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Eazix asserts its embedded software services

Posted: 18 Mar 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:embedded systems development? eazix? odm? integrated microelectronics? mcu?

Merging experience in firmware and embedded systems development, and its pool of competent design engineers with English-language proficiency, Eazix Inc., the design service and ODM arm of Integrated Microelectronics Inc. (IMI) based in the Philippines, emphasized embedded software development services to focus on MCUs, microprocessors, drivers, middlewares and application software.

"The Philippines is still a very attractive place to do business for these activities," said Chicho Mantaring, director for Eazix Inc. "For us who outsource embedded software services in Japan, our advantage is that we are closer than India and foreigners have easier time understanding our English."

Being a two-year old design company, Eazix has already developed firmware for embedded applications to a handful of big players in the tech industry. Engineers work in close coordination with OEM clients from concept to product development to product realization, ensuring that projects stay on track and align with customer requirements. Once the product is finished, it goes to the OEMs for branding.

"We play anywherewhere there are opportunities," Mantaring explained. "There's continued demand for greater performance, there is a tendency that the software becomes more and more embedded into the hardware. It goes to a point that it is almost hard to differentiate them. But the hardest challenge always is to meet the customer's specifications."

Among its other business ventures, Eazix provides driver, middleware (protocol stack) and applications software services for Windows 9, 2000 and XP, Apple MacOS, QNX, and the recent favorite, embedded Linux.

"We are not favoring Linux, although we are beefing up our manpower there. It's just that there are a lot of opportunities in Linux that we've been getting from Japan and Korea. We are still open to other embedded development activities."

Venture Development Corp. estimates that worldwide shipments of embedded Linux, add-on components and related services were $62.6 million in 2002, and will reach $156.6 million in 2007. These estimates include aggregate revenues achieved by vendors from the sales of licenses, add-on components (including IDEs, compilers and debuggers), technical support and professional services.

The Linux advantage

Growth in the embedded Linux market will be fueled mainly by a continued trend in the licensing of commercial OS as a result of increased product complexity and sophistication, budget constraints, the need to increase developer efficiency and productivity, and reduced time-to-market.

"Linux is really going up for the simple reason that it doesn't cost anything. If you develop an embedded system, very often there has to be a host system that interfaces with that. That is why we have familiarity of other OSes at the host side. But at the embedded side, our focus is on Linux," Mantaring added.

The open-source movement's impact on the embedded-software market is evidenced by a shift by traditional embedded-software suppliers to adapt and learn from the open-source model. Further maturity of Linux as an embedded platform also has to do with the increasing support for target processors and embedded hardware board.

"Open source will always have a place. The development in open-source software is fast, and bugs can be easily removed from the system. The mindset of sharing is what open source relies on, and it needs to be sustained."

- Denice Obina and Reden Mateo

Electronics Engineering Times-Asia

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