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MontaVista updates CGX Linux distro for 5G and IoT

Mar 6, 2017 — by Eric Brown 594 views

MontaVista has upgraded its Yocto Project based Carrier Grade eXpress embedded Linux distro to add 5G, IoT, and NFV technology.

Cavium-owned MontaVista Software has advanced its Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX) Linux development platform to version 2.2 with features aimed at 5G, NFV, and IoT. The two-year old CGX is a somewhat scaled down, easier to use version of Carrier Grade Edition Linux, and it’s similarly registered for the Linux Foundation’s Carrier Grade Linux 5.0. However, it has a broader audience than CGE’s high-end networking focus, and offers an option for a minimal build aimed at the Internet of Things.

Simplified architecture diagram for Carrier Grade eXpress
(click image to enlarge)

Like the earlier CGX and CGE distributions, as well as commercial embedded Linux distros, including Wind River Linux and Mentor Embedded Linux, CGX 2.2 is based on Yocto Project code. CGX 2.2 advances to a foundation of Linux 4.9 LTS with Yocto 2.2 and GCC 6.2.

As before, GX supports ARM, x86, MIPS, and PowerPC SoCs. It offers BSPs for evaluation boards from AMD (GX-410), Atmel (SAMA5D4), Cavium (ThunderX/X2 and Octeon), and Intel, including Xeon and Atom (up through Apollo Lake) and Quark (Galileo board). BSPs are also provided for Marvell Armada and NXP i.MX6 (via a Variscite DVK-MX6-V2 board), as well as the Xilinx Zynq 7000.


CGX 2.2 supports emerging 5G cellular technology in its Data Plane profile, offering low latency and bandwidth optimization, plus capabilities for content caching, heterogeneous network convergence, RAN virtualization, and network slicing. New Network Function Virtualization (NFV) features showcased in the Virtualization profile are said to include improved support for containers, Docker, and KVM, as well as optimized DPDK and ODP data plane support.

The IoT profile has been enhanced with “extensive wired and wireless connectivity features, advanced security capabilities and device management features for connecting to the cloud,” says MontaVista. Two other optional profiles are also available. First, there’s a next generation build engine based on MontaVista Integration Platform (MVIP) with virtualized build nodes to scale out automatic builds on GIT commits, and “split build deliverables for higher scalability and effectiveness.”

The final profile is a next generation test tool based on MontaVista Test Automation Framework (MVTAF). It offers a self-contained test framework with automatic test cycles on virtual hardware, as well as Real-Time Quality reports.

In addition to offering CGL functions like High Availability (HA), field diagnostics, and resiliency, the CGX 2.2 BSPs provide a variety of security features. These include secure boot, update, root of trust, identification, and vulnerability automation.

Further information

MontaVista is currently rolling out MontaVista CGX Linux 2.2 to “strategic customers” via an early access program. More information may be found at MontaVista’s CGX product page.

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