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e-inSITE: Pick and Place: Linux Grabs the Embedded Market

Nov 01, 2002, 17:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Warren Webb)

"Linux is no longer just the open-source operating system that you must download, modify, troubleshoot, and maintain yourself for your embedded application. In fact, commercial Linux support is appearing throughout the embedded industry. Vendors of bus modules and single-board computers now offer Linux preconfigured with their products. Silicon vendors are releasing new microprocessors with Linux configurations available. And software vendors maintain and support more than a dozen off-the-shelf Linux distributions as commercial products for embedded applications.

"Linux initially attracts designers because of its cost. With current economic conditions squeezing the fat from company expenditures, managers have scrutinized and trimmed most product-development budgets. This frugal atmosphere has led software-development teams to at least consider royalty-free software, such as Linux, for new projects. Although Linux has long been perceived as a free operating system, many designers are willing to pay for expert support, specialized tools, customization services, and prepackaged configurations to ease the development process. Commercial vendors have responded with custom embedded configurations, subscription-support packages, development-tool kits, and sample applications to augment the free Linux core..."

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