AMD has confirmed that it will continue to target the low-power embedded computing market, announcing a multi-year partnership with Mentor Graphics to ensure high-quality support for AMD's upcoming accelerator processing units (APUs).

The deal will see Mentor Graphics, which produces its own Mentor Embedded Linux distribution and boasts full Yocto Project compatibility for embedded development, work to create a standardised development toolchain with updated board support packages (BSPs) for the upcoming AMD Embedded G-Series Steppe Eagle system-on-chip and AMD Embedded R-Series Bald Eagle APU and CPU products.

Naturally, Mentor is looking to profit from the deal by charging developers for use of the Mentor Embedded Linux distribution, toolchain and support; the company has, however, pledged to offer a Mentor Embedded Linux Lite platform which provides the essentials required for evaluation at no cost.

The Lite version, the company explained, will include binary images of the root file system and kernel, access to the source of all open source components - a non-negotiable requirement of their use, as it happens - and an upgrade path to the full Mentor Embedded Linux distribution. Should developers choose to upgrade, they'll receive commercial terms for project development including the promise of bug fixes, security patches and product updates, an Eclipse-based Sourcery CodeBench integrated development environment supporting Windows and Linux hosts, and the option of customisation services for back-porting, long-term support and tailored board support packages. A free Sourcery CodeBench Lite toolchain, command-line based and unsupported, will also be made available.

For AMD, the deal is proof that the company is serious about competing with both Intel and overwhelming majority shareholder ARM in the embedded market. 'Partnering with the largest independent embedded Linux and tools vendor in the market today is an exciting step forward as we continue to invest in the embedded market,' said AMD's general manager of embedded solutions Scott Aylor. 'We are providing the embedded development community an opportunity for choice, and this agreement with Mentor Graphics brings the embedded community an open-source platform to help tailor and expand their development.'