MontaVista Linux Breaks Real-Time Performance Barrier

Building on its commitment to deliver real-time performance to the embedded Linux community, MontaVista Software, Inc., the leading provider of Linux for intelligent devices and communications infrastructure, today announced that MontaVista Linux has broken all barriers as a real-time operating system (RTOS) alternative. As demonstrated by recent benchmarks, MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 5.0 delivered sub-30 microsecond worse case measured response times. This dramatically increased ability makes Linux suitable for an ever increasing range of embedded applications such as industrial automation, communications devices, machine control, medical instruments, navigation equipment, and other mission-critical applications.

Commercial Linux solutions provide full control of product development and faster time to market when compared to RTOSes. These advantages over proprietary offerings have made Linux the fastest growing embedded operating system. The recent benchmark results from MontaVista Software show that every incremental improvement in real-time opens another door for application developers to deliver a higher quality and more reliable end-user experience. Organizations once faced with the decision between a flexible Linux platform or a perceived predictable and rapid RTOS need not compromise. Developers can now experience the same real-time capabilities with MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 5.0 as they did with a proprietary legacy RTOS while at the same time enjoying an incomparably rich feature set.

“Proprietary RTOSes do not offer the faster time to market and flexible capabilities needed in today’s dynamic development landscape,” said Jim Ready, CTO and founder of MontaVista Software. “To provide feature-rich intelligent devices, application developers can now have the best of both worlds, with benefits of commercial Linux and the proven real-time enhancements of MontaVista Linux.”

“MontaVista Software continues to demonstrate market leadership in extending the real-time capabilities of Linux,” said Steve Balacco, Director, Embedded Software Practice, Venture Development Corporation. “This success is validated by the millions of end-user devices now running MontaVista Linux and its widened range of support for silicon and hardware to more than 70 processors and 230 boards.”

Benchmark results:

Using a Pentium-M 2 Ghz system and operating in a “worst case” environment of a fully loaded and stressed system, MontaVista Software was able to guarantee a sub-30 microsecond response from interrupt to a user space application. Testing for events occurring both in the kernel and user context, the worst case scenario with a high system load resulted in 26 microsecond user space response time.

As a primary load, MontaVista Software employed code from the Linux Test Project (LTP) called ltpstress. This stress test adds a heavy load to the system, while running the LTP test suite. Ltpstress exercises most of the system calls in the Linux OS. The user space tests used the High-Res-Timer API, and specifically the clock_nanosleep(), a high resolution sleep API.

About MontaVista Software

MontaVista Software is the leading provider of Linux for intelligent devices and telecommunications infrastructure. MontaVista Software delivers a commercial-quality Linux operating system, easy-to-use development tools, expert support, design and migration services and a complete ecosystem of more than 400 partners. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, MontaVista Software has operations in 15 countries. For more information, please visit