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Linux “Acquisition Feeding Frenzy” Continues

Dec 7, 1999 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The recent Linux “acquisition feeding frenzy” continues, as Coollogic, Inc. (Dallas, TX) announces that it has acquired ON Channel, Inc. (Davis, Calif.), a leader in embedded Linux development, for an undisclosed sum. Both companies are privately held. ON Channel also is announcing today that it has released — and is actually shipping — one of the first commercial “real-world” embedded Linux… applications.

Coollogic is a full-spectrum provider of Internet Ready appliances and software systems, with a focus on delivering high volumes of private-branded network appliances into large vertical markets including network printing appliances, routers, and control systems. ON Channel, Inc. is one of the first companies to ship embedded Linux open source software solutions targeted towards Internet appliance and industrial device markets.

Two Major Products

As a result of its acquisition of ON Channel, Coollogic now has two major products: a hardware platform, the “E-Pilot” network appliance; and a Linux based software platform, the “ON Channel 2000” operating system.

The E-Pilot network appliance is a set-top-appliance sized device, approximately half the size of a VCR (2 x 11 x 9 in.), which contains a 180 MHz MediaGX processor. It's essentially a miniaturized PC in a box, with built-in Flash disk (up to 128 MBytes) and up to 64 MBytes DRAM memory. Both a 56 Kbps modem and a 10Base-T Ethernet interface are also built-in, making the E-Pilot network-ready for the most common internet connections: dial-up, DSL, and cable modem. Video output is equally flexible, including S-Video, composite, and RGB VGA connections, allowing the E-Pilot to be connected to virtually all common displays. Other standard PC peripheral interface ports are also provided, including PS/2 mouse, keyboard, printer port, and USB. Coollogic expects to sell its E-Pilot network appliance for under $200 in OEM quantities, to ISPs and other high volume customers. The E-Pilot's operating system is, of course, the ON Channel 2000 version of Linux.

The ON Channel 2000 operating system is a Linux implementation that has been enhanced, extended, and otherwise optimized for use in network- and internet-appliance applications. The OS is scalable from 500 KBytes to 20 MBytes in size, and is fitted with a modified XWindows that is geared towards ease-of-use appropriate for the internet-appliance market. The company intends to supply ON Channel 2000 — along with comprehensive development and support services — to OEMs who are developing embedded system products that can benefit from “an enhanced look and feel for internet access”.

Ed Ghafari, Coollogic's VP of Marketing, says “Embedded Linux enables the Internet community to move beyond the PC. It liberates information appliances from proprietary operating systems and opens the door for OpenSource/GPL-based applications to run on these devices. After all, OPEN is the essence of a free society,” continues Ghafari. “Our goal at Coollogic is to maintain the ON Channel brand and aggressively extend the ON Channel 2000 OS to various OEMs and VARs across multiple industries” adds Ghafari.

“Coollogic is beginning to deliver substantial volumes of their Internet Ready appliances through several vertical private label customers. This gives the ON Channel 2000 OS the opportunity to be immediately deployed on a large scale”, says Eric Powers, cofounder and chief technologist of ON Channel. “In addition, ON Channel 2000 will be open and available for third party hardware and software vendors to license and use across a variety of hardware platforms.”

About Coollogic (

Coollogic is an innovator and End-to-End Solutions provider of Internet Ready appliances and software systems. Focusing on open architecture and embedded software systems, Coollogic products provide customized, simple, and affordable Internet and network access for consumers and businesses. The company's products are designed specifically for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Vertical Market Integrators (VMIs). The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

About ON Channel (

ON Channel is a leader in providing embedded real-time Linux operating systems to OEM and solution providers developing Internet access devices and industrial embedded solutions. Its ON Channel 2000 software platform offers an open, inexpensive, stable, highly secure and expandable solution in a uniquely small memory footprint. The company provides custom interfaces, application development services, integration and technical support, which compliments its ON Channel 2000 embedded Linux operating system. ON Channel, a privately-held company, is headquartered in Davis, California.

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