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Online tool demo’s embedded Linux, dev tools

Oct 11, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

[Updated Oct. 12] — MontaVista launched an online evaluation system aimed at letting prospective customers easily evaluate its embedded Linux OS and development tools. The “TestDrive” system leverages Virtutech virtual platform technology and NoMachine network compression software to let users try MontaVista Linux and DevRocket tools remotely on several architectures.

The company hopes TestDrive will scale better than traditional evaluation systems, such as time-limited software CDs and downloads, or board farms like CMP's TechOnline service.

It works like this: After registration and screening, users are allowed to download a NoMachines NX client capable of running on any PC with Java installed. The NX client gives the user access to a remote Windows or Linux desktop running MontaVista's DevRocket 5.0 IDE (integrated development environment) loaded up with MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 5.0. The remote development host in turn can connect to a virtual target board farm, complete with “advanced debug and control console,” according to farm supplier Virtutech.

Virtutech said the farm is based on “Simics,” a mature board simulation product introduced in 2002. Recent versions of Simics have been positioned as providing “whole board” simulation with “cycle-accurate” instruction-set emulation, for meaningful hardware evaluation as well as software evaluation.

Jim Ready, MontaVista CTO, stated, “TestDrive [offers] a fully provisioned virtual environment. [The developer] doesn't need to download and install a lot of software, and doesn't have to buy the hardware.”

Joerg Bertholdt, MontaVista's director of marketing, stated, “We accelerate the vendor selection period.”

More details may be available at MontaVista's TestDrive signup page, here. The page currently lists only a pair of PowerPC boards as targets — Freescale's MPC8641D HPC-Net board, and AMCC's Ebony board (PPC440PC). However, target boards based on additional architectures will be added “as we feel comfortable with the Virtutech offerings,” promises Troy Kitch, product manager.

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