MMC Networks and Monta Vista Software Bring Linux to Network Processor-Based Routers

NGN2000 demonstration showcases industry's first working high-speed router reference design based on open-source software and off-the-shelf network processing chipsets

Next Generation Networks 2000, Washington, D.C. - October 30, 2000 - MMC Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC) and Monta Vista Software, Inc. today announced a joint public demonstration of the industry's first high-speed Internet Protocol (IP) router reference design based completely on off-the-shelf network processing hardware and open-source Linux-based software. This joint reference design signals a significant advance for the networking industry, allowing a completely new generation of networking and communications equipment vendors to bring products to market more rapidly than ever.

MMC Networks is the market leader in network processors for rapid development of multi-gigabit networking and communications products, while Monta Vista Software is the developer of the Hard Hat™ Linux operating system for embedded applications. MMC and Monta Vista have combined Monta Vista's Hard Hat Linux for real-time applications with MMC's complete network processing platforms (network processors, switch fabrics, and traffic management engines), the MMC nPsoft™ Development Environment - including base system software, IP routing application reference library and developer AP - and additional open-source application code.

This marriage of MMC Networks' high-performance, deterministic hardware and software with Monta Vista's cost effective, functionality-rich Linux platform forms the potential base for a variety of Layer 3-7 service provider WAN and enterprise LAN devices. Network equipment vendors can, in turn, focus precious software resources on adding their own unique value to products ranging from broadband and optical access to IP subscriber management, Web switching and more.

"This innovation enables the development of high-speed switching and routing systems based completely on off-the-shelf technology," stated Jim Ready, president and CEO of Monta Vista Software. "By combining Monta Vista Software's expertise in Linux and open-source software for real-time embedded applications with MMC Networks' market-leading network processors, the networking equipment vendors can enjoy a dramatic time-to-market acceleration."

"The technological advancement demonstrated today allows network equipment vendors to further concentrate on development of their own differentiating system features," stated Doug Spreng, president of MMC Networks. "Rather than spending time and resources on ASIC design and base system software development, network equipment vendors can put those efforts into creating system differentiation and ultimately garnering a higher stake in their respective markets."

Integration Time Reduced

Even with off-the-shelf hardware, many network equipment vendors want to get as much of a head start on software as possible. The engineering community is certainly familiar with the time-to-market and cost benefits of open-source software for PC-based systems - including both the Linux operating system and open-source networking application code written for and freely available to run on Linux - but with high-speed switches and routers, the hardware and embedded software environment is considerably more sophisticated than a desktop PC.

Typically, high-speed switch/router developers must first create their own application (e.g., IP routing) code for both their central management processor (CPU) and their fast-forwarding network processors (NPUs). Then they have to integrate management processor, network processor, switch fabric, and traffic management hardware with both their own software and a real-time operating system (RTOS).

As today's demonstration illustrates, MMC and Monta Vista have done both the custom development and open-source integration work to deliver a complete hardware and software reference design for an off-the-shelf high-speed IP router.

MMC and Monta Vista Reference Design Demo

MMC and Monta Vista are jointly demonstrating this reference design here at the Next Generation Networks 2000 conference. This demonstration marks the first working high-speed router reference design based purely on open-source software and off-the-shelf networking processor chipsets. The reference design incorporates:

  • MMC's chassis-based development system hardware, with nP7000 family line cards connected to an nPX5000 family switch fabric and traffic management engine
  • Monta Vista's enhanced Hard Hat Linux RTOS on the management CPU
  • MMC's nPsoft™ Services framework software and nPsoft IPv4 routing application reference library on both the NPUs and management CPU
  • Open-source application-layer routing information protocol software, integrated with Linux RTOS and MMC's nPsoft API

About MMC Networks, Inc.

On October 25, 2000, MMC Networks and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (Nasdaq: AMCC) completed a definitive agreement under which MMC merged with AMCC becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of AMCC. MMC Networks is the first mover and market leader in providing total network processing platforms and services, enabling network and communications equipment vendors to rapidly develop scalable, feature-rich, cost-effective products. MMC platforms form the silicon heart of many L2-L7 WAN and LAN switches and routers, broadband, optical, web switching, subscriber management, and other communications platforms. For additional information call 408-731-1600. MMC Networks - The Network Processor Company™

About MontaVista Software, Inc.

MontaVista Software Inc., founded in 1999 by real-time operating system pioneer James Ready, delivers open-source software solutions for the worldwide embedded software market. MontaVista's principal offering is the Linux® operating system tailored for embedded software applications. MontaVista products include Hard Hat™ Linux®, a standard off-the-shelf binary distribution of Linux for x86, PowerPC, StrongARM, MIPS and other microprocessor architectures. Hard Hat Linux offers developers a mix of open source and standard APIs, as well as unique open source solutions for embedded design including the MontaVista real-time scheduler and Hard Hat Net CompactPCI back-plane networking. Hard Hat Linux is supported by a comprehensive tool suite including optimizing compilers for C, C++ and other languages; high-level language debuggers; and performance monitoring tools. The company's Subscription Plans also provide Linux support, porting and customization services to customers worldwide. MontaVista headquarters are in Sunnyvale, Calif., in the heart of the Silicon Valley. For more information please visit us at

nPsoft, The Network Processor Company and the MMC Networks logo are trademarks of MMC Networks, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Hard Hat is a trademark of MontaVista Software Inc. All other names mentioned are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective companies.

The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the future performance of MMC's products and the anticipated benefits to be realized by MMC's customers from its products. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, risks associated with the development of the market for network processors, rapid technological change in that market, errors, defects or bugs in newly introduced products, competition, as well as the factors discussed in MMC's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999, and MMC's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof, and MMC does not assume any obligation to update the reasons why actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.


Jim Lucas
Sr. Manager of Marketing Communications
MMC Networks, Inc.
(408) 731-1600

Julie Barnes
Senior Account Executive
FitzGerald Communications Inc.
(415) 986-9500, ext. 217

Kent McMullen
Vice President of Marketing
MontaVista Software
(408) 328-9228