Successfully Using Linux and Open Software in an Embedded System Design

Fueled by time-to-market pressures and the need to reduce overall system cost, many developers are migrating to Linux and open-systems software in their embedded systems designs. This open-systems approach allows developers to leverage freely available software, and spend their resources on their specific area of expertise to add value to their products. Embedded systems present unique design challenges such as: memory restrictions, booting from flash, diskless operations, and requirements for deterministic operation. There are some real challenges that face an embedded designer who wishes to use Linux in his product. This paper presents questions developers should ask while planning embedded designs, how Linux stacks up, and how to overcome some of those challenges.

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