Embedded Linux News Briefs

by Rick Lehrbaum

SGI and SuSE are collaborating on a version of IRIS FailSafe for high-availability applications in Linux environments. “High availability is an important piece of the puzzle,” says Linus Torvalds. (www.sgi.com/, www.suse.com)

Samsung launched “Yopy”, a PDA with Linux inside. The device contains an ARM processor, a four-inch color LCD, HTML browser, MP3 player and CompactFlash expansion slot. Add-ons will include a TV tuner, GPS, wireless modem and digital camera attachment. (http://www.samsung.com/)

National Semiconductor will offer Citrix Systems' Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) software for its Geode single-chip Internet appliance. The Geode chip, which runs Linux, contains a 64-bit “X86” CPU, plus PCI, video, audio and power management functions. (http://www.national.com/appinfo/solutions/)

NETsilicon announced NET+Lx Linux connectivity software for its NET+ARM one-chip embedded appliance. The chip contains a 32-bit ARM7TDMI RISC processor, plus Ethernet, SDRAM, SPI and serial interfaces. Display connection requires an additional component. The OS used is uClinux. (http://www.netsilicon.com/)

Ericsson showed off a Linux-based cordless Screen Phone (HS210) that combines wireless connectivity with Internet access, telephony and e-mail functions. (photo: www.ericsson.com/pressroom/screen02.htm)

Lineo acquired Rt-Control Inc., the developers of uClinux. uClinux supports microcontrollers, including Motorola 68000 and ColdFire, ARM7, Axis ETRAX and the Intel i960. (http://www.lineo.com/)

Two new embedded Linux whitepapers are online: “Embedding Linux in a Mobile Robot” and “Using Linux in Embedded and Real-time Apps”. (www.linuxdevices.com/cgi-bin/article_view.cgi?artid=AT3782871866, www.linuxdevices.com/cgi-bin/article_view.cgi?artid=AT3611822672)

InfoCharms unveiled a tiny, brooch-style, Internet-ready communicator that contains Nanix, a slimmed-down Linux. “We hope Nanix will become the Linux of wearable computers,” say company representatives. (http://www.infocharms.com/)

“Which Linux will you use in future embedded system projects?” The answer: Lineo Embedix tops the embedded distributions list, followed by PROSA ETLinux and Lynx BlueCat Linux. Red Hat, Debian and Caldera were the most popular standard distributions for future embedded designs. Nearly two-thirds said they will pay for outside services and support. (http://www.linuxdevices.com/polls/)

Espial announced an embedded Internet browser that fits in under 800KB. (http://www.espial.com/)

Atmel announced a Linux-based single-chip Internet appliance, the AT75C310, which includes support for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and audio. The device contains an ARM7TDMI CPU, RAM, DSPs, SPI, USART and parallel I/O. (lel I/O. (http://www.atmel.com/)

FSMLabs released version 2.2 of RTLinux which, among other enhancements, offers increased POSIX compatibility. (http://www.fsmlabs.com/)

Axis Communications began delivering ETRAX 100, a one-chip Linux-based Internet appliance. It contains a 100 MIPS 32-bit RISC processor, as well as Ethernet, IDE, SCSI, parallel and serial ports. (http://www.developer.axis.com/)

Sigma Designs announced a “set-top box” reference design based on Intel's Celeron processor and 810 graphics controller, plus Sigma's REALmagic video decoder chip. (http://www.sigmadesigns.com/)

MoJo Designs Eyelet GUI now supports Linux. The processor-independent GUI helps developers of Linux-based embedded systems avoid the substantial overhead of X Windows. (http://www.mojodesigns.com/)

PenguinRadio announced plans for a low-cost Linux-based adapter that lets you hear thousands of Internet radio stations through your stereo system. The company will also produce a version for cars. (http://www.penguinradio.com/)

Compaq's Western Research Center is developing “Itsy”, a Linux-based open platform for pocket computing. The purpose of Itsy is to foster development of novel user interfaces, applications and research projects. Itsy uses a StrongARM CPU. (http://www.research.digital.com/wrl/itsy/)

Everybook Inc. announced a Linux-based electronic book containing Lineo's Embedix Linux OS and Embedix Browser. Users can purchase and download digital books and magazines from the Everybook Store. (http://www.everybook.net/)

EL/IX version 1.1, Red Hat's proposed spec for adding real-time features to Linux, is now available for download. (http://sourceware.cygnus.com/elix/elix-api.pdf/)

MontaVista founder Jim Ready discusses his views on embedded and real-time Linux and his company's plans and strategies in an interview. (www.linuxdevices.com/cgi-bin/article_view.cgi?artid=AT9093728800)

Victor Yodaiken has received US patent 5995745 for a technique of running a general-purpose operating system (e.g., Linux) under a multi-tasking kernel (e.g., RTLinux). (www.patents.ibm.com/details?&pn=US05995745__)

International Data Corporation (IDC) says the “Post-PC Era” has arrived. Their new report projects that shipments of consumer information appliances will outpace those of consumer PCs by 2002. (http://www.idc.com/)

IBM announced ViaVoice, a set of speech recognition technologies and tools for Linux, saying this is the first in a series of forthcoming IBM Linux solutions. (http://www.ibm.com/software/speech/)

Kerbango, Inc. announced the world's first standalone Internet radio. The Linux-based device lets you access web-based streaming audio without a PC. The OS inside is MontaVista's Hard Hat Linux. (http://www.kerbango.com/)

Will Microwindows be the GUI of choice for tomorrow's Linux-based embedded systems and appliances? The open-source GUI offers both a “Win32 GDI API” and a minimized X-compatible GUI. (http://www.microwindows.censoft.com/)

ISDCorp has released Royal Linux for systems that use non-Intel CPUs such as ARM, MIPS, Motorola 68K/Coldfire and PowerPC processors. (http://www.isdcorp.com/)

MontaVista Software will use RTLinux, from FSMLabs, as an “accelerator” option for embedded market customers wanting “hard real-time” features. (www.mvista.com, www.fsmlabs.com)

Lineo has acquired real-time Linux specialist, Zentropix. (www.lineo.com/, www.zentropix.com)

Lineo's CEO Bryan Sparks discusses his company's strategy of charging royalties for Embedix Linux in an interview. (www.linuxdevices.com/cgi-bin/article_view.cgi?artid=AT9593643351)

Eagle Wireless International unveiled that it has received a contract worth $125M US for 500,000 Linux-based set-top boxes. (http://www.eglw.com/english/)

email: rick@linuxdevices.com

Rick Lehrbaum may be reached at rick@linuxdevices.com.

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