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“Real-time” Linux supports popular PowerPC SoC

Sep 27, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

MontaVista has ported its newest “real-time” capable embedded Linux operating system to a PowerPC SoC (system-on-chip) targeting secure networking and pervasive computing applications. MontaVista's Linux Professional Edition 5.0 is claimed to offer the “first real-time Linux” for AMCC's 440EPx SoC.

In a statement, MontaVista noted that the 400EPx features a small footprint and low power dissipation, making it suitable for imaging and industrial control, in addition to networking applications. The company claims its Pro 5.0 embedded Linux OS and associated DevRocket tools suit the AMCC SoC better than freely available Linux code, thanks to extensive testing, productizing, and “PhD-level” support.

The 440EPx sampled in May of 2005, touted as the first of AMCC's PowerPC-based processors to feature an integrated security processor. Its “Turbo” security processor was then supported by QuickSec middleware for MontaVista's Linux distribution of the day, among other RTOSes (real-time operating systems).

AMCC 440EPx SoC function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Since the 440EPx's introductions, at least four embedded Linux vendors have touted their support for the part, including (in order of announcement) LynuxWorks, Denx, TimeSys, and Sysgo. Additionally, real-time Linux provider FSMLabs touted RTLinux's support for the 440EP, a variant without the crypto engine. RTLinux was later sold to Wind River, a MontaVista competitor.

MontaVista announced Pro 5.0 in April, claiming the product broke all barriers to the use of Linux in real-time embedded applications. The vendor has subsequently touted ports of Pro 5.0 to network processors that include the Freescale MPC8349E and Intel IXP435. Additionally, MontaVista pledged Pro 5.0 support for the AMCC 405EX and 460EX.

Charlie Ashton, director of software at AMCC, stated, “We have seen a strong customer demand for Linux in 440EPx designs. Many 440EPx designs require real-time behavior, and MontaVista Linux capabilities are a good fit.”

Embedded Planet EP440xS
(Click image for details)


MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 5.0 is available now, with single- and multi-seat licensing options.

Additionally, a unique, stackable, credit-card-sized development board based on the 440EPx just shipped last month — the Embedded Planet EP440xS.

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