MontaVista, Tensilica Roll Out Automatically Configurable Embedded Linux

4/25/2003 - MontaVista Software, Inc., the company powering the embedded revolution, and Tensilica®, Inc., the leading supplier of configurable and extensible microprocessors, announced MontaVista® Linux® Professional Edition for Tensilica’s Xtensa® microprocessor architecture and said they will be demonstrating it in Tensilica’s booth (#710) at the Embedded Systems Conference. Tensilica’s Xtensa microprocessor is the first configurable processor core to seamlessly interoperate and run with MontaVista Software’s Linux operating system (OS) and versatile development environment. The companies worked together to automate the resource-intensive task of tailoring Linux to take advantage of configuration and extension options available with the Xtensa processor.

“Designers of embedded applications benefit from optimizing processors for the particular requirements of modern applications. The challenge has been in enabling an OS to leverage the application-specific features of configurable, extensible processor cores,” said Kevin Morgan, vice president, engineering, MontaVista Software. “To meet this challenge, MontaVista and Tensilica are now delivering to embedded developers an instantly configured OS designed to run specifically with each customized processor configuration. The highly optimized CPU/OS pairing will help our customers bring innovative products to market rapidly with significantly lower development costs.”

Linux enjoys immense popularity in embedded applications both for its open source nature and its inherent performance and reliability. According to a recent market research report from Venture Development Corporation (VDC), the global market for embedded Linux will reach $364 million by 2006 — an annual growth rate of 42 percent.

A key aspect of MontaVista Linux for the Xtensa processor is Tensilica’s Operating System Overlay methodology. Customers start with a version of MontaVista Linux configured for the base version of the Xtensa architecture. As designers make modifications or extensions to the base processor, the Xtensa OSKitÔ for MontaVista Linux is automatically generated. The OSKit allows the base version of MontaVista Linux to be automatically updated to add host and target awareness for unique customer extensions. As a result, the OS will run “out-of-the-box” on any customized Xtensa configuration that meets or exceeds the minimum MontaVista Linux requirements.

“Many of our customers are moving to Linux because it removes the risk and cost associated with developing in-house software while it leverages the tremendous breadth of application software and device drivers developed by the open source community,” said Bernie Rosenthal, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Tensilica. “MontaVista Software offers a robust, flexible Linux product that is quickly becoming the OS of choice for embedded applications ranging from high-performance communications equipment to low-cost, low-power consumer devices. By combining our industry leading technologies, MontaVista and Tensilica deliver an optimized hardware and software platform that uniquely satisfies the performance, power and size requirements of thousands of embedded applications.”

About MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 3.0
This industry-leading comprehensive embedded operating system and cross development environment is MontaVista Software’s flagship product. It provides a common source and binary platform across a broad range of processor architectures. The Professional Edition includes a modern OS featuring real-time functionality, multi-process capabilities, and multi-threaded remote debugging, with extensive bundled software components including rich networking. It boasts the industry’s most comprehensive embedded development package with broad support for embedded processor architectures, CPU boards and software components. It targets more than 25 processors from nine industry-leading architectures. Pro is supplied as both pre-built binaries and as a unified source-base across all supported architectures. The kernel in this particular release is based on the 2.4.18 revision of Linux and the development environment features the latest versions of industry-standard GNU tools, GDB 5.2 and GCC 3.2, amply supported by a rich complement of deployment components.

About Tensilica’s Xtensa Microprocessor Core
Licensed by over 50 of the industry's leading semiconductor and systems companies, Tensilica's patented Xtensa microprocessor technology enables designers to deliver a wide variety of optimized SoCs for applications ranging from low-cost, low-power consumer electronics devices to high performance, multi-processor communications systems. The Xtensa architecture provides a powerful, integrated hardware and software development environment with thousands of configuration options and an unlimited range of customer-specific extensions. Because these instructions are recognized as "native" by a complete set of software development tools, developers can simultaneously tune both application software and processor hardware to meet specific speed, power and feature goals.

MontaVista Linux Professional Edition for the Xtensa core will be available from MontaVista Software and the company’s sales and distribution channels worldwide in the second quarter of 2003. It is offered as a product subscription, providing customers with the MontaVista Linux kernel, utilities, development tools, software updates, deployment components, access to the MontaVista Zone, comprehensive technical support and hands-on Linux training classes.

About MontaVista Software
MontaVista Software is a leading global supplier of systems software for intelligent connected devices and associated infrastructure. MontaVista powers the embedded revolution by providing GNU/Linux-based open-source software solutions. Founded in 1999 by real-time operating system (RTOS) pioneer James Ready, MontaVista offers a family of products under the MontaVista Linux umbrella that address broad-based software developer needs encompassing applications ranging from communications infrastructure to consumer electronics. Multiple editions of MontaVista Linux are available including Professional, Consumer Electronics and Carrier Grade, along with complementary technology products providing powerful Java and graphics development capabilities.

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, Sony, Panasonic (Matsushita), Toshiba America and Yamaha Corporation. For more information about MontaVista Software, please visit

About Tensilica
Tensilica was founded in July 1997 to address the growing need for optimized, application-specific microprocessor solutions in high-volume embedded applications. With a configurable and extensible microprocessor core called Xtensa, Tensilica is the only company that has automated and patented the time-consuming process of generating a customized microprocessor core along with a complete software development tool environment, producing new configurations in a matter of hours. For more information, visit

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