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3/4/2009
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LynuxWorks OS Targets Next Gen Portable Devices

Version 5.6 of the company's BlueCat software exploits Intel's latest Atom processors and is expected in medical and industrial applications.

Hoping to do its part to fast-track delivery of next generation portable devices, LynuxWorks announced this week that the latest version of its Linux operating system supports Intel's Atom processor.

BlueCat 5.6 exploits the core features of the Atom Z5xx platform, including the full range of industrial temperature options. This support will help developers more quickly design and manufacture low-power, fanless applications functioning in thermal environments.

LynuxWorks officials said the first board-level product incorporating the Atom processor and that works with BlueCat is the Portwell PEB-2738, which is best suited for medical and industrial low-power applications.

"We see this product (Portwell PEB-2738) as a natural fit for us because it takes advantage of the enhanced features of Atom. We think it will offer users in the medical and industrial sectors a more complete hardware-software platform," said George Brooks, director of business development at LynuxWorks.

The 5.6 version of BlueCat Linux, which is based on the 2.6.23 kernel, can be used in small, consumer-oriented embedded systems all the way up to multiprocessor servers, the sort of flexibility some large manufacturers appreciate.

"The two together (BlueCat and Atom Processor) could make purchasing decisions across multiple platforms easier, but we'll have to run it through some testing here. But I like the idea," said one IT administrator with a Boston-based medical equipment maker.

The Atom Z5xx processor-BlueCat combination can be used in environments with temperature ranges between -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C, according to the company.

"With this capability (to operate in a wider range of temperatures) developers have a new opportunity to create more compelling low-power applications that can be used in unconstrained thermal environments," said Jonathan Luse, director of marketing for Intel's Low Power Embedded Products Division, in a prepared statement.


The convergence of embedded, desktop, and server apps is good news for enterprise IT. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).

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