TimeSys Offers Embedded Development Tools for All Linux Flavors

11/4/2003 - TimeSys(R) Corporation, a leader in embedded Linux(R) development tools and products, announced the immediate availability of a new suite of development tools that together support the entire embedded Linux development cycle. More than two years in the making, the tools are the industry's first to streamline the development and customization of any flavor of Linux, whether homegrown or a commercial distribution, by taking the guesswork out of building and testing a Linux platform for embedded development. The new tools are part of the TimeSys TimeStorm(R) Linux Tool Suite, powered by the open source Eclipse Platform, and provide solutions to some of the most critical problems facing embedded Linux developers today, including the need for tools to handle kernel porting, hardware integration and a full range of testing and validation capabilities to ensure proper development of an embedded Linux operating system and related applications.

"Linux is becoming a leading OS for embedded applications because it's robust, customizable, and royalty-free. But our research indicates that its adoption has been hampered by a lack of tools to support embedded developers through the entire development cycle," said Stephen Balacco, Senior Analyst at Venture Development Corporation. "TimeSys' new development and testing tools are unique in that they enable embedded developers to build, port, customize, and test any flavor of Linux, whether they use a commercial Linux distribution as a starting point, or start from scratch by downloading a non-commercial version from the Internet."

Delivered as plug-ins to TimeSys' TimeStorm Integrated Development Environment (IDE), TimeSys' new TimeStorm Linux Tool Suite provides the first set of tools to support every step of the Linux development cycle, including easy to use, step by step testing and validation. New tools include the following:

TimeStorm Linux Verification Suite (LVS)
The TimeStorm LVS is the first commercially available framework for automating the testing and validation of an entire embedded Linux distribution and its applications at each step of the development process. Incorporating 1150 TimeSys-enhanced open source Linux Test Project tests and more than 50 internally developed Linux tests, TimeStorm LVS automates the testing, recording and reporting processes to reduce the work required for developers to test the integration of any Linux kernel, device drivers, toolchains, root filesystem, and other elements of the Linux operating system, as well as the embedded application running on the Linux OS. The flexible framework of the LVS also enables developers to import, design and reuse their own custom tests specific to their development team's project or platform. And because the LVS makes it easy for developers to test their work as they go, they can find and fix bugs early in the development cycle, rather than during or after deployment, saving valuable development time and cost.

TimeStorm Linux Development Suite (LDS)
The TimeStorm LDS provides the tools and know-how to help embedded developers build and port a custom Linux OS to their target hardware. Filling the gaps left by target configuration tools that support configuration of an already developed and tested Linux distribution, the LDS supports kernel and device driver development from the ground up. Whether starting from a reference Linux BSP (board support package) from a commercial Linux vendor or a free download from the Internet, TimeStorm LDS helps engineers build the Linux kernel, port it to their target hardware, write custom device drivers, build and configure the root filesystem, and load the finished Linux OS to their hardware. The TimeStorm LDS includes a reference bootloader to initialize the hardware and load their Linux OS, access to TimeSys' Developers Network that provides reference BSPs and device drivers for easier starting points, as well as reference guides and How-To documentation developed by TimeSys' engineers that have been building and porting Linux to every major processor architecture for more than two years. Upcoming next-generation versions of TimeStorm LDS will also offer kernel and device driver wizards to streamline building and debugging custom Linux components.

TimeStorm Linux Hardware-assisted Debug (LHD)
The TimeStorm LHD assists in hardware debugging, initialization and Linux bring-up by providing an interface between TimeSys' TimeStorm IDE and JTAG and On-Chip Debuggers that utilize GDB as the debugging agent. TimeSys has partnered with JTAG debugger vendor Abatron to resell its BDI 2000 as the initial offering of the LHD. TimeStorm LHD will also work with a development team's existing JTAG products, including JTAG debuggers from Wind River, EPI and others.

"These new products represent the culmination of more than two and a half years of interaction with customers, partners and developers," said TimeSys CEO Larry Weidman. "Embedded engineers have been telling us they want Linux for the freedom that it provides to customize their specific platform. Because it is such a robust and complex operating system, developers need tools to help them build, customize, and most importantly, test their Linux platform, whether they start with a Linux BSP from a commercial vendor or are using a homegrown version of Linux. We've packaged our own Linux development systems and testware along with the knowledge and experience accumulated in the development of more than 70 Linux SDKs in order to take the guesswork out of developing and customizing Linux for their specific needs."

"I'm impressed with TimeSys' leadership as they leverage the best of the Eclipse platform for embedded and Linux development with these new tools," said Skip McGaughey, Chairperson of the Eclipse Board of Stewards. "By delivering tools for Linux kernel and driver development, application development, and automated testing on the same workbench, TimeSys is supporting the Eclipse Consortium's mission to provide a universal framework for tools integration across platforms, development activities, and vendors."

Embedded development teams are currently using the new TimeStorm products in their everyday development process, either starting from scratch on new projects with Linux, or in porting their existing Linux OS and embedded applications to new hardware and testing its integration and performance across multiple platforms. Several hardware and semiconductor vendors are also currently using the TimeStorm tools to build, test and deliver their own Linux solutions to customers for a more streamlined approach to providing a complete hardware and software solution. And TimeSys' system integrator and VAR partners are using the TimeStorm tools to develop custom products and test their Linux solutions on custom hardware.

"We've been working with Linux for years because of the level of customization it provides to support unique hardware and software requirements. While our core competencies include designing and integrating software and hardware, there is still a tremendous amount of effort required to develop and support an embedded Linux platform from scratch," said Frank Smith, Principal Software Engineer at AMIRIX, a leader in customized embedded systems design services. "TimeSys' new TimeStorm Linux Tool Suite will help us reduce our development workload and enable us to rigorously test and validate our customized Linux platforms."

The TimeSys TimeStorm Linux Tool Suite is currently available. For more information, visit www.timesys.com/timestormtools.

About TimeSys Corporation
TimeSys is making it easier to embed Linux by providing the only complete line of products and tools that support the entire embedded Linux development cycle. Covering the range of products from turn-key ready to run TimeSys Linux software development kits to development and testing tools for any Linux distribution, TimeSys enables embedded engineers to streamline the development of Linux-based embedded systems. Developers assembling their own Linux operating system and development environment or customizing a third-party Linux platform can use TimeSys' Linux development and testing tools to build, port and test the Linux kernel, root filesystem, device drivers and application software. Engineers that prefer off-the-shelf solutions can utilize one of TimeSys' 70+ hardware specific Linux SDKs that provide a packaged, integrated Linux development environment that include a ready to run TimeSys Linux RTOS distribution and application development tools for their hardware. TimeSys technologies are utilized in a wide variety of industries and applications, from industrial/process control and consumer electronics to military and avionics. For more information about TimeSys, please visit http://www.timesys.com, send email to info@timesys.com or call 1-888-432-TIME.

TimeSys and TimeStorm are registered trademarks of TimeSys Corporation in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linux Torvalds.

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