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Electronic Design: What Is The Real Cost Of Embedded Linux?

Jun 30, 2000, 20:53 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by William Wong)

[ Thanks to Vance Kochenderfer for this link. ]

"That cute Linux penguin is looking to hide out in your next embedded-systems project. What will it cost to let Linux in? Maybe more than you think, so don't jump ship if you're already using reliable alternatives, like VxWorks or QNX. Those might actually be cheaper in the long run."

"Linux's lure is threefold. It isn't burdened by licensing fees, source code is readily available, and there's a large choice of free applications. All of this is true in general. But, the details of Linux can bring about several concerns. ... Some Linux distributions and products have licensing fees that even exceed costs on other platforms."

"The cost of using Linux is a combination of determining its suitability, and also having programmers and designers that are adequately trained. Because it's new, Linux's costs can be large in terms of time and money. On the other hand, these are often one-time, up-front costs that can be spread across multiple projects. These costs shouldn't be ignored, or be applied to the first embedded Linux project."

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