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Microkernel vendor joins Linux, ARM ecosystems

Jun 18, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Virtualizing microkernel vendor Open Kernel Labs (OK) has joined the partner ecosystems of ARM and MontaVista. The Chicago-based spin-out from Australia's national computer R&D thinktank says that mutual customers have combined its products with MontaVista Linux for nearly two years.

OK spun out of NICTA (National Information/Communication Technology, Australia) in April. At the time, the start-up said it had already begun commercializing its flagship “OKL4” microkernel.

OKL4 offers a native programming environment for real-time executives, along with a minimal hardware abstraction layer (HAL) said to support various operating system “personalities,” including Linux and eCos, a minimalistic open source RTOS (real-time operating system). One early OKL4 customer appears to be Qualcomm, which apparently combined an early version of OKL4 with Linux in at least one mobile phone reference design.

OK CEO Steve Subar stated, “We believe that coordination between OK and MontaVista Software will continue to accelerate the rapid growth of Linux-based handsets in the global market. Our current and future customers will benefit from a closer collaboration between our two companies, especially in the areas of security and virtualization.”


Currently, OKL4 supports and is available for: ARM v5 (ARM9 processor family and XScale processors); ARM v6 (ARM11 processor family); x86 in 32- and 64-bit versions; and MIPS32 and MIPS64.

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