e-inSITE: Pick and Place: Linux Grabs the Embedded Market

“Linux is no longer just the open-source operating system that
you must download, modify, troubleshoot, and maintain yourself for
your embedded application. In fact, commercial Linux support is
appearing throughout the embedded industry. Vendors of bus modules
and single-board computers now offer Linux preconfigured with their
products. Silicon vendors are releasing new microprocessors with
Linux configurations available. And software vendors maintain and
support more than a dozen off-the-shelf Linux distributions as
commercial products for embedded applications.

“Linux initially attracts designers because of its cost. With
current economic conditions squeezing the fat from company
expenditures, managers have scrutinized and trimmed most
product-development budgets. This frugal atmosphere has led
software-development teams to at least consider royalty-free
software, such as Linux, for new projects. Although Linux has long
been perceived as a free operating system, many designers are
willing to pay for expert support, specialized tools, customization
services, and prepackaged configurations to ease the development
process. Commercial vendors have responded with custom embedded
configurations, subscription-support packages, development-tool
kits, and sample applications to augment the free Linux

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