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New MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 released
Posted: 26-Sep-2007 [Source: MontaVista Software]

[MontaVista announces the fifth-generation release of Mobilinux.]

Santa Clara, CA -- MontaVista Software, Inc., the leading provider of Linux for intelligent devices and communications infrastructure, today announced the new 5.0 release of MontaVista Mobilinux, the mobile operating system used in 90 percent of Linux-based smartphones. Mobilinux provides a commercial-quality, field-proven embedded Linux operating system (OS) optimized for mobile devices plus a rich development environment for the engineers who design them. Mobilinux 5.0 will enable manufacturers to deliver new mobile devices (such as phone handsets, GPS devices, portable medical devices, and wireless point-of-sale terminals) to consumers more quickly and with new functions, breakthrough connectivity, fast performance, NSA-level security, and battery-extending dynamic power management.

Leading handset manufacturers, including NEC, Motorola, Panasonic, and others have made MontaVista the most widely-used provider of commercial-quality Linux software to the mobile telephony market, and also the fastest-growing commercial operating system provider in that market, according to analyst firm VDC. More than 35 million smartphones, cell phones, and other mobile devices run on MontaVista Mobilinux, far more than any other commercial Linux. Unlike freely-available source code, Mobilinux is a field-proven production-quality OS, has been tested and debugged by MontaVista's testing facilities, and is backed by MontaVista's battle-hardened support team.

"Competition in today's mobile device marketplace calls for differentiated software products that specifically address the requirements of both manufacturers and operators," said Matt Volckmann, Senior Analyst with VDC's Embedded Software Practice. "With Mobilinux 5.0, MontaVista has targeted improved power management, real-time performance, optimized execution, reduced footprint requirements, as well as many other features that allow customers to differentiate through the software stack and effectively deliver advanced Linux-based mobile devices to market."

"No other mobile operating system today gives developers so many ways to unleash their creativity to add new functions," said Jim Ready, CTO and founder of MontaVista Software. "Mobilinux 5.0 delivers new technologies invented by MontaVista for configurable dynamic power management, plus a powerful security framework that MontaVista's competitors can only dream about. This is simply the best OS ever built for mobile devices."

In addition to providing a platform for the features common in smartphones today (such as touchscreen control, email processing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, video cameras, multimedia and Adobe Flash display, and more), the flexibility of Mobilinux 5.0 enables developers to easily provide custom functions. Mobilinux supports Linux standards, so designers can add functionality by including off-the-shelf Linux utilities without worrying about function loss due to incompatibility. Built-in support for emerging methods of connectivity and new I/O types (including a full-featured Linux networking stack with IPv6 support) increase device functionality by enabling devices to communicate and interact with new types of software and other devices.

"Today's competitive marketplace requires differentiated products that address unique operator requirements while avoiding commoditization," said Jeff Wender, Worldwide Marketing Manager, Software Solutions, Texas Instruments. "MontaVista has a successful history of enabling differentiated products across the entire OMAP(TM) product family through the flexibility of its Mobilinux products. We expect Mobillinux Edition 5.0 to maintain this focus and add the functionality necessary to address customer needs and deliver unique devices."

MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 highlights

* NSA-level mobile security: MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 is the first mobile operating system to include MontaVista MicroSELinux, a compact version of Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) to protect the confidentiality of messages and the integrity of files and system software. MontaVista MicroSELinux prevents malicious software from intruding into a device and taking control. MicroSELinux protection can prevent millions of devices from getting infected and being returned to the manufacturer. This is the first availability of any form of SELinux for mobile devices. Only Mobilinux 5.0 can provide this degree of protection.

* Dynamic power management: Fully configurable Mobilinux power management includes APIs that extend battery life to support power-hungry multimedia. In tests on a phone running a Texas Instruments OMAP 2430 processor, MontaVista's unique power management played MP3 music five times as long as the same phone without MontaVista power management.

