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* EL/IX press release
@ 1999-09-27  8:29 Bart Veer
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From: Bart Veer @ 1999-09-27  8:29 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: ecos-announce

New EL/IX API Enables Developers to Extend Linux into Embedded
Computing Environments

EMBEDDED SYSTEMS CONFERENCE, San Jose, CA, September 27, 1999 - Cygnus
Solutions, the leader in open source software, today announced a major
step to pre-empt the fragmentation of embedded Linux in the embedded
computing segment. Cygnus introduced the EL/IX[tm] Application
Programming Interface (API), an open source, configurable API and
development environment for all pervasive computing platforms such as
net-centric appliances and infrastructure systems. EL/IX allows
developers to develop Linux software or embedded software on a desktop
PC, and then deploy this software across embedded devices running
Linux or Cygnus' eCos[tm], a small, configurable open source operating

As Internet connectivity fuels the demand for embedded Linux in new
computing devices such as personal digital assistants, set-top boxes,
routers and telecom switches, Cygnus is taking a leadership role in
establishing standards to enable application scalability and
portability. Establishing this software layer in a standard fashion is
critical to improving the efficiency of software development as
applications are deployed into today's pervasive, net-centric devices.
As has been validated by the desktop PC environment, portability and
standardization are essential for the proliferation of applications on
a common platform.

"Standards are extremely important for a community-developed operating
environment such as Linux," said Dan Kusnetzky, director, Operating
Environments and Serverware, International Data Corporation. "This is
doubly true for software for personal productivity and Internet
appliances being developed by a number of companies today. By
establishing a common, open API and working with members of the Linux
community, Cygnus is making it possible for embedded software
companies to build applications, which can serve a broader array of
customer requirements without resorting to special, one-off
techniques. This would lower their overall development costs and
improve their time to market."

Cygnus will offer the EL/IX API with a software development
environment based on Cygnus GNUPro that makes it possible to produce
and validate software for any Linux based computing appliance. EL/IX
is designed to extend across Linux, from today's desktop solution into
embedded Linux environments ranging from Internet appliances to
network routers and telecom switches. The EL/IX API supports the needs
of real-time (1) developers, who will be able to develop embedded
applications that run on Linux (without real-time guarantees) or EL/IX
compliant RTOSs (Real Time Operating Systems), such as eCos, with
real-time response and/or reduced hardware requirements.

"Pervasive computing continues to drive powerful microprocessors into
an increasing number of non-PC centric devices. This shift is
amplified by the adoption of the Internet and by the momentum behind
open source software," said Alex Daly, president and CEO, Cygnus
Solutions. "With the EL/IX API, companies delivering products to this
heterogeneous computing environment can now develop to an open
standard and take advantage of the growing base of Linux software."

"An embedded Linux solution requires a (software tools) perspective
that focuses on the right configuration and development tools to
enable Linux to become embedded Linux," said Dr. Jerry Krasner,
Research Editor, Electronic Market Forecasters. "Cygnus' role in
embedded computing, with its emerging real-time operating system,
eCos, and the widely used GNU tools for both embedded and Linux
development qualifies it to deliver an API that will work both for
Linux as an embedded operating system as well as other real-time
operating systems."

Scalable Embedded Software

Unlike current, customized versions of embedded Linux that target
specific vertical markets and run the risk of fragmentation (as
happened to Unix), Cygnus is offering an open source, POSIX-based
approach that supports all Linux distributions. The EL/IX API is
supported by an open development environment that meets the
requirements of desktop, embedded Linux, and real-time developers
alike. By providing developers a common set of development tools, a
critical element for successful embedded development, Cygnus makes it
possible to use the EL/IX API with any major Linux distribution to
build properly configured versions of Linux that are small enough to
meet high end embedded requirements. For deeply embedded requirements,
developers can also use the EL/IX API for eCos, the open source, high
configurable, royalty free, embedded Cygnus operating system.

