MontaVista Software, Inc., the leading Linux provider for the telecommunications market, today announced native, hard real-time developments to the Linux kernel, thus moving closer to achieving interrupt response characteristics -- the minimum time between the initiation of a command and the execution of an action -- previously attributed to specialized and proprietary commercial real-time operating systems.
MontaVista's new hard real-time developments filter the roughly 6 million lines of Linux code down to around 100 critical interrupt-code segments. The condensed code-base allows users to easily migrate applications developed on proprietary, real-time operating systems to the Linux platform -- giving them both choice and flexibility.
Handset manufacturers and network equipment providers are being pressured to deliver new, unique solutions and services. Such demands cause software requirements to outstrip the capabilities of aging real-time operating systems, making way for Linux to become the strategic end-to-end platform used in building next generation communications infrastructure and mobile and wireless devices.
"MontaVista is extremely excited about the native, real-time technology breakthroughs announced today. Benchmarks clearly demonstrate that with these new developments, Linux now has real-time interrupt response times that previously could only be achieved by proprietary RTOS products," said Kevin Morgan, Vice President, Engineering at MontaVista Software. "This is a natural progression of technology capability, demanded by an ever-increasing number of developers who have made MontaVista Linux their operating system of choice. That is why we, along with the Open Source community, have stepped up to the plate and committed our resources to the advancement of native, hard real-time technology."
In October 2004, MontaVista launched the "Open Source Real-Time Linux Project" and contributed reference implementations based on the company's work in the area of real-time Linux determinism. Since that time, community input has taken the original reference concept into a full-fledged real-time kernel that is now suitable to run high-end multimedia and other time-critical embedded applications for the mobile handset and telecommunications markets.
MontaVista's most recent work further enhances the community-established real-time foundation, which pushes the Linux kernel's performance and predictability. MontaVista compared worst-case kernel preemption and interrupt latency against the Community 126.96.36.199 kernel using Fast Real-time Domain (FRD) benchmarks. The results proved MontaVista Linux has 30 times better overall real-time performance. Today's real-time milestone further advances the kernel toward predictable response times, making this one of the last hurdles in evolving a hard real-time Linux kernel.