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Embedded Computing/Devices Leave Windows in the Dust

Posted in GNU/Linux at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of recent developments in the lesser-visible side of the computerised world

MICROSOFT is inherently an x86 company — x86 being an area where Linux now extends its footprint. Microsoft could never truly adapt to architectural change, partly due to dependence on ISVs and partly due to the source code being secret. Monoculture and monopoly (not to mention crimes such as bribery) are all that Microsoft had going for it.

ARM has a new performance-centric chip [1] and devices like Raspberry Pi [2] or BeagleBone [3] (both ARM-based) help remind us that there’s no room for Windows outside the ever-narrowing realm of x86 (Intel recently announced massive layouts and so did IBM while selling its x86 businesses to China). Android and Linux have a lot to do with it. Many people now buy non-x86 computers (smartphones and tablets), so this trend is likely to accelerate. Dell, despite the Microsoft connection, is leaning towards Android devices [4] and OpenPandora, a Linux-powered handheld gaming console, makes a comeback [5,6] (with a TI OMAP 5 dual-core processor).

Meanwhile, the Internet of Things seems like it’s Android/Linux-bound [7,8,9] (Windows is not even mentioned). Sadly, the Internet of Things often means intrusive surveillance and some of this Linux domination makes it into murderous and privacy-infringing drones [10]. Setting aside these ethical matters, Linux sure is doing well and it is rapidly taking over everything, especially devices. GNU often gets included in all the above, but not always.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. ARM Announces The Cortex-A17

    ARM’s Cortex-A17 is for 32-bit mid-range devices and ARM claims it should offer around 60% better performance than the Cortex-A9. ARM is expecting Cortex-A17 devices to be shipping next year while the IP will be made available to partners this quarter.

  2. Does the Raspberry Pi work with Windows? – Your tech questions answered

    If you require a Windows computer, however (for example, if its primary use is going to be office tasks with some light programming), it’s hard to recommend anything close to that price point. This is because Windows is a much more bloated operating system and requires higher system specifications to operate and run well. You also have to be careful that you aren’t buying a Windows RT device, as you won’t be able to run your own code without some more setup and, even then, you’ll be limited to which languages you can write.

  3. BeagleBone Black: The Sub-$50 ARM Linux Board

    The BeagleBone Black has been one of the popular low-cost ARM development boards in recent months for budget-minded hobbyists due to its $45 price-tag, being Linux friendly, and support for powering off a USB cable. While it may be a cheap ARM development board, is its performance too dauntingly slow?

  4. Dell Wyse Cloud Connect launches for $129 (Pocket-sized thin client)

    Hook up a display and power source and the Cloud Connect will load up an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based operating system. It’s hardly the first Android TV stick to hit the streets. But it’s one of the first from a major PC maker — and certainly the first to feature tight integration with Dell’s virtualization and cloud software including Wyse Cloud Client Manager, support for VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft virtualization solutions, and PocketCloud personal cloud services.

  5. DragonBox Pyra open source mobile game console to pick up where OpenPandora left off

    It’s been a few years since a group of developers started working on an open source handheld gaming device called the OpenPandora. A lot’s changed since the original designs were drawn up, and now one of the developers has announced plans for a new device which should offer the kind of performance you’d get from a high-end phone or tablet in 2014. It just happens to be built on a much more open design.

  6. Open source gaming with the DragonBox Pyra

    According to Liliputing’s Brad Linder, the platform will be equipped with 2GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1080 pixel resistive touchscreen display, WiFi, Bluetooth, dual SDXC cards, a full-sized USB port, micro and mini USB ports, configurable notification lights, HDMI output, a backlit QWERTY keyboard and PowerVR SGX544 graphics.

  7. Which operating system will colonise the Internet of Things?

    If Android were to lead in the race to colonise the IoT, there would still need to be deep (perhaps kernel level) customisation features applied for the wildly different device types.

  8. The Age of “Commonalities” has Arrived

    Last year saw the public launch of a number of efforts that convincingly illustrate the fulfillment of this prediction. One of them, called the AllSeen Alliance, is focused on making the long-heralded “Internet of Things” a reality and is already making rapid progress in pursuit of that goal.

  9. Open IoT SBC runs Linux and Android on Cortex-A9

    The “Revolutionizing the Internet of Things” (RIoT) single board computer is designed for a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) and other low-power embedded applications, says Newark Element14, a Chicago based distributor owned by Premier Farnell. Premier Farnell recently launched an ARM9-based EDM6070AR-01 SBC and HMI system. Both the RIoTboard and the EDM6070AR-01 are backed up by the company’s Element14 developer community, and supported with open source code and full schematics.

  10. Medical Device dev platform runs Linux on DaVinci SoC

    Now, the company offers a new medical-focused Andromeda Reference Platform based on two new COMs running the first two SoCs called the DM816x SOM and DM814x SOM. Like the earlier modules, which have been used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the two new Linux-based COMs are also available separately for volume runs, according to eInfochips Corporate Marketing Manager Dhaval Shah.

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