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IBM developerWorks: Embedded Linux applications: An overview

Aug 26, 2001, 13:49 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Darrick Addison)

[ Thanks to Shailendra for this link. ]

"Linux now spans the spectrum of computing applications, including IBM's tiny Linux wrist watch, hand-held devices (PDAs and cell phones), Internet appliances, thin clients, firewalls, industrial robotics, telephony infrastructure equipment, and even cluster-based supercomputers. Let's take a look at what Linux has to offer as an embedded system, and why it's the most attractive option currently available.

The computers used to control equipment, otherwise known as embedded systems, have been around for about as long as computers themselves. They were first used back in the late 1960s in communications to control electromechanical telephone switches. As the computer industry has moved toward ever smaller systems over the past decade or so, embedded systems have moved along with it, providing more capabilities for these tiny machines. Increasingly, these embedded systems need to be connected to some sort of network, and thus require a networking stack, which increases the complexity level and requires more memory and interfaces, as well as, you guessed it, the services of an operating system.

Off-the-shelf operating systems for embedded systems began to appear in the late 1970s, and today several dozen viable options are available. Out of these, a few major players have emerged, such as VxWorks, pSOS, Neculeus, and Windows CE."

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