MontaVista and Altera Deliver World's First On-the-Fly Reconfigurable Embedded Linux System

12/17/2002 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and MontaVista Software, Inc., the company powering the embedded revolutionTM, announced that the MontaVistaTM Linux® Professional Edition now supports Altera-s ExcaliburTM EPXA1 Development Kit. Together, the two companies are providing embedded system designers with a direct path to lower product costs and reduce time-to-market with the world-s first on-the-fly reconfigurable embedded Linux system, utilizing the MontaVista Linux Professional Edition, the leading embedded Linux OS and development platform, and Altera-s Excalibur embedded processor solutions.

"MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and the EPXA1 Development Kit are complemented by a series of step-by-step, illustrated reference designs, providing a time-saving, reliable solution for the development of a complete range of deeply embedded applications," said Gopa Periyadan, vice president of System and Software Services at GDA Technologies, Inc., an Altera design partner working with the MontaVista Linux Professional Edition. "With the flexibility of the FPGA fabric, it-s easy to architect system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) applications where the Excalibur device boots Linux under the control of the processor and obtains a new FPGA configuration from an external interface."

The EPXA1 Development Kit includes a development board plus a complete set of embedded system tools targeting the Excalibur EPXA1 device, allowing software and hardware development to begin even before a design is committed to a custom PCB. The Excalibur EPXA1 device—the smallest of Altera-s Excalibur embedded processor PLDs—integrates a complete embedded ARM922TTM processor subsystem with an FPGA fabric to provide designers with the ability to quickly create and evaluate differentiated end products. For more information on Altera-s Excalibur embedded processor solutions, visit

MontaVista Linux Professional Edition is a complete embedded operating system and cross-development environment. The product contains an array of cross-development tools for system and application development and provides a modern operating system featuring real-time functionality, multi-process and multi-threaded support, rich networking capabilities, and hundreds of deployable utilities, libraries, drivers, and other run-time components. "MontaVista Software-s support of the Excalibur EPXA1 Development Kit gives designers the freedom to develop software independent of the hardware design process," said Joe Hanson, director of Excalibur marketing and applications at Altera. "The availability of a Linux solution with support for the EPXA1 Development Kit is a real benefit to embedded software designers eager to build on the open-source operating system."

An Ethernet-based system reconfiguration reference design ships with the EPXA1 Development Kit and illustrates the features of the MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and Excalibur EPXA1 device. The FPGA image is remotely uploaded to the Excalibur device and the appropriate device drivers are dynamically loaded to the kernel, enabling use of a single platform to build flexible and scalable SOPC solutions. The ability to dynamically reconfigure hardware and/or software in Altera-s Excalibur EPXA1 device is a benefit to many industrial and communications applications requiring in-field reprogrammability.

"The dynamic, configurable nature of Linux perfectly complements Altera-s FPGA architecture," said Trent Winegar, vice president, worldwide sales and business development, MontaVista Software. "MontaVista Linux, targeting Altera-s EPXA1 Development Kit, offers developers unparalleled flexibility and a jump-start on getting to market." Altera-s EPXA1 Development Kit includes a Preview Kit for MontaVista Linux Professional Edition. The Preview Kit offers a hands-on demonstration of the powerful development environment provided with MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and demonstrates MontaVista Linux running on the Excalibur EPXA1 device.

Product Availability
MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 2.1 with support for Excalibur devices is shipping now and is available as a product subscription through MontaVista Software and its worldwide distribution channels. MontaVista Linux product subscriptions provide developer teams with the MontaVista Linux kernel, deployment components, utilities, development tools, software updates, and access to the MontaVista Zone and comprehensive technical support. A Preview Kit is available from Altera and MontaVista Software, and provides users with a means of evaluating the product and associated development tools. For more information on the fully available EPXA1 Development Kit, visit

About MontaVista Software
MontaVista Software is a leading global supplier of systems software for intelligent connected devices and their associated infrastructure, for applications ranging from communications infrastructure to consumer electronics. MontaVista powers the embedded revolution by providing GNU/Linux-based open-source systems software solutions. Founded in 1999 by real-time operating system (RTOS) pioneer James Ready, MontaVista Software-s principal products include MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition. The Professional Edition comprises a Linux-based embedded source and binary distribution, cross development environments, and a versatile set of tools for the x86/IA-32, PowerPC, StrongARM, MIPS, SH, ARM, XScale, Xtensa, OMAP and other microprocessor architectures. The Carrier Grade Edition is a next-generation high availability product that is the first commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Linux platform for telecommunications and carrier-grade applications. MontaVista Software also provides several complementary technology products addressing specific customer needs, such as Java development and runtime, powerful graphics capabilities, and more.

Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, in Sunnyvale, Calif., MontaVista Software is a privately held company funded by leading investors such as Alloy Ventures, US Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, WR Hambrecht + Co., IBM, Intel Capital, Panasonic, Sony, and Yamaha Corporation. For more information about MontaVista Software, please visit

About Altera
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) is the world-s pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. More information is available at

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations, and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MontaVista is a trademark of MontaVista Software, Inc. ARM922T is a trademark of ARM Limited.

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