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MontaVisa, NEC Tap Linux

MontaVista Software and NEC Electronics today announced a new partnership to extend the Linux into consumer electronic devices.

Under the terms of the new partnership, NEC Electronics will use MontaVista Linux in its digital consumer, mobile phone and car navigation systems. The company will also become a reseller of MontaVista Linux and join the MontaVista Linux Support Packages (LSP) Certification Program.

NEC Electronics will create LSPs for MontaVista Linux Professional Edition and will verify using the MontaVista Linux Board Support Toolkit (BST). The two companies have also entered into discussion about jointly developing a new IDE for multi-core processors.

"This really is an enabler for us," Joe Samagond, MontaVista spokesman, told internetnews.com. "What this means is it's not MontaVista pitching the MontaVista Linux platform -- it is NEC Electronics and MontaVista enabling MontaVista Linux to be the preferred platform for a whole range of devices.

"It really is opening a whole new market opportunity for us which we did not have access to before," he continued. "Or if we did, it was primarily though a MontaVista channel, and this is a significantly stronger push with both companies involved."

Today's announcement came on the same day as MontaVista's competitor in the embedded space, Wind River, unveiled its first Linux platform. Samagond noted that the NEC Electronics deal announcement was not planned to coincide with the Wind River announcement, saying the timing was just good.

Three weeks ago, MontaVista unveiled its latest real-time Linux development initiatives to industry and the open source community.

"We've seen a lot of positive responses from the community," Samagond said. He added that the announcement of the project brought a lot of developers out of the woodwork that also had ideas about how to implement real time Linux. In Samagond's estimation, by making it open source it forced everyone to come out of their closet.

"It really is a remarkable testimony to the power of open source which is the foundation of the MontaVista philosophy," Samagond said. "We pushed out this technology in a matter of a few weeks. It's become better by several magnitudes just because of the involvement of others in the community. It has speeded along at a much better pace than if MontaVista had gone this alone."