"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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