April 18, 2007

Announcing Open Kernel Labs

Pat Arcand writes "New Company Open Kernel Labs Brings Increased Reliability, Security and Performance to Key Embedded Systems in Mobile and Consumer Devices

Chicago and Sydney, Australia, April 17, 2007 – Open Kernel Labs (OK), a spin-off of National ICT Australia (NICTA) - Australia's prestigious Center of Excellence for Information and Communications Technology (www.nicta.com.au), today announces it has established its worldwide headquarters in the United States. OK (www.ok-labs.com) is a global supplier of operating systems and virtualization technology enabling the development of more reliable, trustworthy and affordable mobile and consumer electronics devices.

OK provides OKL4, the world’s most advanced microkernel, the result of research work from NICTA’s Embedded, Real-time, and Operating Systems Research Program (ERTOS). OKL4 supports a structured approach to building trusted and secure systems, and is being successfully deployed in a number of commercial consumer and mobile devices.

In August 2006, Open Kernel Labs was established as a commercial entity in Australia to provide professional services, board support packages, device optimization, consulting and research for companies worldwide. The research and development organization will remain in Australia, while the corporate office, including business development and field application engineering functions, is now based in the United States.

“OK has a unique advantage of being a start-up company with a proven product in hand,” said Steve Subar, CEO and Co-Founder of Open Kernel Labs. “From the NICTA team to a vibrant and thriving open source community, OKL4 has benefited from a wealth of technical experience unmatched in the industry. Open Kernel Labs is fast at work building upon this great heritage by commercializing the technology and supporting the open source community.”

“With the incorporation of OK, NICTA can claim another success of its program to commercialize technology developed at its resource-rich development labs,” said Dr. David Skellern, CEO of NICTA. “OK is the first spin-out of NICTA to be incorporated in the United States and the company begins its commercial life with a revenue stream as well as strong interest from large global companies.”

Secure, reliable and trustworthy embedded systems software for mobile and consumer electronics requires strong, hardware-enforced protection boundaries around system components, enforced by a trustworthy microkernel. With OKL4, embedded-systems developers can protect key systems by protecting a manufacturer’s proprietary IP and shielding applications and systems against outside exploits and internal malfunctions.

OKL4 was initially developed under the direction of Dr. Gernot Heiser, the CTO and Co-Founder of OK. Dr. Heiser is also Professor of Operating Systems at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Program Leader of ERTOS at NICTA. While at NICTA, he led a team of research engineers that built a number of operating systems including the OKL4 microkernel. With additional input from early customers, the open source community and PhD candidates at UNSW, this team has produced the highest performing microkernel operating system available today.

“As the CTO of OK and Program Leader of the ERTOS team at NICTA, I have the exciting job of overseeing the largest independent team of microkernel researchers and developers in the world,” said Dr. Heiser. “This team is working on the most ambitious product roadmap I’m aware of and is expected to meet the goal of providing the first fully verified, proven bug-free operating systems kernel by 2008.”

Currently the OKL4 technology is in use and under evaluation at several semiconductor manufacturers and mobile and consumer device manufacturers.

Open Kernel Labs
Open Kernel Labs’ (OK) technology leadership in embedded operating systems and virtualization technology enables the development of reliable, trustworthy and affordable devices. OK’s open-source microkernel operating system, OKL4, offers the highest proven performance combined with strong protection and security features in order to provide developers with a robust, open-source platform for building secure, differentiated embedded applications. For more information on OK and its products visit www.ok-labs.com .

NICTA is a national research institute with a charter to build Australia’s pre-eminent Centre of Excellence for information and communications technology (ICT). NICTA is building capabilities in ICT research, research training and commercialisation in the ICT sector for the generation of national benefit. National ICT Australia is funded by the Australian Government as represented by the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and the Australian Research Council through Backing Australia’s Ability and the ICT Centre of Excellence program

NICTA was established and is supported by its members: The Australian Capital Territory Government; The Australian National University; NSW Department of State and Regional Development; and The University of New South Wales. NICTA is also supported by its partners: The University of Sydney; University of Melbourne; the Victorian Government; the Queensland Government; Griffith University; Queensland University of Technology; and The University of Queensland.


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