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RTLinux on PPC Comes to VME and CPCI

Aug 10, 1999 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

SAN DIEGO, CA — Synergy Microsystems has announced a partnership with FSMLabs, the inventors of open source RTLinux (Realtime Linux) to produce “Industrial Linux”, which will offer developers the ability to use the Linux OS with both VME & CompactPCI boards to meet their hard real time embedded computing needs. Users will enjoy the benefits of an operating system which is not only open source but which also provides true hard real time response for critical military, industrial and commercial applications. In addition, Industrial Linux's symmetric multiprocessing capability will allow pplications to fully utilize the processing power of multiprocessor boards. Synergy, a leading manufacturer of multiprocessor computers, will offer Industrial Linux on its entire line of PowerPC-based boards in the next few months.

“Our customers have certainly taken notice of Linux.” commented Tom Powell, Synergy Microsystems CEO. “We're getting an increasing amount of inquiries about the availability of PowerPC single board computers running Linux. These customers would like to leverage their familiarity and comfort with a UNIX-like operating system as well as the open source nature of Linux. Previously however, Linux could only be used for non-real-time applications. With the advent of Industrial Linux, customers who prefer Linux will be able to have their hard real time needs met by this OS.”

Victor Yodaiken, president of FSM (Finite State Machine) Labs and a long time contributor to the Linux OS movement, added, “We're pleased to be working with Synergy Microsystems, with its engineering expertise and its firm commitment to Linux. FSMLabs has already successfully demonstrated Realtime Linux on Intel-based desktop and server platforms. Bringing this functionality to the embedded PowerPC single board computer space further legitimizes the viability of open source Linux as a robust, feature-rich OS that can serve a wide variety of needs.”

How Realtime Linux works

The Industrial Linux real time kernel works by treating the Linux OS kernel as a task executing under a small real time system. Industrial Linux decouples the mechanisms of the real time kernel from those of the Linux kernel so that each can be optimized independently for maximum performance. Interrupt latency is minimized, with an upper bound of under 20 µseconds. This level
of determinism compares quite favorably with the response times of other real time operating systems.

Symmetric Multiprocessing

Industrial Linux's Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) allows applications to fully utilize the processing potential of a multiprocessor CPU board, such as Synergy's dual- and quad-PowerPC 750 CPU boards. SMP allows Linux to dynamically balance the processing load equally among all the processors on the board, making the most efficient use of each processor for significantly improved performance.

About Synergy Microsystems (

Synergy Microsystems, Inc. specializes in designing and manufacturing multiprocessor single-board computers for VME and CompactPCI systems to meet the needs of demanding, hard real-time applications. The company
also supports a wide variety of I/O options with its line of PMC daughtercards and daughtercards from other manufacturers.

About Finite State Machine (FSM) Labs (

FSMLabs, Inc. (Socorro, NM) was started by the developers of Realtime Linux (RTLinux) and is one of the main developers of PowerPC Linux. FSMLabs provides core operating systems and commercial support for companies developing applications based on real-time and embedded Linux. FSMLabs offers core kernel expertise and development, and consults on general systems issues.

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