Author: Iisko Lappalainen, Director of Product Management and Solutions at MontaVista Software

Companies who have struggled with finding a stable, secure and highly configurable platform for their interconnected embedded applications will now be able to accelerate their development cycles and enter the market along with Microchip’s PolarFire® System-on-Chip (SoC) Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) RISC-V based platform faster thanks to MontaVista Linux CGX.

MontaVista Launches CGX 4.0 on PolarFire SoC

MontaVista’s 14th-Generation Embedded Linux Platform, Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) 4.0 is now available on PolarFire® System-on-Chip (SoC) Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA).

For more than 20 years, MontaVista has been building the next-generation embedded devices across critical vertical markets such Telecom/Networking, Industrial, Military/Aerospace, Medical and Automotive. Now we join Microchip in offering our platform on the new and exciting RISC-V ecosystem.

Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX): MontaVista Linux Operating System

MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) is MontaVista’s operating system core product. CGX provides a reliable, secure and serviceable Carrier Grade Linux with high flexibility and quality. CGX delivers a comprehensive platform that keeps up the latest requirements of smart devices such as application portability, dynamic configuration, field maintenance and real-time performance.

MontaVista Linux CGX complies with CGL spec version 5.0 with key criteria: availability, serviceability, performance and security, along with clustering functionality, standards support and hardware-interfacing functionality. CGX also has achieved Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ certification, which will ensure advanced security and a certification-ready build process across embedded market verticals.

MontaVista CGX has been powering embedded devices since the early days of Linux being applicable for real-time/embedded designs, MontaVista being behind some of the early advances for making the Linux kernel suitable for embedded systems.

Now the market is taking a step toward the RISC-V ecosystem, a new architecture for many product companies, with inherent risk in choosing the right operating system in connection with their chosen hardware platform.

MontaVista has partnered with Microchip to offer a precision-engineered starting point for product development: the Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA with MontaVista Carrier Grade eXpress 4.0.

With the joint offering, MontaVista offers commercial-grade support on the operating system level, as well as a commercialized Yocto-based environment to quick-start development programs and have your back during the development, launch and maintenance phase of the program’s lifecycle.

Our customers have enjoyed support on fielded devices for 15 years or more, on the same baseline the device was launched with. Using CGX allows a hassle-free approach for being compliant for the upcoming EU Cyber Resilience Act and builds features like SBOM support and license compliance manifests needed to meet US cybersecurity requirements.

CGX 4.0 is based on the Linux 5.10 kernel, with the user-space content being based on the Yocto 4.0 LTS platform. CGX also has a built-in integrated feature set to build up Over-the-Air updates using TUF (The Update Framework), Carrier-grade debugging, clustering and usability features, and numerous security features to build a secure embedded platform.

In the ever-evolving landscape of embedded systems, two key forces are reshaping the way we think about hardware and software integration: the rise of the RISC-V architecture and the required operating system software support for the new ISA. To truly appreciate the significance of MontaVista’s partnership with Microchip and the innovation it brings to product development, let's take a closer look at the background and context of these transformative technologies.

The Emergence of RISC-V Architecture

The RISC-V architecture, often referred to as the "ISA for all," is nothing short of a revolution in the world of computing. Born out of academia, RISC-V is an open-source instruction set architecture, meaning it provides a standardized framework for building processors and hardware components. What sets RISC-V apart from its predecessors is its openness and flexibility.

Proprietary ISAs have long dominated the semiconductor industry, limiting choices for hardware designers and leading to vendor lock-in. RISC-V changes this paradigm by offering an open and extensible ISA that encourages innovation, collaboration and customization. As a result, RISC-V has gained traction across a wide range of applications, from IoT devices to high-performance computing clusters.

MontaVista's Legacy in Embedded Linux

Embedded Linux has come a long way since its inception, and MontaVista has been at the forefront of this transformative journey. As Linux extended its reach into the realm of real-time and embedded systems, MontaVista played a pivotal role in making the Linux kernel suitable for these demanding applications.

MontaVista CGX, the company's flagship embedded Linux distribution, has a track record spanning decades. It has powered countless embedded devices across industries, providing a robust and reliable foundation for critical applications. MontaVista's expertise in customizing Linux for embedded environments has made it a trusted partner for product companies looking to harness the power of open-source technology.

