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Tools vendor touts low-cost Linux BSPs

Oct 9, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Timesys is offering low-cost, bare-bones Linux BSPs (board support packages) aimed at helping developers evaluate their apps on ARM development boards. Available for ARM9, ARM11, and ARM Cortex A8 based boards, the “Linux ReadyKits” include a pre-configured kernel, drivers, cross-toolchain, and minimalist RFS (root file system) built against glibc.

Given the amazing proliferation of system-on-chip processors in recent years, time to evaluation has certainly emerged as a key requirement for embedded developers. Timesys claims developers can use its ReadyKits to get Linux going on popular evaluation boards “within a few hours.” Since the Kits include source code and toolchains, developers can also compile their own applications for purposes of “validation, prototyping, and benchmarking,” TimeSys says.

In a brief interview with LinuxDevices, Timesys's director of project management, Maciej Halasz, explained that developers can use the low-cost BSPs before they have a budget, before deciding on Linux, and especially before choosing a hardware platform. The BSPs appear to be strategically offered across a wide range of performance points, spanning from ARM9 to ARM11 to ARM Cortex A-8 cores.

Supported evaluation boards include:

The bare-bones, downloadable BSPs come with access to web-based documentation, plus 14 days of “very basic support” said Halasz, who regularly co-hosts Timesys's LinuxLink Radio podcasts along with Gene Sally.

According to Halasz, ReadyKit customers who decide to pursue a particular platform can move up to a full Timesys LinuxLink subscription. Whereas ReadyKit offers “a very basic Linux toolchain, Linux kernel, and a very small file system,” full LinuxLink subscriptions “update the toolchain with necessary libraries for application development,” Halacz said. Additionally, LinuxLink offers “far more” technical support, he added, as well as additional libraries and packages for adding multimedia or networking capabilities.


Linux ReadyKits are available now, priced at $1,000 apiece (or $700 apiece during October). More information and purchases for Timesys should be available here.

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