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Linux company expands software tools

TimeSys, a company that specializes in Linux for "embedded" computing devices such as DVD players, says its programming tools can be used with any version of the open-source OS.

TimeSys, a company that specializes in Linux for "embedded" computing devices such as DVD players, expanded its programming tools so that they can be used with any version of the open-source operating system.

The expansion means that TimeSys' tools can be used to customize a version of Linux based on either homegrown or commercially available versions of the operating system, the Philadelphia-based company said last week. The move could expand the number of developers interested in the start-up's technology.


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The new development tools are based on the open-source Eclipse programming software IBM initially created. The tools include the Linux Development Suite for creating a customized version of Linux; the Linux Verification Suite, which automates testing to make sure that software works properly; and the Linux Hardware-assisted Debug, a separate system to quickly find glitches in Linux as it boots up.

Among the testers for the tools is Amirix, a company that creates customized embedded software, TimeSys said.

Embedded Linux has been attracting more interest from companies such as Sony and Matsushita as the software is adapted to the market. It competes with established embedded operating systems such as VxWorks from Wind River Systems and Windows from Microsoft.

Red Hat, the top seller of Linux for servers, began an embedded Linux push in the late 1990s, but has chosen instead to focus on its Red Hat Enterprise Linux for corporate server customers.

TimeSys raised $8 million in an investment round in October. The company is a member of the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum.