AMIRIX Unveils TimeSys Linux Software Development Kit for AP100 Family

3/8/2004 - AMIRIX Systems Inc. announced that it has delivered a ready-to-run TimeSys® Linux® RTOS Software Development Kit (SDK) for its AP100 family of Virtex-II ProTM PCI Platform FPGA Development Boards. The TimeSys Linux RTOS SDK is the first Linux product available for the AP100, providing engineers with a royalty-free open source Linux option for exploring embedded system architectures in such areas as networking, communications, DSP, image processing, industrial controls, and instrumentation.

The AP100
The AP100 is a family of PCI development boards featuring the Virtex-II Pro Platform FPGA, Xilinx's advanced FPGA which incoporates as many as two PowerPC 405 hard cores. AP100 boards also contain SDRAM, Flash, support for 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet, SystemACE/CompactFlash interface, Multi-Gigabit Transceiver (MGT, a.k.a. Rocket I/O) support, and Expansion I/O. The AP100 supports an XC2VP7, XC2VP20 or XC2VP30 Virtex-II Pro, in an FF896 package. Versions supporting the XC2VP50 and XC2VP70 are currently under development.

AP100 boards come with the Baseline Platform preloaded in flash. The Baseline Platform is an FPGA configuration containing an SDRAM controller, UART, interrupt controller, OPB-External Bridge, and a stage one bootloader (based on PPCBoot) in block ram. Also preloaded in the flash is the PPCBoot monitor, a TimeSys certified Linux kernel, and a small root filesystem, for a truly out-of-the-box experience.

"Our goal is to make the use of platform FPGAs with embedded processors accessible to developers," said Bruce Oakley, Director of Embedded Systems at AMIRIX. "With TimeSys Linux running right out of the box, developers will be able to immediately begin writing application software for an established operating system. More advanced users with the right tools retain the ability to make detailed customizations in both software and the underlying hardware."

The AP100 ships with the AP100 Development Kit CD, which contains a BOM, schematics, user's guide, EDK 6.1 project source for the Baseline Platform, PPCBoot with source code, as well as Windows and Linux applications for controlling the board from a host over the PCI bus. Also included on the CD is a TimeSys Linux Board Support Package (BSP) for evaluation purposes.

TimeSys Linux for the AP100
A TimeSys Linux Software Development Kit (SDK) comprises a ready-to-run, royalty-free real-time operating system (RTOS) packaged as a board-specific, Linux kernel 2.4 SDK. There are three versions of TimeSys Linux SDKs, each with increasingly powerful capabilities and comprehensive features: Standard, Professional and Designer Editions.

AMIRIX has ported TimeSys Linux to the AP100 family running the Baseline Platform. This Linux port contains support for all of the Baseline Platform's resources, including UART, 10/100 Ethernet, and CompactFlash (via the Xilinx SystemACE). TimeSys Linux can boot using a CompactFlash-based root filesystem, in addition to initial ramdisk and NFS root methods.

"For this development effort, AMIRIX chose to leverage TimeSys' TimeStorm® based tools, in particular the Linux Development Suite (LDS) and Linux Verification Suite (LVS)", said Frank Smith, Principal Software Designer at AMIRIX. "These tools allowed us to develop a fully tested and certified real-time Linux SDK, complete with Linux and Windows-based GNU toolchains, configurable root filesystem (RFS), and Integrated Development Environment (IDE), at a fraction of the cost than if we were to have attempted to develop all of this in-house."

"With TimeSys' tools, and AMIRIX's qualification as a certified TimeSys SDK developer, AMIRIX has the capability to offer embedded Linux SDKs for its own board products, as well as develop SDKs to specific requirements for its clients," added Smith.

"AMIRIX's development and delivery of a complete TimeSys Linux SDK for their AP100 is a perfect example of the range of capabilities offered by our TimeStorm Linux Tool Suite," said Larry Weidman, TimeSys CEO. "These tools are helping system integrators, embedded hardware vendors, and embedded development engineers build, customize and validate a custom Linux distribution and development environment, greatly reducing the cost and time required to develop a complete, working solution for their hardware target."

The TimeSys Linux RTOS SDK for the AP100 is now available from AMIRIX and TimeSys sales and distribution channels. Prices start at US$3295 per developer seat, royalty-free.

AP100 Accessories
AMIRIX has a wide variety of accessory products for the AP100. Board accessories include AC and DC power supply adapters for bench top use, and various I/O mezzanines. FPGA Platform accessories include systems with the AMIRIX Gigabit Ethernet Core, support for running dual PPC405 processors (shared SDRAM controller, mailboxes and hardware semaphores), and Multi-Gigabit Transceiver (MGT) support.

AMIRIX has also ported Linux and PPCBoot to dual PPC405 platforms. This Linux port features separate instances of PPCBoot and Linux running using two serial consoles, a shared-memory based virtual Ethernet driver for kernel-to-kernel communication, and a Gigabit Ethernet Linux driver for the AMIRIX Gigabit Ethernet Core. This Linux port has not been TimeSys certified at this time.

About AMIRIX Systems Inc.
AMIRIX's ability to offer fully integrated solutions through embedded hardware and software design provides significant added value for AP100 and TimeSys Linux customers. AMIRIX, a certified TimeSys Linux SDK developer, brings to the table an intimate knowledge of Linux, having ported Linux-based solutions to hardware in traditional embedded systems for several years. AMIRIX's extensive FPGA/PLD design experience has led to acceptance into the third party design service program of Xilinx as an XPERT Certified Diamond Partner. AMIRIX is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information on AMIRIX, the AP100, AP100 accessories and TimeSys Linux, please visit

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 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' TimeStorm 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' 75+ 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, send email to or call 1-888-432-TIME.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: