SOURCE: General Software, Inc.

April 03, 2007 15:20 ET

General Software Announces StrongFrame™ Technology Enabling Targeted Firmware Cores for a Wide Range of Applications

ODMs Can Produce Single Hardware Designs for Multiple Markets Without Maintaining Separate Firmware Stacks for Each SKU

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- Embedded Systems Conference -- General Software, Inc. today announced its StrongFrame™ Technology that enables targeted firmware cores for a wide range of applications. The new technology leverages common libraries of firmware across firmware cores customized for specific target markets, making it possible for Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) to rapidly enter new vertical markets with otherwise high barriers to entry, such as Ultra Mobile PCs, Industrial PCs, Telecom/Datacom, and Embedded.

In recent past, ODMs have differentiated their offerings for different markets solely at the hardware level, with form factors and depopulating parts on the motherboard. While some market segments such as telecommunications are requiring special form factors (such as AdvancedTCA, for example), most products have been largely differentiated by power/performance characteristics associated with the CPUs and chipsets they employ -- ironically the same tool used by competitors.

As these CPUs and chipsets become more sophisticated, they offer capabilities that need firmware support, and the firmware becomes more complex. Rather than offering a Swiss Army knife approach to firmware, General Software has developed a family of core products that fit together under one framework -- StrongFrame™ Technology. With the multi-core StrongFrame™ approach, it is possible for an ODM to create targeted firmware with unique capabilities, all while sharing the same board support programming customization module.

Now ODMs can produce a single hardware design that can be deployed into multiple markets with only minimal form-factor changes and population options, using a set of interchangeable firmware stacks focused on markets like Embedded, Ultra Mobile PCs, subscription PCs such as AMD PIC and Microsoft FlexGo, and Telecom/Datacom.

According to Steve Jones, General Software's Founder & CTO, "Traditional PC BIOS companies offer a one-size-fits-all BIOS to mainboard ODM/OEM companies. However, ODMs are under pressure to offer a range of products beyond a set of mainboards -- in order to stay competitive, they must offer industrial PCs, ultra mobile PCs, in-vehicle PCs, and compute blades."

Continued Jones, "Buyers of these devices don't always want traditional BIOS, nor do they want EFI; customers are looking for ultra mobile PCs that boot Microsoft Vista in ten seconds, not minutes. Telecom customers want blades that offer more availability through self-monitoring, diagnosis, and repair. With targeted firmware, we can enable ODMs to deliver on those requirements."

Today General Software also rolled out Embedded BIOS® with StrongFrame™ Technology, one of several targeted cores, that specifically addresses the Embedded vertical market, which commonly includes kiosks, point of sale (POS) devices, medical equipment, gaming, test equipment, and avionics gear such as flight management systems and flight data recorders.

General Software (www.gensw.com) provides firmware for applications including Ultra-Mobile PCs, industrial PCs, targeted PCs, differentiated mainboards, servers, telecom/datacom equipment, blades, and embedded devices including medical, gaming, kiosks, point-of-sale, DVR, and commercial and military avionics.

General Software specializes in solving difficult implementation issues across myriad devices and applications. For example, with mobile handheld devices, customers require an extremely fast boot and also an extended battery life. These are two completely different sets of problems, but a great illustration of not only the wide range of problems General solves, but how its StrongFrame Technology streamlines and optimizes the process.

About StrongFrame™ Technology

StrongFrame Technology is the framework that enables targeted cores to be built for every application, while leveraging common libraries of software across those cores. Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) choose StrongFrame cores to gain the strength, flexibility, and long life expected from firmware supporting targeted applications that have special requirements, such as such as targeted PCs, mobile PCs, differentiated mainboards, industrial PCs, servers, telecom/datacom equipment, and embedded devices with unique needs.

About Embedded BIOS® with StrongFrame™ Technology

Embedded BIOS with StrongFrame Technology is the leading firmware offering ODM and OEM manufacturers unsurpassed configuration flexibility, rapid and risk-reducing deployment tools, deep compatibility with x86 industry standards, support for the widest range of embedded chipsets, CPUs, and SIO building blocks, and support for multiple core versions and module versions within the same architectural framework. Embedded BIOS with StrongFrame Technology addresses the entire lifecycle of products, from board bring-up, configuration prototyping, testing with system diagnostics, and product manufacturing to in-field diagnostics and software reload.

About General Software, Inc.

For nearly 20 years, General Software, Inc. has provided firmware for a wide range of applications including Ultra-Mobile PCs, industrial PCs, targeted PCs, differentiated mainboards, telecom/datacom equipment, servers, blades, and embedded devices including medical, gaming, kiosks, point-of-sale, DVR, and commercial and military avionics. Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) choose the General Software® brand for the domain expertise and experience that gets customers to market quickly and reduces project risks. For more information about General Software visit www.gensw.com, e-mail sales@gensw.com, or call us at 800.850.5755 or 425.576.8300.

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