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IBM Technology Brings Linux/Java Benefits to Consumer Electronics
IBM Technology Brings Linux/Java Benefits to Consumer Electronics

(January 23, 2003) - This week at LinuxWorld, IBM announced technology that could help extend the use of open, standards-based Linux and Java software to consumer electronic products such as PDAs and other handheld devices.

IBM has combined many of the underlying hardware components used by such products into a single "reference design" centered around the low-power IBM PowerPC 405LP microprocessor to help extend battery life. The hardware is complemented by power-saving software, including MontaVista Linux Consumer Electronic Edition (CEE) and embedded middleware from IBM. This combination may reduce processor/memory power consumption by as much as 50 percent, which translates to an estimated 20 percent power savings at the system level.

The integrated hardware/software solution will initially be available through IBM Microelectronics Division. IBM Engineering & Technology Services has been selected as the first organization to help OEM manufacturers modify the reference design to their specific requirements.

Integrated in the reference design is device middleware which comprises open, standards-based IBM and partner software. Aimed at supporting both enterprise and consumer applications, IBM software includes a J2ME certified Java Runtime platform for devices - IBM's WebSphere Micro Environment - as well as support for multimedia, data connectivity, and speech and handwriting recognition.

Included in the software stack are the IBM Power Manager and the MontaVista Linux kernel. These two components will work together to lower the voltage and frequency of the device when they sense there is low requirement for processing power.

The IBM PowerPC 405LP embedded processor is a 32-bit RISC processor offering high performance and ultra-low power for a wide variety of power-sensitive embedded applications. Using IBM's custom chip-making techniques, additional features can also be added to the PowerPC 405LP to adapt the device to other applications. Samples of the IBM PowerPC 405LP are available now from IBM, with volume production available in the third quarter of 2003. MontaVista Linux CEE is expected to be available from MontaVista Software in the first half of 2003.

For more information, visit www.chips.ibm.com.

About Java News Desk
JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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