Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

Force Computers and MontaVista Team to Bring Linux to Embedded Computing

Jun 21, 1999 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

San Jose, Calif. — Force Computers, a Solectron subsidiary NYSE: SLR) and a leader in embedded computing, today announced it is working with MontaVista Software, Inc. ( to provide the Linux operating system for use in embedded and real-time computer applications. Called “Hard Hat Linux”, this new offering is being developed by MontaVista, initially for use with Force's Pentium II… processor-based CPCI-730 single board CompactPCI computer.

MontaVista will eventually offer Hard Hat Linux on both the Intel and PowerPC microprocessor architectures across a broad range of CompactPCI and VME-based board- and system-level products. Hard Hat Linux will be the first operating system environment to combine the extreme cost-effectiveness, openness, and flexibility of Linux with the reliability, small memory footprint, and real-time response attributes demanded by embedded systems OEMs. MontaVista, founded by James Ready (founder of Ready Systems), will provide full technical support, porting and customization services.

Said James Ready, president of MontaVista, “By adapting Linux to fit the needs of embedded developers, MontaVista's Hard Hat Linux offers a compelling combination of functionality, performance, flexibility and reliability. Embedded developers will now be able to join the worldwide Linux development community and benefit from the enormous selection of device drivers, applications as well as the functionality of Linux itself, and its extensive support for Internet protocols and applications. Force Computers, with its extensive range of embedded platforms, is perfectly positioned to help us lead the Linux charge into embedded computing.”

Said Chris Williams, vice president of marketing for Force, “Until now, no one has taken the initiative to tailor Linux for embedded system reliability and real-time response. MontaVista's executive team including founder James Ready and board member Jerry Kirk (founder of Microtec Research) both have a strong history in embedded systems software and a thorough understanding of OEM requirements for support and longevity of supply. We are extremely pleased to be working with this pioneering software company in bringing the many benefits of Linux to embedded applications.”

Hard Hat Linux will be available to Force CPCI-730 customers in Q3 of 1999. The first version, Hard Hat 1.0, is based on the Linux 2.2 kernel and is qualified and supported on Force hardware. Special embedded features include headless booting and operation (no keyboard, mouse or display required), and booting and communication over the CompactPCI backplane. Future releases will enhance the real-time response and be configurable to minimize the memory footprint. A comprehensive suite of development tools, including optimizing compilers for C, C++ and other languages, high-level debuggers, and performance monitoring tools will be available on first release.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.