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Enea, Metrowerks join forces on comms RTOS

Posted: 29 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:enea embedded technology? metrowerks? rtos? linux os? network communications?

Enea Embedded Technology and Metrowerks Corp. will partner to provide a combined Linux/RTOS for communication infrastructures.

Their single platform will let designers choose, by turns, a Linux OS for some tasks and a RTOS for others.

The companies were expected to announce their partnership at this week's Smart Network Developer Forum. Also at the Forum, QNX Software Systems Ltd was to unveil the latest version of its RTOS and a new open-source licensing model. The Forum will be run here by Freescale Semiconductor, formerly Motorola Inc.'s Semiconductor Products Sector.

Designers of modular communication equipment have been given a simple option in the past: Stick with traditional RTOSs, which typically have high royalty fees, or turn to a Linux solution, which requires a new tool chain and has been dogged by questions on its real-time performance. "The belief is that you have to choose one of the solutions," said Calvin Harrison, director of marketing of netcomm products at Metrowerks.

Metrowerks, a Motorola subsidiary, and RTOS developer Enea Embedded, formerly OSE Systems, will offer designers a middle ground. Under their partnership, the companies have developed an integrated platform: It allows designers to tap Metrowerks' Embedix Linux OS for tasks like management cards and Enea's OSE RTOS for line cards that require strong real-time performance. "We're getting real good interest in this combo approach," said Andres Flodin, director of strategic alliances at Enea.

Enea has packaged its OSE Link Handler, OSE Gateway and Polyhedra embedded database with Metrowerks' Linux OS to create a unified platform that can implement a communications architecture. The companies also have developed an integrated tool chain for the OSE and Embedix OSes while allowing designers to create board support packages.

Enea will be selling the integrated platform, and Metrowerks will serve as backup on the tools and the Linux OS. All of the components are available now.

RTOS update

Meanwhile, QNX Software said it has optimized its RTOS for graphics and networking designs. At the same time, the company has released a new licensing model that will allow designers to gain access to the source code for key parts of the RTOS at a much lower price.

The enhanced version 6.3 of QNX's OS delivers multilayering capabilities and support for 3D graphics, both of which are instrumental in gaming and automotive applications. Version 6.3 also delivers support for multiheaded display operation.

In addition, QNX has added functions in the network communications portion of the RTOS to improve networking and security capabilities, the company said. Specifically, the IPv6 and IPSec stacks have been upgraded, and stacks for network address translation and IP filtering have been added. QNX has also added support for the SIP control transport protocol (SCTP), delivered support for providing distributed processing across interconnects, and added new security capabilities like Internet key exchange and secure socket layer.

Available in June, version 6.3 is priced at about $8,500 per seat. For designers looking for source code, QNX has built a licensing model that will allow access to key parts of the RTOS, such as file sharing and networking modules. "Designers can access some modules for around $10,000, not the few hundred thousand that it would have cost in the past," said Dave Curley, VP of marketing at QNX.

But designers shouldn't expect to get access to QNX's RTOS kernel for that price. That still remains a prized possession that QNX will provide only to select customers at a high price.

- Robert Keenan

EE Times

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