SOURCE: General Software, Inc.

April 03, 2007 15:11 ET

General Software Demonstrates FlexGo BIOS Firmware at Embedded Systems Conference

A Glimpse Into How Firmware Can Be Used to Differentiate Devices Such as Targeted PCs

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- Embedded Systems Conference -- General Software, Inc. unveiled its graphical user interface for Microsoft pay-as-you-go FlexGo PCs, illustrating how specialization of device firmware enables generic hardware to support targeted markets including Microsoft's pay-as-you-go model announced last May.

By customizing its BIOS firmware to include a special graphical operating environment in the BIOS, General Software enables users to interact with Microsoft FlexGo PCs when they run out of pre-paid time. Attendees at the Embedded Systems Conference were able to try out the graphical interface built into the custom BIOS built for a standard, off-the-shelf motherboard.

"General Software is a key part of the Microsoft FlexGo team and an excellent partner in bringing new functionality to customers," said Tom Phillips, the General Manager of Windows Emerging Market development for Microsoft Corporation. "The high level of innovation and overall product excellence that General Software brings to these problems is critical to our development of these new products."

General Software's firmware, Embedded BIOS®, is deployed by Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, in a number of vertical markets including: Targeted PCs (AMD PIC); Ultra Mobile PCs (Vulcan FlipStart and OQO's Model 02); Telecom/Datacom (Cisco switches); Embedded (hundreds of devices in the medical, gaming, kiosk, point-of-sale, and kitchen automation); and industrial PCs.

"General Software specializes in solving difficult implementation issues; we've proven that over time and across multiple industries. Some of the issues facing OEM/ODMs today range from power management, thermal management, quick boot, and security 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 we solve, but how our approach also streamlines and optimizes the process," said Steve Jones, General Software CTO.

Traditional PC BIOS companies offer one-size-fits-all BIOS to mainboard ODM/OEM companies; however, PCs are becoming differentiated, and the one-size-fits-all BIOS model is no longer appropriate. General Software is far from traditional with its BIOS that has expanded to include runtime device control functionality.

For example, the AMD Personal Internet Communicator (PIC) required special firmware to enable AMD's business model, as do FlexGo PCs. Traditional PC BIOS firmware is not designed for differentiation; it is designed to be the same across all platforms. This is too limiting for makers of equipment that must be differentiated -- UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PCs), IPCs (Industrial PCs), SBCs (Single Board Computers), NAS/SAN Servers, Routers, Gateways, Firewalls, etc.

General Software recently announced its StrongFrame™ Technology that creates targeted firmware cores for a wide range of applications. StrongFrame Technology leverages proprietary programming of CPU, chipset, SIO, whole boards, and other building blocks across all General Software's specialized cores, so that the same set of silicon programming modules can be used across unique applications.

With StrongFrame Technology, OEMs can quickly produce and differentiate motherboards for multiple markets, saving money and time otherwise spent on having to independently build firmware for these markets.

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, e-mail, or call us at 800.850.5755 or 425.576.8300.

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