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Embedded Linux provider touts 2.6.21 kernel support

May 15, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

TimeSys proudly said its online service has become the “first commercial embedded Linux offering” to support the 2.6.21 Linux kernel, notable for important real-time enhancements. One primary author of the new kernel's real-time capabilities is Thomas Gleixner (photo), whom TimeSys sponsors.

TimeSys is not a Linux distributor, per se. Rather, its LinuxLink subscription service is aimed at helping developers create and maintain their own custom distributions by providing, among other services, access to “continually updated” repositories of cross-compiled, tested binaries for a wide variety of architectures. The service is delivered under a subscription model on a per-processor basis.

The first LinuxLink to include an optimized 2.6.21 kernel is designed for AMCC's 405EP processor, and supports AMCC's 405EP Taihu evaluation board (photo at right). Supported devices include serial, Ethernet, and USB ports, as well as Flash memory. Further details are here.

AMCC's Taihu board diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Other processors will receive optimized 2.6.21 kernels in the coming weeks, TimeSys said. It maintains a list of supported processors here.

New real-time features in the mainline 2.6.21 kernel include:

  • High resolution timers on top of the hrtimers infrastructure
  • Dynticks, said to provide improvements in power savings and multi-tasking

More about the kernel can be found in this 2.6.21 kernel overview by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

CEO Atul Bansal stated, “The 2.6.21 kernel is a big step forward for real-time performance in Linux and TimeSys is pleased to incorporate [it] into our product quickly.”

Gleixner also contributed to real-time advances associated with the 2.6.18 kernel. The predictable performance characteristics associated with real-time operating systems have been a high priority among kernel developers of late (so to speak), with downstream vendors from Red Hat to MontaVista announcing new native real-time capabilities.

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