Two former Red Hat Inc and Cygnus Solutions Inc executives are returning to the embedded Linux systems and tools market after founding a new open source start-up called Specifix Inc.
San Jose, California-based Specifix has been co-founded by CEO, Kim Knuttila, and COO, James Prasad, both of who joined Red Hat in 1999 as part of its acquisition of embedded operating system and tools vendor Cygnus.
Having served as VP of engineering with Cygnus, Knuttila became Red Hat’s VP of engineering services, managing the former Cygnus business. The importance of embedded Linux to Red Hat reduced significantly until the company entered into a development agreement with Wind River Systems in 2004 to jointly develop Red Hat Embedded Linux.
Prasad was most recently responsible for managing Red Hat’s relationship with Wind River as VP of embedded solutions, but had also served as Red Hat’s VP and general manager, EMEA.
Knuttila and Prasad are leading a development team that, according to Specifix, boasts more than 40 years of Linux, GNU tools and open source development experience. Specifix offerings will include development tools based on GNU compiler and debugging technology, purpose-built GNU toolkits and Linux distributions, as well as enterprise and embedded Linux professional services.
The embedded Linux market is already fairly crowded. As well as Wind River the market also includes embedded specialist MontaVista Software, as well as open source GNU tools specialist Trolltech, and more recently Access Co and its subsidiary PalmSource, courtesy of their Access Linux Platform (ALP).