"Linux exhibitions -- whether for hackers, suits, or gun nuts --
crop up as frequently as dandelions these days. However, the first
Embedded Linux Expo & Conference (ELEC), held June 22 in San
Jose, Calif., had a distinctly novel feeling to it. Attendees
of the small but sold-out one-day event (240 at the conference and
at least 500 at the expo) were clearly not the Linux faithful who
wistfully wonder whether you can make money with open source. They
were from a burgeoning industry sector, and were dead serious about
learning how they could use open source to build products and make
"Among the startling facts that Lehrbaum relates in his
presentation is that less than 20 percent of the computer chips
manufactured each year go into computers. Therefore, one to two
billion CPUs each year are designed into embedded systems. This is
an especially opportune time for Linux to become the OS of choice
for many of the tens of thousands of new embedded designs that
emerge each year...."
"After the presentations, it was time to head to the exhibit
floor. On the way, I asked Warren Greving, part of a contingent
from Hewlett-Packard's Advanced Technology Group, why they were at
ELEC. "Linux is a very, very strong influence and force in the
industry right now," replied Greving. "Understanding how it fits
into the embedded world is very important at HP."
"Noting that half of HP's business comes from products --
printers -- that employ embedded systems, Greving said the value of
the conference for his group was "to see who's here, and then maybe
interact with people here who are involved in the same parts of
their business as we are." The "see who's here" theme reverberated
in conversations I had with other attendees and vendors."
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