Microchip's PolarFire SoC FPGA

At the heart of the RISC-V revolution lies Microchip's PolarFire SOC FPGA, a formidable hardware platform that combines the versatility of a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) with the processing capabilities of a System-on-Chip (SoC). This fusion of FPGA and SoC technologies opens up new possibilities for embedded system design.

Microchip's PolarFire SoC FPGA is a prime example of innovation in the RISC-V ecosystem. Its adaptability makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, from aerospace to industrial automation. This FPGA-SoC hybrid not only offers impressive performance but also provides a canvas for custom hardware acceleration, ensuring that it can meet the demands of diverse industries.

Now that we've set the stage by exploring the significance of RISC-V architecture and MontaVista's legacy, let's delve into the heart of our story: the synergy between MontaVista CGX and Microchip's PolarFire SOC FPGA. In this section, we will uncover the remarkable benefits and capabilities that this partnership brings to the world of embedded system development.

Precision Engineered Product Development

When it comes to building embedded systems, precision is paramount. The collaboration between MontaVista and Microchip offers a precision-engineered starting point for product development. It combines the strengths of MontaVista CGX, a time-tested and trusted embedded Linux distribution, with Microchip's PolarFire SoC FPGA, a versatile and powerful hardware platform.

This synergy ensures that product companies have access to a robust and reliable foundation for their projects. Whether you're developing solutions for the aerospace industry, automotive sector or any other domain, the precision of this joint offering empowers you to create products that meet the highest standards of performance and reliability.

Commercial Grade Support and Faster Time to Market

Navigating the complex landscape of embedded systems can be challenging, especially when it comes to choosing the right operating system for your hardware. MontaVista simplifies this process by offering commercial-grade support on the operating system level. With MontaVista CGX, product companies can rest assured that they have a partner who understands the intricacies of embedded Linux and is ready to provide the support they need.

Moreover, MontaVista’s commercial Yocto-based environment accelerates development programs. It serves as a ready-built launchpad for innovation, allowing you to focus on building your value-add content with confidence. MontaVista has your back not only during the development phase but throughout the entire lifecycle of your program, from inception to maintenance.

Long-Term Support

In the world of embedded systems, longevity is a crucial consideration. MontaVista goes the extra mile by offering support for fielded devices for 15 years or more, all while maintaining the same baseline the device was launched with. This commitment to long-term support ensures that your products remain stable and secure throughout their lifecycle.


Furthermore, using MontaVista CGX aligns with upcoming regulatory requirements, such as the EU Cyber Resilience Act and U.S. cybersecurity requirements. Our solution simplifies compliance by incorporating essential features like Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) support and license compliance manifests, helping you meet the evolving cybersecurity landscape head-on.

Security and compliance are paramount in today's interconnected world. MontaVista CGX is designed with cybersecurity in mind, helping you build devices that are resilient to cyber threats. Our solution includes features like SBOM support, which provides transparency into your software components, and license compliance manifests, ensuring adherence to licensing requirements.

By choosing MontaVista CGX and Microchip's PolarFire SoC FPGA, you're not only investing in cutting-edge technology but also in the peace of mind that comes from knowing your devices are equipped to meet the cybersecurity challenges of today and tomorrow.

MontaVista Services

1. MVXpert: MontaVista Professional Services

MVXpert is a concept for MontaVista’s Professional Services that provides support and maintenance on all Linux distros. MontaVista has been the innovator in the Embedded Linux market and helping companies run their products with open source since 1999. MVXpert now offers MontaVista’s deep Linux technical expertise across markets, hardware enablement and board maintenance packages as a flexible and scalable solution, regardless of the embedded Linux you choose.

View the MVXpert service page.

2. MVSecure: MontaVista Security-focused Services

MVSecure delivers high quality security assessment, configuration and certification services on all Linux baselines, supported by security expertise of MontaVista from more than 20 years of experience in the Embedded market.

MVSecure allows you to get a tailor-made security optimization and system certification program, based on your specific infrastructure and application. The long-standing expertise of MontaVista teams and support services guarantee an end-to-end solution to enhance your system security and streamline certification acquisition process for the whole life-cycle of your products.

View the MVSecure service page.

Contact Us

For further information about our products and services, please reach out to us at or contact Montavista website.

You can follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube.