Intel made a minority equity investment today in Lynx Real-Time Systems in an effort to support the development of an embedded Linux operating system to run on Intel's IX (Internet Exchange) architecture for networking and communications.
Lynx Real-Time Systems develops embedded, real-time operating systems for applications that target telecommunications. The company already offers a suite of embedded Linux products, such as BlueCat Linux from Lynx, which supports Intel's x86 architecture.
Intel has been steadily increasing its investments in networking and telecommunications technologies recently. In the last few weeks, the chip giant purchased Basis Communications for US$450 million with plans to incorporate Basis' network-processor technology into Intel's IX architecture.
The Lynx investment came from Intel's $200 million Intel Communications Fund, which makes minority equity investments of typically less than $10 million in companies that support key Intel programs in voice and data.
"Intel wants to see multiple operating systems and development tools out there for IX," said Intel spokesperson William Giles. "And we want to make sure there's room for Linux on the networks, as many of the guys that are doing these networking applications are realizing Linux is becoming more of an option."
"Lynx's primary business is embedded systems," Giles said. "And this adds more momentum toward IX."
The Intel announcement coincides with similar news from Red Hat, which launched its own embedded version of Linux, known as eCos (Embedded Configurable Operating System).
Of the many eCos-compatible architectures provided by Red Hat officials, Intel x86 and Intel StrongARM appear on the list; IX does not.