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Programmable Intel Compute Appliance (PICA) gets a Hard Hat

May 23, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Santa Clara, CA — (press release) — MontaVista, Inc., developer of the Hard Hat Linux operating system for embedded applications, today introduced support for the Programmable Intel Compute Appliance (PICA). The PICA, an Intel Celeron-based platform, targets a variety of Internet Appliance applications, including home networking and network security.

The MontaVista engineering team re-targeted Hard Hat Linux to run on the PICA in record time, going from initial power-on to a Linux prompt in under 90 minutes, testimony to the portability and stability of the embedded Linux software platform. “The impressive selection of hardware support for Linux, combined with MontaVista embedded Linux expertise, made this port a snap,” exclaimed Kevin Morgan, MontaVista engineering vice president. “Linux adaptation to new platforms proceeds at 'Internet speed', in stark contrast to the 6-10 week porting efforts required for traditional, proprietary embedded operating systems.”

The PICA port, as well as ports to Intel StrongARM and other high integration embedded processors, exemplify MontaVista's focus on Internet appliances and communications I/O processing. “The versatile Linux OS handily addresses the diverse requirements of deeply embedded, I/O-intensive applications,” comments Jim Ready, industry pioneer and MontaVista president/CEO. “What other embedded operating system can you find controlling Internet radios, phone switch line cards, home networking gateways and mobile devices?”

PICA Board Support

Hard Hat Linux for the PICA supports the board's array of peripherals, including 100 megabit Ethernet, USB, flash memory, IDE disk support, and a PMC/PCI expansion interface. By leveraging the openness of Linux and the power and features of the Intel Celeron reference hardware, Hard Hat Linux for PICA offers full TCP/IP networking, local and remote multi-format file systems (VFS/NFS/Samba), remote login/shell, web services (HTTP/FTP/etc.), headless operation, scalable footprint, and a rich selection of other services.


Hard Hat Linux Support Packages (LSPs), including a PICA LSP, can be obtained from the MontaVista FTP site at A standard PICA LSP will accompany MontaVista version 2.0 Hard Hat Linux Cross Development Kit (CDK), slated for release in early Q3 of 2000. Hard Hat Linux for the Intel PICA and the Hard Hat Linux x86/Pentium CDK are on display at the Applied Computing Conference, May 22-25, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Booth #222.

This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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