MontaVista's distribution of the operating system, called Hard Hat Linux, is designed for use in embedded systems such as set-top boxes and Internet appliances. The version for the PowerPC, which is aimed at networked applications, will be demonstrated at the Linux Expo in Montreal, which kicked off yesterday, the company said in a statement.
The PowerPC 405GP chip features a number of embedded peripherals, including on-board Ethernet capabilities, a PCI (peripheral component interconnect) bus interface and on-chip SRAM (static random access memory).
Although the end user is largely unaware what operating system embedded devices are running, but porting to a processor architecture that is popular among appliance makers can give embedded software companies a strong entry into the market.
Other embedded Linux companies such as Lineo, which makes the Embedix distribution, have already begun to expand beyond porting to the PowerPC and Intel architectures.