LynuxWorks, formerly known as Lynx Real-Time Systems, is one of several companies focusing on using Linux in "embedded," non-PC computing devices such as factory robots, handheld computers and network routers. The acquisition of Integrated Software and Devices (ISD) will help LynuxWorks bolster its services offerings, especially in high-performance and crash-proof computers.
The acquisition, if approved by shareholders, also will give LynuxWorks expertise working with Arm, MIPS and Motorola processors, a representative for the company said. Terms of the stock-for-stock deal were not disclosed.
ISD, based in San Jose, Calif., was founded in 1991. It has 50 employees. The company writes software and provides consulting services for embedded systems.
LynuxWorks is one of several competitors in the embedded Linux market, which is growing as different companies see the potential of the cooperatively developed operating system outside servers and desktop PCs. Other competitors include Lineo, Red Hat, SuSE, TimeSys and MontaVista Software. LynuxWorks already has an embedded operating system, called Lynx, but is moving its product line toward Linux and recently raised $20 million for the transformation.
TimeSys recently released a version of Linux that is guaranteed to respond in a certain amount of time, called "hard real-time." Lineo, which has acquired a half-dozen companies, attracted backing from computing heavyweights, and filed to go public, also said yesterday it has a hard real-time version of embedded Linux.
Meanwhile, the embedded Linux efforts of TurboLinux have grown more prominent. The company's effort, which is based in Japan and focuses on a version for Motorola chips, is led by John Cheuk, recently appointed chairman of the Japan Embedded Linux Consortium.
The Japanese consortium, called Emblix, includes Asian electronics giants Sony, NEC, Fujitsu, Canon, Toshiba and others. It also includes U.S. companies such as Lineo, Red Hat, Montavista and Metroworks.
For its server products, TurboLinux has released EnFuzion, software that harnesses the computing power of numerous computers running Linux, Windows, Sun Solaris and other operating systems. The product costs $5,000. TurboLinux also has released a $50 version of Linux for computers using Compaq's Alpha chip.