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EDN Access: Linux strafes the embedded landscape

Jun 23, 2000, 23:15 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Warren Webb)

[ Thanks to Doug Bostrom for this link. ]

"Linux, the open-source, royalty-free operating system that dared to challenge Windows on the desktop, has set its sights on the much larger embedded-system market. Learn the basics, and, as a bonus, get all the free code and development tools that you need to put Linux to work for your next project."

"Linux has found a niche in network servers and some desktop computers and is now spreading into the embedded world. Open source code, modular architecture, a worldwide army of developers, and extensive features make Linux a formidable contender for many new embedded projects. Linux has the attention of designers and managers alike, who see potential budget savings from free code and development tools and no license fees or royalties. As each new project comes along, designers are testing the feasibility of Linux. Most off-the-shelf board vendors, custom hardware suppliers, and even VMEbus stalwarts have announced Linux support."

"Linux's recent popularity coincides with a fundamental change in the embedded-system landscape. For years, designers have struggled with underpowered, stand-alone processors, attempting to cram real-time I/O, a sophisticated user interface, and their applications into tiny packages to produce the least expensive products. Now, the cost of 32-bit processors has fallen to the point at which designers can consider them for all but the simplest applications. At the same time, the Internet has focused everyone's attention on networking and communications, which also benefit from high-powered processors. As an embedded-system designer, you may suddenly findthat your products need a sophisticated operating system and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network software to interact with your application."

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