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MontaVista Joins CE Linux Forum, Secures Samsung Deal

Embedded Linux specialist MontaVista Software moved to cement its position as a provider of Linux for consumer electronics devices Monday, joining the recently formed Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) and revealing that CELF member Samsung Electronics has selected the Sunnyvale, Calif., firm as the preferred embedded Linux supplier for its electronic devices.

Samsung said it selected MontaVista Linux after a long and thorough analysis, signing a corporate-wide contract to use all three editions of MontaVista's product -- Consumer Electronics Edition, Professional Edition and Carrier Grade Edition.

"MontaVista Linux is being used by world-class consumer electronics manufacturers primarily due to its high performance, real-time capability and service reliability," said Young K. Choe, vice president of Samsung Electronics. "We expect this contract with MontaVista will contribute to Samsung Electronics' timely development and placement of products and technology for devices with embedded Linux."

Through the deal, Samsung has accepted MontaVista as one of its worldwide partners, and the electronics giant said "many" of its next-generation devices will run on MontaVista Linux.

Samsung is an Appointed Member of CELF, and serves on the organization's steering committee. It is not alone among CELF members in turning to MontaVista. CELF founders Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Panasonic) already work closely with MontaVista on their products, and MontaVista Linux is also used by CELF members NEC, Royal Philips Electronics, and Toshiba.

As of Monday, MontaVista has been welcomed into CELF as an Associate Member, through which it hopes to help drive development of standards for Linux in the digital consumer electronics market.

CELF was born as an alliance between Sony and Matsushita in December. In July, the two electronics giants expanded the alliance to form CELF with the help of NEC, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba and Hitachi.

CELF is intended as a platform for discussing and formalizing the requirements for extensions to a Linux platform geared to consumer electronics devices, including cell phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, Internet radios, residential gateways, automotive telematics, even Karaoke machines and other audio/visual devices.

The forum's initial goals include improving Linux's startup and shutdown time, improving its real-time capabilities, reducing ROM/RAM size requirements, and improving the efficiency of power management.

MontaVista, which started talking about joining CELF days after the organization was announced, said Monday that it is well-suited to the organization because its Linux already addresses many of the requirements outlined by the forum. Its Consumer Electronics Edition 3.0, launched in January, is based on the 2.4.20 Linux kernel, and incorporates Dynamic Power Management (DPM), support for XIP (eXecute In Place) of the kernel and applications, streaming media optimizations, the O(1) real-time scheduler, and new MontaVista System Measurement Tools to measure system performance, timing and memory size. It also features bundled power-management-enabled driver support for peripherals like digital cameras, IrDA, MMC cards and USBs.