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LinuxWorld: Embedded Linux basics

May 09, 2000, 20:12 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rick Cook)

"Aside from the traditional server and desktop markets, Linux is making strong inroads into embedded systems -- the computers that control everything from digital televisions to nuclear power plants. Some proponents see Linux as not merely a player in the embedded market, but as a potentially even bigger factor in embedded systems than it is in other markets."

"In my opinion, embedded applications are where Linux can have the biggest impact," says Inder Singh, CEO and chairman of Lynx Realtime Systems of San Jose, Calif., distributors of the Blue Cat Linux OS for embedded systems. "There's a crying need for some kind of widely used platform [in the embedded world], and I think Linux fills the bill better than anything on the horizon."

"One reason is that the embedded market is growing strongly. According to Venture Development Corp. (VDC), a Natick, Mass., research firm that tracks embedded systems, the market for embedded software development solutions was $942 million in 1999 and will be $1.6 billion by 2003. Paul Czerny, a research analyst at VDC, points out that those figures relate to a narrow definition of the market. The software development tools market is about $1.5 billion this year, and an unknown fraction of that is for tools and systems that will be used to help develop embedded systems. This is the first year that VDC has tried to track Linux as a specific part of the embedded systems market; Czerny says he is finding strong, growing interest in it."

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