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Telecom software giant partners with embedded Linux provider on multicore

Feb 2, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Swedish telecom software vendor Enea and Pittsburgh-based embedded Linux tools provider Timesys Corp. announced a partnership on embedded Linux solutions for multicore processors. The agreement calls for Enea to distribute Timesys' LinuxLink embedded Linux platform build system worldwide, and for both companies to collaborate on Linux development tools for standalone and heterogeneous multicore applications.

In addition to collaborating on multicore Linux tools, Enea and Timesys will offer joint development of "value-added platforms and go to market activities," says Enea. The two companies will also collaborate on marketing and market development programs, says the company.

Enea, which also announced that it has joined the Linux Foundation, says it expects to start rolling out multicore platforms in the first quarter of this year. Timesys' LinuxLink will act as a complement to Enea's own telecom-oriented OSE real-time operating system (RTOS) and related tools, the Swedish company also noted.

Pulling the plug on ELPF?

It is unclear whether the Timesys agreement means an end to Enea's homegrown, Eclipse-based Enea Linux Project Framework (ELPF) embedded Linux configuration and build tool. ELPF provides a custom-fit, built-to-order embedded Linux platform that combines a modular build environment and professional services. Application-specific components are said to include security software and web services.

ELPF has a broader focus than Enea's telecom-oriented Enea Accelerator Platform, which is designed for IP-based services built on carrier-grade infrastructure. The soup-to-nuts Accelerator integrates a variety of telecom-oriented software, and is built on MontaVista or Wind River Linux kernel distributions. The major component is Enea's high-availability Element middleware, which is designed for heterogeneous telecom environments that mix Linux with Enea's OSE.

Distribution deal extends LinuxLink overseas

The distribution part of the deal should help spread Timesys' low-cost LinuxLink build service to a greater audience via Enea's offices in Europe and Asia, as well as North America. Enea will offer first line support for its customers using LinuxLink, says the company. Timesys currently offers only online distribution.

LinuxLink is available in a new free online version, as well as the traditional, subscription-based desktop/online versions. Both versions offer collections of Linux sources, gathered and updated from thousands of community sources, and patched and configured for a variety of processors and development kits. LinuxLink also offers Linux kernels, toolchains, debuggers, the TimeStorm Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), and the Web Factory build system, among other features.

In October, Timesys added a LinuxLink Rich Multimedia User Interfaces (Rich MUI) subscription that incorporates the Qt framework, GStreamer, and other components. Rich MUI initially targets Texas Instruments' DaVinci, OMAP, and Sitara system-on-chips, as well as Freescale's i.MX51, says the company.

Enea's multicore maneuvers

In September, Enea announced the release of an ELPF-based Linux configuration and build environment for NetLogic Microsystems' multicore processors. Billed as "an intuitive and extensible Linux jump start kit," the build environment is integrated with NetLogic's Linux software development kit (SDK).

The package is offered free to customers using NetLogic's MIPS-based, eight-core XLP system-on-chip, as well as its lower-end XLR and XLS SoCs. Enea's offering is said to incorporate graphical configuration, build, and debug tools.

Last year, Timesys announced LinuxLink support for NetLogic's MIPS32-based, single-core Alchemy Au1250 and Alchemy Au1300 SoCs, but not for NetLogic's multicore SoCs, led by the XLP. Last March, Timesys also announced support for Wintegra's dual MIPS 34K core "WinPath 3" IP packet processor.

Timesys provides LinuxLink support for other multicore platforms, as well, such as Freescale Semiconductor's QorIQ. In April, Enea signed a strategic agreement with Freescale to support its multicore QorIQ and PowerQUICC processors, but that deal only applied to Enea's flagship OSE. Freescale separately hooked up with Mentor Graphics to offer Linux support for the platforms.

Stated Atul Bansal, CEO, Timesys Corp. "We are excited to collaborate with Enea and offer our embedded Linux products alongside Enea's industry-leading RTOS, hypervisors, tools and related platform middleware. Together with Enea, we will provide our mutual customers with the broadest portfolio of application development tools, enabling them to quickly and profitably develop differentiated multicore devices."

Stated Marcus Hjortsberg, vice president of marketing at Enea, "We see strong demand from our customers for a single vendor that can provide best-in-class support for heterogeneous operating environments based on both realtime and Linux operating systems. Timesys offers the industry's best Linux tools and expert support that will allow our customers to leverage the technological advancements and ecosystem advantages Linux offers."

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