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From Minsk with love (and Linux BSPs)

Feb 27, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Embedded Linux is alive and well in Eastern Europe and Russia, says the CEO of a Belarus-based “full-service” device design startup. In a LinuxDevices interview, Promwad's Roman Pakholkov (pictured) describes his company's path to becoming an independent Linux product design… company with a global clientele.

Promwad specializes in custom Linux development using a variety of system-on-chips (SoCs) and operating systems. However, Linux has been the company's primary focus since its founding, Pakholkov explains.

As Pakholkov explains in the interview, Promwad began to come together as a collaboration among engineering associates in 2002, solidifying in 2004 as a contract electronics development house. This strategy was chosen, he said, “in part because it allows all our engineers to stay on the cutting edge of technology.” Challenges included finding the right technical talent, he said, which in some cases involved luring expats back to Eastern Europe.

Based in Minsk, Belarus, Promwad now has 35 employees. It plans to open satellite offices this year in the UK and in Russia. It was nominated last year for the “New Electronics of Russia” award for fast-growth companies.

Promwad's bread and butter involves developing board support packages (BSPs) for existing hardware platforms, as well as for hardware platforms developed in-house. The company performs Linux kernel adaptations, system level programming, real-time extensions for Linux, and for its own products, also writes middleware and other software. An increasing focus is on multimedia and wireless technologies, Pakholkov says.

Two recent Linux design wins from Promwad
(Click either for details)

Promwad's recent embedded Linux design wins include a DVR prototype, a data acquisition controller for automated power monitoring systems, a board controller that drives a large-scale LED-based advertising display, and a home-automation touchscreen panel. Additionally, Promwad recently created a mass-produced streaming multimedia product enjoying distribution in North America, Pakholkov says.

Click the link below to read the full interview:

CEO Interview: Roman Pakholkov of Promwad

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