Cygnus Meets the Needs of the Embedded Industry with EL/IX 
"Linux is becoming an established operating system for
Internet-connected appliances," said Dave Dannenberg, director of
platform software and architecture within Intel's Applied Computing
Products Division. "We are pleased with Cygnus' level of commitment to
leading Linux into the embedded community as they demonstrate
development tools that maximize the performance of Intel's processors
while creating an API that enables a common embedded development

"Cygnus further demonstrates its leadership in providing an open
source POSIX API framework, EL/IX, to help structure the diverse Linux
code base onto a common foundation for the development of commercial
embedded applications," said Greg Stoner, manager of applications at
MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS). "EL/IX shows Cygnus' strong
role in providing predictable tools and enabling an application base
to help embedded developers promote the rapid development of new
projects onto the MIPS(R) architecture."

"Cygnus has consistently delivered innovative, open source
technologies that are embraced by many development teams, including
many Toshiba customers," said Dr. Kiichiro Tamaru, chief specialist,
Technology Planning Division, Toshiba Corporation. "Toshiba, who
already offers GNUPro tools on our TX-MIPS line of microprocessors,
also welcomes Cygnus' introduction of EL/IX because we recognize the
power of open source software running on more and more embedded

"Pacific Softworks has already ported Fusion, a fully portable suite
of Internet protocols and applications, to eCos" said Glenn Russell,
President and CEO, Pacific Softworks. "EL/IX API is an exciting
development in embedded software and a big step forward for our
customers who are looking for an industry standard operating system
and support for embedded applications and networking. For users of
Linux, using EL/IX with the Fusion suite will provide a total

EL/IX Welcomed by Linux Community

"EL/IX looks like a totally awesome project," said Miguel de Icaza,
creator of GNOME. "There are some people who are trying to port GNOME
to some embedded devices, and they really need an operating system
like eCos, not Linux, to meet their requirements. Obviously there's
quite a bit of work to do, but the approach is promising. GNOME has
made the right technical decision to permit reuse of the applications
core while allowing different user interfaces for different setups.
Now EL/IX makes it possible to continue this development by building a
bridge that supports both Linux and eCos for embedded development.
Cygnus has done it right again."

"I am pleased to see Cygnus bringing its leadership in embedded
systems to the Linux community through an open source, technically
sound approach based on POSIX," said Ulrich Drepper, GLIBC maintainer
for the Linux operating system. "The POSIX spec was used when Linux
was created, and it seems only appropriate to use that specification
to extend Linux into the embedded world. In particular, if done right,
it means that there can be many different technical implementations
with one common interface, which in turn means that developers have
the freedom to be different while reducing the risk of fragmentation."

The Role of APIs

An API is a set of conventions and rules that provide a documented way
for software, such as an application, to interface to other software,
such as an operating system. An API will be required to create an
industry-standard embedded Linux. Cygnus expects EL/IX API to meet the
needs of embedded Linux, because it is fully available and based on
POSIX 1003.1, the most widely accepted API for portable operating

"Today's announcement is an industry first. A whole spectrum of
embedded development can be achieved using a single API that is
already well-known, accepted, and scalable from high-end to deeply
embedded applications," said Michael Tiemann, founder of Cygnus
Solutions. "By maintaining the EL/IX API as open source software,
Cygnus can help prevent the fragmentation that might occur in embedded


Cygnus is demonstrating an initial version of the EL/IX API this week
at ESC in the Cygnus booth #1220 running on an Intel Pentium II
processor based platform. Developers can review the EL/IX API and
contribute to its development by registering to join the EL/IX API
consortium at .
Cygnus Solutions, the leader in open-source software and an innovating
force in Internet software infrastructure, offers development tools
and operating systems based on an open source model, as well as custom
engineering services and developer support services. Founded in 1989,
with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, Cygnus has sales and
engineering offices throughout North America, Japan, and the United


(1) Real-time is characteristic of embedded applications such as
anti-lock braking systems which cannot queue in a task such as
stopping the automobile at a later time.
Cygnus and GNUPro are registered trademarks, and Code Fusion, Insight,
Sourceware, EL/IX, and eCos are trademarks of Cygnus Solutions. All
other company and product names are trademarks of their respective

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