Panasonic Forms Embedded Linux Incubator, Seeks Collaborators
Brad McManus, director of Panasonics Digital Concepts Center, says that the Linux Collaboration Center has not yet confirmed any resident companies, although it is in advanced talks with one. He says the Center is most interested in "middleware and applications, but also tools," and also, "user-interface technologies, such as multi-modal input, possibly involving speech... ubiquitous networking, making devices communicate with each othergenerally, technologies built upon a standardized software architecture."
McManus says a growing focus on standardized software architectures inspired the company to launch its Linux incubator. McManus said, "We want to see our R&D work apply to many different products. And, as in-car devices need to interoperate increasingly with mobile devices, which need to interoperate more with home devices, it helps to have a standardized software architecture."
Panasonic uses other open source OSes in addition to Linux, but Linux has become a top choice due to its cost-effectiveness and robust nature, according to McManus.
Panasonics Digital Concepts Center took an equity investment in MontaVista in March of 2002, and Panasonics parent company, Matsushita, inked a broad licensing deal with the Linux startup last fall, giving it company-wide access to all of MontaVistas products. McManus said he expects Panasonics relationship with MontaVista to expand in the future, and he confirmed that MontaVista Linux plays a role in the companys "standardized software architecture: "Were looking to optimize our products on Linuxbut especially for MontaVista Linux."