting point, including the newest kernel optimizations and validated binaries, according to the companies.

Initially supported Atmel chips include:

  • AT91SAM9261, described by Atmel as the “first ultra low-power, deterministic microcontroller,” the AT91SAM9261 integrates an ARM9 core, USB2, and an LCD interface. It costs less than $10 in volume, and consumes less than 400 microamps when clocked at 0.0005 MHz, Atmel claims. It targets wireless handheld application, and is supported under LinuxLink by a 2.6.15 kernel, with a planned update to 2.6.16 in May, according to TimeSys.
  • AT91RM9200, a general-purpose ARM9 SoC (system-on-chip) featuring a 180MHz ARM920T core, and standard PC I/O, the AT91RM9200 has been used in several free board design projects. It is supported through LinuxLink by a 2.6.16 kernel, TimeSys says.

Additionally, forthcoming ARM-based Atmel chips will be supported through LinuxLink, the companies say.

LinuxLink grew out of an automated BSP validation service, after semiconductor vendors “fed back to us [about] its potential to allow their customers to have instant access to their latest technology for [a given] processor, on day one,” according to Michel Genard, VP of marketing at TimeSys. TimeSys launched LinuxLink last August, in conjunction with Freescale, MIPS, Intel, and ARM, and has continued to broaden the service's support for specific hardware, adding MMU-ful ColdFire chips, several DSP-enhanced MIPS cores, five Intel storage processor, and multi-threaded MIPS cores.

TimeSys says that compared to traditional “embedded distributions,” its LinuxLink model offers newer technology, in order to better serve developers and teams creating and maintaining their own Linux distributions — the largest segment of the commercial embedded Linux OS and tools market, it believes.

Alfredo Vadillo, Atmel's director for ARM-based products, stated, “We selected the LinuxLink model so that we can provide the latest innovations from our own development teams, as well as from the open source community, via one continuously updated commercial source. LinuxLink brings the rapid pace of innovation found in the open source community, along with valuable community support and tools to developers.”

Larry Weidman, CEO of TimeSys, added, “Atmel's selection of LinuxLink for their key processors is the latest validation of the LinuxLink approach.”


LinuxLink subscriptions are available now, priced at $3,000 per architecture. “Developer Edition” LinuxLink subscriptions are also available for $5,000 per architecture; these include subscriptions to TimeSys's Eclipse-based IDE (formerly “TimeStorm”), as well as access to online verification/validation services integrated with the tools.

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