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MontaVista Linux drives Dell’s quick-boot feature

Oct 2, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 22 views

[Updated 3:45PM] — CEO Rusty Harris revealed MontaVista's role developing the quick-booting, ARM-based processor subsystem expected to ship this year in select Dell laptop models. The “Latitude ON” feature aims to give enterprise laptop users instant boot-up and access to select applications, with multi-day battery… lifetimes.

(Click for larger view of the Dell Latitude E4200)

The Latitude ON feature is expected to arrive “in the coming months” on the Latitude E4200 (pictured above) and E4300, the two lightest-weight models of the five re-engineered Dell Latitudes announced by the company in August. Latitude ON uses “a dedicated low-voltage sub-processor and OS that can enable multi-day battery life” for the Windows Vista notebooks, Dell said. Dell also said the technology will provide access to the web, email, attachments, calendar, and contacts “in seconds.”

Now, MontaVista CEO Rusty CEO has revealed a few more details. In his keynote at the MontaVista Vision 2008 conference in San Francisco today, Harris confirmed that MontaVista not only ported Linux to the low-voltage subprocessor used in the laptops, but also integrated the middleware and application stack, part of a new focus for the company on working further up the stack, Harris hinted.

Later, in a private conversation with LinuxDevices, Harris revealed a few more details. Noting that he'll be able to share more after the Latitude ON devices actually ship, Harris said, “First, it's built on our Mobile 5.0 product (story), because it provides all the capabilities you need for a mobile device. Second, it's built on a TI processor. And, we integrated all the middleware and application layer.”

Pointing to the opportunity ahead in MIDs (mobile Internet devices), which ABI recently forecast as outselling netbooks within a few years, Harris said, “While everyone else is talking about having a MID stack, we'll be shipping one.” (Competitor Wind River recently announced that it, too, is working on a MID stack based on Moblin).

Harris said MontaVista's deal with Dell was “front-end paid,” while also carrying “a royalty aspect to it.” Thus, it could prove significant, especially if other laptop makers follow suit with similar features.

For additional details on Dell's Latitude ON notebooks, see our earlier coverage, here. Or, click below for a promotional video touting the technology's promise.


The Dell page for the new Latitudes may be found here, but at present there is almost nothing available about Latitude ON.

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