MontaVista Supports IBM PowerPC with Linux for Consumer Electronics

8/6/2003 - MontaVista Software Inc., the company powering the embedded revolution, announced that MontaVista® Linux® Consumer Electronics Edition 3.0 now supports the IBM® PowerPC® 405LP embedded processor, which has been developed for use in pervasive devices such as advanced PDAs and cell phones.

Earlier this year, the two companies announced that pairing IBM’s PowerPC 405LP embedded processor with MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition (CEE) may reduce processor power consumption by as much as 50 percent. This could translate to an estimated 20 percent overall power savings in a wide range of products such as smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), helping extend battery life while reducing battery size and cost.

“IBM, in response to customer demand, is working with MontaVista Software to deliver the best possible end-user experience, at the lowest possible power consumption for battery-operated applications,” said Lisa Su, director, PowerPC and emerging products, IBM Microelectronics. “From the architectural efficiency of the PowerPC 405LP processor to the dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, we are delivering some of the best power/performance balance for these types of devices.”

MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition enhances Linux with dynamic power management, rich consumer-focused networking support and consumer-grade reliability. CEE includes the fully preemptible MontaVista Linux kernel and real-time scheduling, small footprint targets and flash-based journaling file systems. It integrates with high reliability middleware such as the J2METM certified WebSphere® Micro Environment from IBM, and graphics products such as Qtopia® and Qt®/Embedded from Trolltech®, as well as MontaVista Graphics.

IBM and MontaVista Software have together improved power saving techniques using what the companies call “Dynamic Power Management,” specifically developed with the needs of power-sensitive embedded applications in mind.

“Our work with IBM will greatly assist developers of power-sensitive embedded applications, including mobile phones, PDAs and handheld computers,” said Judith Davis Wheatley, vice president, Business Development, MontaVista Software. “MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition can help consumer electronics OEMs take advantage of IBM’s powerful, highly integrated system-on-a-chip, while dramatically enhancing power consumption.”

Power management has traditionally focused on the reduction of power consumption in computer systems by placing them into static modes, such as sleep and suspend, when not in use. Dynamic Power Management techniques are designed to save power automatically, even as the system is in use, without requiring any action on the part of the user. For example, in the small amount of time between frames of an MPEG4 video clip, voltage can be ramped down and back up in time to handle the next frame, saving energy in between each and every frame of the video.

About the IBM PowerPC 405LP
The IBM PowerPC 405LP embedded processor is a 32-bit RISC processor offering high performance and ultra-low power for a wide variety of power-sensitive embedded applications, including mobile phones, PDAs and handheld computers. Using IBM’s customer chip-making techniques, additional features can also be added to the PowerPC 405LP to adapt the device to other applications. IBM’s low power offering can help reduce the cost and time required to design new products, opening the door to all types of connected consumer electronics.

About MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition
MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition 3.0 (CEE) is the first Linux operating system and cross-development environment specifically designed for consumer electronics applications such as mobile phones, digital televisions, set-top boxes and automotive telematics. CEE enhances Linux with dynamic power management, rich consumer-focused networking support and consumer-grade reliability. CEE targets consumer device specific CPUs such as the IBM PowerPC 405LP. It forms the foundation of solution stacks from software partners in key vertical mobile, home and automotive markets. CEE is tailored to the demands of highly constrained mobile devices, which require low power consumption, memory size and short boot and resume times. CEE 3.0 incorporates file system enhancements and new tools to measure performance, system timing and memory size. MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition supports XIP (eXecute In Place) of the kernel and applications as well as streaming media optimizations.

MontaVista Software also offers a broad range of complementary products to assist developers building advanced consumer electronics devices on MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition.

These offerings include:

MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronics Edition for the IBM 405LP is available today from MontaVista Software and the company’s sales and distribution channels worldwide. 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 (customer resource portal), comprehensive technical support and hands-on Linux training classes. The 405LP processor is part of the IBM PowerPC Internet Appliance Platform family and is available from IBM Microelectronics.

About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM’s role as the world’s premier information technology supplier. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor, ASIC and interconnect technologies, products and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world’s best-known electronic brands. IBM is a recognized innovator in the chip industry, having been first with advances like more power-efficient copper wiring in place of aluminum, faster silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon germanium transistors, and improved low-k dielectric insulation between ship wires. These and other innovations have contributed to IBM’s standing as the number one U.S. patent holder for nine consecutive years. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at:

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

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MontaVista is a registered trademark of MontaVista Software Inc. Java and all Java-based trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. IBM, PowerPC and WebSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.

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