IBM and MontaVista Software have signed a technology agreement under which MontaVista's embedded Linux platform will expand its support for the IBM PowerPC microprocessor.
The agreement should ensure the IBM PowerPC microprocessors are fully supported by MontaVista Linux for embedded system and networking applications.IBM and MontaVista also plan to pursue joint sales and marketing activities.
In a separate, concurrent action, IBM has also taken a small equity stake in MontaVista.
“Linux has become a requirement for many embedded and networking applications, so we're strengthening our relationship with MontaVista Software to build on the strong enabling of Linux in IBM products,” said Scottie Ginn, vice president, Pervasive Computing Group, IBM Microelectronics.
The two companies had previously announced that they are collaborating to make the Linux operating system available for IBM PowerPC-based set-top box chips and IBM PowerNP NP4GS3 network processors.
The scalable IBM PowerPC architecture provides a common Linux programming platform across the e-business infrastructure. The IBM PowerNP and IBM PowerPC processors and cores are suited for data storage devices and servers that feed the network; wired hubs, routers, and switches that make up the network; and the hand-held communications devices and other pervasive computing products that access the network.
IBM's stand-alone microprocessors and embedded processors are available in speeds ranging from 25 to 700MHz, each varying in power consumption, cost, size, and level of integration.
The MontaVista Linux kernel is open source, royalty-free, and built from 100% pure Linux sources. Also available from MontaVista Software are expanded technology add-on products, including embedded Java, high-Availability technology, and graphical toolkits.
– The investment by IBM in MontaVista is part of a $28million financing package. It is the first time IBM has invested in the company and other new investors include Sony. Previous investors US Venture Partners, Alloy Ventures, Intel Capital, RRE Ventures and WR Hambrecht & Co., also contributed to this funding round. The total investment in MontaVista Software, since it was formed in 1999, is now more than $60 million.
“MontaVista revenues increased 250% over the past year. We achieved more than 250 customer design wins, of which more than 50% are with Fortune 100 and Global 500 corporations,” said Jim Ready, MontaVista Software CEO.
Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) February 2002