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“Monahans” mobile processor gains commercial Linux support

Apr 5, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Wind River is sampling a version of its consumer electronics Linux distribution that supports Intel's next-generation mobile applications processor, codenamed “Monahans,” which is also currently sampling. Additionally, Wind River says its professional services team will support Monahans-family processors with BSP (board-support package) integrations, and other customizations.

Monahans — Bulverde's successor

Intel announced it had begun sampling Monahans during a keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) last month by EVP Sean Maloney. Maloney had previously announced Monahans, in August of 2005.

Like earlier PXA-series XScale processors for mobile and hand-held applications, Monahans is based Intel's implementation of an ISA (instruction set architecture) licensed from ARM. It additionally incorporates MMX II instructions, along with power-saving technology that can “shut down the microprocessor power consumption…in the output phase of audio or video,” according to Maloney.

Intel has yet to announce specific product names, clockspeeds, and other details pertaining to Monahans chips. It has said that it expects to deliver “a wide range of performance, power, and integration levels,” however. Some models could clock as high as 1.2GHz, Maloney says, while using significantly less power than previous XScale chips to render downloaded and broadcast video. Maloney featured DVB-H prominently when he announced Monahans.

Wind River's Monahans support

Wind River says its Platform for Consumer Devices (PCD), Linux Edition now offers sample Monahans compatibility, and is backed by its worldwide support organization. Additionally, the “Linux Services Practice” within its professional services team stands ready to offer Monahans-specific “extensions” to the Platform, such as board support package (BSP) integration, and other customizations, it says.

Wind River claims to be the “fastest growing… commercial Linux device software provider,” and appears to be the first Linux vendor to announce Monahans support. Reference board vendor InHand earlier this week announced a Monahans-based board design with a Linux BSP.

Wind River says its commercially supported Linux distributions are based on Linux 2.6 “pristine-source” that has been “fully tested and validated.” The company also touts its “cutting-edge” Eclipse-based development suite, and its 20-plus years of experience in the embedded software industry.

Barry Evans, GM of Intel's applications processor group, stated, “As Intel rolls out the Monahans platform family to handheld device manufacturers, Wind River Platform for Consumer Devices, Linux Edition delivers the optimizations and support manufacturers require.”

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