SOURCE: General Software, Inc.

March 08, 2005 14:00 ET

General Software Announces Platform Update Facility Firmware Application to Enable Self Maintenance for Embedded x86 Devices

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 8, 2005 -- Embedded Systems Conference West -- General Software, Inc., the leading supplier of embedded x86 firmware solutions, today introduced at the Embedded Systems Conference West a new firmware application for managing software updates for embedded systems. As the third member of a new Firmware Applications Suite™ specifically developed to enhance embedded x86 systems, the Platform Update Facility provides an extremely flexible technique for updating software components of deployed products ranging from set-top boxes, medical devices, teller machines, voting machines, gaming machines, information appliances, industrial controllers and telecommunications equipment.

"Providing software updates to embedded devices is a large cost component for deployed systems. The Platform Update Facility is a unique firmware application that enables updating of disk partitions, files within partitions, CMOS contents, and Flash memory," said Steve Dearden, General Software's vice president of sales and marketing. "Customers can now develop products that are capable of self maintenance on critical software components, thus dramatically reducing costs to deploy and maintain embedded devices."

Platform Update Facility allows manual replacement or automatic upgrade of system components at any time during operation. When operating automatically, it can check selected upgradeable system components by comparing cryptographic hash signatures on each boot, and download and replace them with new data as needed. This same automatic operation can be triggered by conditions such as OS system death, or when failures are signaled by other system events. The definitions of updateable objects are specified by the ODM/OEM in a ROM-resident policy database. Standard Firmbase® Technology TCB user-level security is provided on all objects. The Platform Update Facility is remotely manageable with any web browser, over the internet. Common applications include loading the OS and application during the manufacturing process; updating the OS, application, and BIOS images on devices in the field; repairing software on devices in the field; and backup/restore operations of partitions, files, CMOS, and Flash memory in the target.

About Embedded BIOS® 2000

Embedded BIOS® 2000 is the leading BIOS SDK for embedded x86 designs, with over 800 OEM-customizable configuration parameters, support for multiple embedded operating systems, and support for major OS and hardware initiatives. Embedded BIOS 2000 addresses the entire lifecycle of embedded products, from board bring-up, configuration prototyping, testing with system diagnostics, and product manufacturing to in-field diagnostics and software reload. Features include an integrated debugger; console redirection; highly configurable POST; manufacturing mode; ROM, RAM, and Flash file systems; support for a host of industry initiatives; and much more. Embedded BIOS 2000 supports industry-standard operating systems that run on PC-compatible hardware, including the full spectrum of Windows, Linux, and real-time operating systems.

About Firmbase® Technology

Firmbase Technology is General Software's patented 32-bit firmware infrastructure that contributes the surety and trust expected from firmware applications. A non-stop SMM envelope is provided which keeps firmware applications running, even when the OS and user application have failed, or are missing. Firmbase Technology is ROM-resident and provides a chain of trust from power-on to OS boot. It supplies the user-level security for the BIOS and for firmware applications which do not run under OS control.

About General Software, Inc.

General Software, Inc. provides superior embedded x86 firmware solutions and world-class support for OEM manufacturers of telecommunications, data communications, consumer electronics, dedicated servers, and other specialized computing devices. General Software's well-architected and reliable firmware products reduce risk, speed development, and address embedded OEM product lifecycle needs. For more information about General Software and its embedded firmware, visit, e-mail, or contact David Tobar at 800-850-5755 or 425-576-8300.

Contact Information

    Kate Johnsen
    General Software, Inc.
    425.576.8300 x229