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Mentor, RIM build up embedded software assets

Posted: 08 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:open-source  GNU  embedded software  acquisition 

In a move that shows the rising relevance of open source software and tools in the development of embedded systems, Mentor Graphics acquired some of the assets of GNU-based tools and services provider CodeSourcery Inc. and Research in Motion bought The Astonishing Tribe (TAT).

Mentor's acquisition expands the company beyond its embedded runtime products more deeply into tools, and Mark Mitchell, CEO of CodeSourcery, will oversee Mentor's embedded tools business. CodeSourcery is known for its GNU compilers, assemblers, linkers, debuggers and other tools such the Sourcery G++ environment and Sourcery VSIPL++ image-processing tools.

"The quality of tools is key to the perceived performance of silicon," said Mitchell who has worked with a wide variety of chipmakers including ARM, Freescale, MIPS, Renesas and Texas Instruments.

"We believe that the future of embedded development depends on the wide availability of open source software and tools," said Glenn Perry, GM, embedded software division, Mentor.

Mentor acquired Embedded Alley in 2009 in part to gain access to its port of Android on MIPS.

Meanwhile, RIM's acquisition of TAT beefs up its user interface and embedded software development teams.

"Today we are pleased to confirm plans for The Astonishing Tribe team to join Research In Motion," wrote David Yach, CTO, RIM, in a blog post. "We're excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms."

The deals come at a time when the size of software stacks on mobile and embedded systems continues to grow in size and complexity, Perry said.

Mentor's embedded group has competed with TAT for some system software design deals, sources said.

TAT has 150 people and claims it has software running in 50 crore phones. Perry would not say how many people Mentor brought on from CodeSourcery, but he did say the Mentor acquired all its products including runtime environment.

A handful of Mentor's chip customers welcomed the CodeSourcery acquisition, including representatives from ARM, Freescale, MIPS, NetLogic and Texas Instruments.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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