"Chip companies have long sought to develop the means to build
entire systems on one piece of silicon. Imagine a single
super-high-density chip that you could program to perform all the
electronic functions your system needs. We're not there yet, but
we've certainly made a lot of progress...."
"When you set out to create a web pad, set-top box, Internet
radio, or smart vending machine, you face an entirely different set
of challenges. After all, you're designing an appliance -- not a
PC. These embedded apps tend to be interface-intensive, rather than
compute-intensive. So you probably don't need Intel's latest
Pentium. In the past, you may have used a single-chip
microcontroller (8051, 68HC11, etc.). Today, however, there's an
exciting new alternative...."
"In my opinion, embedded Linux will be a key enabler of the
post-PC era. Why? One reason is that Linux isn't wedded to just one
CPU architecture. Another, is that Linux is highly scalable,
modular, and flexible -- which makes it well suited to the extreme
diversity of embedded systems. Then, there's the fact that Linux is
open-source, so it's much easier to get your embedded widget to act
like it's supposed to. Also, don't forget the Linux royalty model
-- zero (or nearly so) -- which makes all this great stuff
affordable, even in the simplest of devices."
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