MontaVista® announces an Advanced Linux-based application
environment for high speed packet processing

Bare Metal Engine™ enables dynamically configurable dataplane for multi-core SOCs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – October 27, 2011 –MontaVista® Software, LLC, today announced dynamically configurable data plane capabilities in the MontaVista Bare Metal Engine™, offering a single development environment that dynamically scales from the high performance services of  Embedded Linux to dedicated near zero overhead bare metal environments for packet processing. MontaVista’s Bare Metal Engine, or BME, enables network equipment providers to use a single Linux development environment and tool suite without sacrificing the performance formerly only achieved from an application running on a semiconductor’s executive.

Major chip vendors that target the data networking space have created proprietary runtime executives as a part of their multi-core strategy.  The goal of these executives is to create an easy way to dedicate SOC to an application with minimal overhead, i.e. maximize the performance ofthe underlying hardware. These proprietary executives do a greatjob at removing the overhead of an operating system(proprietary or Linux), however they all introduce a complex proprietary runtime environment on the underlying hardware.  As such they require different compilers and lack sophisticated debug, trace, and analysis tools typically associated with Linux. This creates two major problems: greater overhead for development and maintenance of a product and the inability for a developer to debug or optimize an application in the executive environment.

MontaVista's Bare Metal Engine removes the problems developers have been experiencing due to the inability to debug with semi executives. With the BME tool suite,MontaVista delivers a common toolset for compiling, profiling, tracing, and debugging in Linux and Bare Metal applications.  BME has been measured to exceed 99% of a semiconductor’s runtime executive performance.  BME can also be extended to any processor architecture creating even greater benefits to NEPs using more than one multi-core SOC vendor, by providing greater application portability.

For the next generation of network equipment, scaling performance to 40Gbps and 100Gpbs is important, but the demands put on this equipment will hardly be homogenous.  While multi-core SOC’s offer new possibilities for combining multiple applications on a single chip, the next frontier for the data plane is the ability to dynamically reconfigure a line card for the changes in network demands.  This ability to hot swap bare metal applications as needed without affecting services will be a key differentiator in making the data plane more powerful and efficient. Bare Metal Enginegives developersthe ability to design systems that can instantly reallocate SOC resources based on traffic demands without rebooting.  This can be reallocation between the control plane and data plane, or even reallocating the Bare Metal applications between IP Sec and IP Forwarding, for example.

"In the past the only way a developer could get this level of performance was by running an application with a semi library in ‘bare metal’ directly on the hardware.This was great for performance, but not convenient for development and debugging.  Developers had to choose between tools and performance," said Patrick MacCartee Director of Product Management. "No longer does this choice have to be made.With MontaVista’s Bare Metal Engine developers get the benefits in both worlds!  Bare metal performance previously only found in a semi’s proprietary executive, with the tools and support of a Linux ecosystem."

MontaVista’s Bare Metal Engine is currently available for the Cavium OCTEON™ II family of processors, with multi-core Intel and ARM processor support availablein the near future.

About MontaVista Software
MontaVista Software, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cavium Networks (NASDAQ: CAVM), is a leader in embedded Linux commercialization. For over 10 years, MontaVista has been helping embedded developers get the most out of open source by adding commercial quality, integration, hardware enablement, expert support, and the resources of the MontaVista development community. Because MontaVista customers enjoy faster time to market, more competitive device functionality, and lower total cost, more devices have been deployed with MontaVista than with any other Linux. To learn more, please visit

Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and other countries. MontaVista is a registered trademark of MontaVista Software, Inc. All other names mentioned are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.