Embedded Linux specialist Monta Vista to be acquired by embedded computer maker Cavium Networks

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 11 Nov. 2009. Microprocessor designer Cavium Networks in Mountain View, Calif., has agreed to buy embedded Linux software supplier MontaVista Software Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., in a move reminiscent of last June when microprocessor giant Intel Corp. acquired real-time embedded software expert Wind River Systems.

Posted by John Keller

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., 11 Nov. 2009. Microprocessor designer Cavium Networks in Mountain View, Calif., has agreed to buy embedded Linux software supplier MontaVista Software Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., in a move reminiscent of last June when microprocessor giant Intel Corp. acquired real-time embedded software expert Wind River Systems.

Embedded computer expert Cavium Networks agreed Tuesday to buy MontaVista for $50 million -- $16 million in cash and $34 million in Cavium Networks common stock. The embedded systems deal is expected to close next month.

"Software is becoming an increasingly important part of the total solution with the rapidly increasing adoption of multi-core processors," says Syed Ali, president and chief executive officer of Cavium Networks, who says the acquisition will complement Cavium's processor portfolio with software expertise.

"Embedded Linux is poised for rapid growth," points out Rusty Harris, president and chief executive officer of MontaVista Software, who points to a major trend in using embedded Linux in place of traditional proprietary operating systems in embedded systems.

MontaVista provides carrier-grade embedded Linux software for companies like Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia-Siemens, NTT, Motorola, and Samsung, Harris says. MontaVista also provides the Montabello software for Dell's instant-on Latitude notebook computers.

After the acquisition, Cavium Networks officials say they will run MontaVista Software as a separate operating unit, retain the MontaVista brand, and support MontaVista's embedded Linux on several architectures from different microprocessor vendors, officials say.

Still, the move is bound to put a chill into MontaVista's share of the embedded Linux market. Wind River, for example, continues to face a tough challenge in convincing its real-time software customers of the company's commitment to non-Intel processor architectures in the long term.

Still, some industry experts maintain that MontaVista will continue to support non-Cavium processor architectures. MontaVista "is a key software partner in the ARM ecosystem," says Warren East, chief executive officer of ARM Holdings plc in Cambridge, England, maker of the ARM microprocessor.

"We look forward to working together to enable the availability of MontaVista Linux on all licensed MIPS cores," echoes John Bourgoin, president and chief executive officer of MIPS Technologies Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., producer of MIPS microprocessor cores.

For more information contact Cavium Networks online at www.caviumnetworks.com, or MontaVista Software at www.mvista.com.

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