Embedded Linux company TimeSys opens Japan office

The company, which sells Linux for cars and consumer electronics, is set to announce that it is opening an office in Japan.

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Stephen Shankland
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TimeSys, a seller of Linux for cars and consumer electronics, has opened a Japanese office, the company will announce Tuesday.

Vice president Paul Rubin will lead the office in Kichijoji, a college town in suburban Tokyo. Rubin has been working in sales, marketing and management in Japan for more than 20 years, TimeSys said in a statement.

Embedded Linux companies such as TimeSys, MontaVista Software, LynuxWorks and Lineo are pushing the comparatively new operating system into a growing class of "embedded" devices. These devices include countless types of computing equipment such as networking hardware, telecommunications servers, handheld computers, airplane navigation systems, printers or VCRs.

In July, TimeSys released a version of Linux guaranteed to respond in a certain amount of time, a requirement called "hard real time."

Establishing an Asian connection is key for embedded Linux companies that need to work with manufacturers in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China and other Asian countries. Local offices are particularly important for embedded software companies that typically make much of their money selling services such as customizing an operating system for a particular device.

Lineo, an embedded Linux company that plans an initial public offering, received a $37 million investment from Asian firms and other investors in May. MontaVista also has a Japanese office. Red Hat, the best-established Linux company, has Japanese offices and an embedded Linux push. And TurboLinux, which has filed to go public, has a strong Asian connection for its Linux push.

A consortium of Asian companies, including Sony, NEC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Canon and Toshiba, have formed an embedded Linux consortium called Emblix. TurboLinux's John Cheuk is chairman of the consortium.