* Built-in connectivity: MontaVista Linux can connect to more types of software and devices than any other Linux. Mobilinux 5.0 saves months of development time by providing out-of-the-box support for SDIO (Secure Digital Input Output), Wi-Lan/Wi-Fi over USB, Bluetooth over USB (supporting wireless headsets, headphones, and other items), USB On-The-Go, ALSA sound drivers, GStreamer, plus many new devices and the protocol stacks to support them.

* Integrated real-time response: Mobilinux 5.0 is 100% native Linux with real-time performance features, including MontaVista enhancements plus integrated high resolution nanosecond timers (hrtimers) that avoid the compatibility and footprint headaches caused by double-kernel non-Linux add-ons. Additional real-time features include fast mutexes, threaded soft and hard IRQ handlers, and application-level priority inheritance and queuing, providing application response latency as low as 50 microseconds.

* Speedy startup: Phones using Moblinux 5.0 typically boot in less than 5 seconds and can place a phone call in less than 10 seconds, three times faster than Symbian or Microsoft-based devices and three-and-a-half times faster than the Apple iPhone. MontaVista supports prelinking, so applications start quickly, enabling fast shut-down and resume from sleep in less than half a second.

* Small footprint: Mobilinux 5.0 can be configured to run in as little as 2 megabytes and for a typical mobile phone with basic functionality, less than 14 megabytes. In addition, Mobilinux implements uClibc, LOT (Library Optimization Tool), XIP (Execute-In-Place), and other technologies to reduce application footprint size.

* Multicore processor support: Mobilinux 5.0 supports both single-core and multicore processors, and supports devices built with multiple processing chips (such as phones using one baseband processor and one application processor) as well as devices that combine multiple processors on one integrated CPU chip.

* Lower phone build costs: Built-in functionality and integrated connectivity reduce the amount of custom development required. Linux compatibility enables the use of low-cost off-the-shelf Linux applications and utilities. The ability to get fast performance from low-end processors can reduce hardware costs. Integrated real-time technology enables baseband and application processor consolidation. And MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 is royalty-free.

* Faster time-to-market: Aonix, Aplix, Jataayu Software, RealNetworks, SafeNet, Scalado Software, Sun Microsystems, Trinity Convergence, Trolltech, and more than 100 additional MontaVista ecosystem partners provide middleware, applications, and tools ready to use in Mobilinux mobile devices. Industry-standard Linux avoids the time lag of learning the quirks of proprietary RTOS systems. Less custom engineering means shorter development cycles. Device-ready MontaVista products eliminate the time wasted on hunting, fixing, and integrating pieces of source code. Integrated development tools accelerate the embedded development process.

* Better development environment: The device development tool chain for Mobilinux 5.0 is the first in the world to provide KGDB over USB. This solves development problems caused because debuggers require legacy serial ports, but phone miniaturization eliminated legacy serial ports, forcing the creation of external test environments for all debugging. Mobilinux 5.0 allows a debugger to connect directly to a device's USB port, allowing debugging and tracing of both the kernel and applications to be done on the target device itself. In addition, Mobilinux 5.0 includes new platform development tools that enhance productivity for kernel-level work, and new tools for mobile application developers.

* Linux 2.6.21 kernel support: Mobilinux 5.0 is the first mobile operating system to deliver the functionality, performance, and connectivity gains supported by the 2.6.21 Linux kernel.

MontaVista Mobilinux 5.0 will be available worldwide in November 2007. Initial platforms supported will include OMAP 2430 from Texas Instruments, with OMAP 3430 following shortly. Six additional platforms will be added in early 2008.

MontaVista Software, Inc. is the leading provider of Linux for intelligent devices and telecommunications infrastructure. MontaVista delivers a commercial-quality Linux operating system, time-saving development tools, expert support, and design and migration services. MontaVista has more than 400 partners, and thousands of companies use MontaVista embedded Linux to add functionality, increase reliability, reduce costs, and accelerate product development. MontaVista has offices in 15 countries. For more information, please visit For information on the Vision 2007 Embedded Linux Developers Conference Oct. 8-10, visit

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MontaVista is a registered trademark of MontaVista Software, Inc. All other names mentioned are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.


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