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Linux.com: Why Embedded?

Oct 21, 2000, 15:07 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Richardson)

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"My recent trip to Atlanta Linux Showcase revealed a growing number of embedded solutions based on Linux. Being the classic PC guy, I had to ask why use a non-standard embedded system instead of a Linux-based computer?"

"The common theme for the embedded devices at the show was networking. MontaVista and Absolute Value displayed some very compact Linux-based router/firewall solutions, all based on boards from Embedded Planet. I talked to Embedded Planet about their systems, which are mostly development platforms for PowerPC applications. Since their major focus is network routing, I couldn't help but compare their solutions to my home router ... a Cyrix CPU with a floppy disk and just enough RAM to run the Coyote Linux floppy. Their solution requires new hardware, while I made use of the "old clunker" in the closet."

"The new generation of Linux-based embedded devices have a different market. While a PC-based router has all sorts of advantages in power & expandability, the power of a 486/Pentium processor is wasted on "packet bouncing". ... But the largest advantage to an embedded system is what it doesn't have ... it doesn't have the look of a computer. As far as personal computing has come in two decades, a majority of the public still associates moderate discomfort with configuring a computer system."

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