MontaVista Inserts PICMG Hot Swap into Open Source

Call to Action for CompactPCI Board and Systems Vendors and Open Source Developers to Support Embedded Linux

Sunnyvale, Calif., April 10, 2001 - MontaVista Software Inc., the company powering the embedded revolution, today announced the submission of its hot swap infrastructure code to the Open Source Community. MontaVista is releasing the hot swap code as a project on Source Forge with two goals: to encourage a wide adoption of the base software and to promote the development of the infrastructure for fault-resilience and high availability.

The PICMG (PCI Industrial Manufacturers Group) 2.12 software interface specification describes the process for installing and removing CompactPCI boards into and from a running system. The specification includes the concept of a hot swap infrastructure, a body of software that interfaces with the underlying operating system to support hot swap. In particular, the software infrastructure in PICMG 2.12 supports the discovery, configuration, and management of hot swapped system resources. The implementation that MontaVista is placing into Open Source builds on the Linux 2.4 kernel, and includes platform drivers for the Ziatech ZT5550 hot swap redundant system slot board and the Motorola Computer Group 82xx high availability platforms.

"By placing this technology into Open Source, we invite our open software peers to join forces with us and with industry-leading hardware vendors to implement PICMG standard technology on the broadest possible platform base," commented Kevin Morgan, MontaVista vice president of engineering. "Opening this project on SourceForge is a call to action to all interested parties to bring this key high availability technology rapidly into the marketplace and out into deployed systems."

In keeping with MontaVista and Open Source practices, all pertinent work is submitted back to the relevant source trees promoting the architecture and specification for the entire community. MontaVista and others are promoting PICMG 2.12 and related standards for the above-mentioned platforms and other carrier class hardware from Motorola Computer Group, Ziatech, Force Computers, Radisys, and others. Acceptance of standards like PICMG 2.12 will enhance the infrastructure mix needed by communications equipment manufacturers to build central office switching equipment, ISP/ASP platforms, and other networking applications, giving them and integrators more design options to speed OEM communications solutions to market.

Interested parties can examine and download the project code from SourceForge at -- for additional information on the hot swap, redundant system slot, and chassis drivers for embedded Linux, contact MontaVista Software.


High Availability (HA) is a term for technology that enhances the "up-time" of computer systems by distributing functionality across multiple CPUs. In response to hardware and software failures, HA systems facilitate the rapid transfer of control (fail-over) from a faulty CPU, peripheral, or software component to a functional one, while preserving operations or transactions in-progress at the time of failure. Many embedded designers choose the standard CompactPCI board and system form factor for HA designs since it supports hot swap (replacement and insertion) of system and peripheral cards without the need for cycling power, reducing technician-assisted time-to-repair.

About MontaVista Software Inc.

MontaVista Software Inc. is a leading provider of open-source systems software solutions for embedded systems. Founded in 1999 by real-time operating system pioneer James Ready, MontaVista's principal offering is the Linux operating system and cross development tools tailored for embedded systems. MontaVista products include Hard HatTM Linux®, a standard off-the-shelf binary distribution of Linux for x86/IA-32, PowerPC, StrongARM, MIPS, Hitach SH and other microprocessor architectures. Hard Hat Linux offers developers a family of open source solutions for embedded design, with targeted offerings for applications ranging from communications infrastructure to thin-client and edge applications.

Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale, California, MontaVista Software is a privately held company funded by leading investors such Alloy Ventures, US Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, WR Hambrecht + Co, and Intel Capital. For more information about MontaVista, please visit or call (408) 328-9200.

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.


Joe Samagond
Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications
MontaVista Software Inc.
Phone: (408) 328-9234

Patricia Colby
PR Strategy and Business Development
Pacifico Inc.
Phone (408) 293-8600 ext. 340