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Linux 2004
Conference and Tutorials
Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th August
Leeds, West Yorkshire

Jon Masters

The business case for Embedded Linux

Linux continues in its pervasion into the world of embedded devices and yet many speculate that its true power has yet to be seen. This paper introduces the vastness that is Embedded Linux and attempts to address some of the issues facing its more global acceptance today. Embedded demonstrations accompany a thorough overview of this exciting new field, aimed at both a business and technical audience.

Recent developments in low cost system-on-chip (SoC) and programmable logic have seen numerous new applications for the Linux kernel in settings traditionally associated with the proprietary RTOS. As the trend of ever-more-powerful low-cost processors increases we can expect to see a growing interest in the use of FOSS in embedded products, resulting in new threats and challenges to be overcome.

This paper presents the view that Embedded Linux has only just begun to demonstrate its true potential to do for the small world what it has done already for the workstation and server markets worldwide. A number of changes must be made in order to rise to the challenges ahead and consequently these are discussed in some detail. Examples of future applications are considered amongst the concluding remarks.

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