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Devices Watch: Linux Growth in Embedded Systems and Devices

Summary: Revisiting the important role of Linux in devices, based on some of the latest news

THANKS to news sites like Linux Gizmos, it has been fairly easy to keep track of the growth of Linux (often with GNU) in embedded systems and devices. There are news updates about in-vehicle infotainment systems [1,2], embeddable Web servers [3], rugged scanners [4], systems with improve real-time support [5], Intel devices [6-8], and Raspberry Pi [9-13] among other single board computers [14-17].

It is interesting that devices where the operating system is less visible (if visible at all) have been scarcely explored by the press. This helped people belittle Linux, denying its important role not just in server rooms but also in devices that people are using every day around their houses and offices.



Related/contextual items from the news:


  1. Automotive Technology Platform Developed for Linux-Based Systems
    The new Mentor Graphics’ Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP) for Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system development is now available and aimed at automotive tier-one suppliers for better graphics and optimized functionality. It’s the latest innovation to aid in the development of more responsive user interfaces.


  2. Celebrating the Marriage of Automotive and Consumer Electronics at CES


  3. Embeddable webserver adds source and NAS plugin
    Mako Server was announced last June. Based on Barracuda and Lua, the embeddable webserver is sufficiently compact to run on a Raspberry Pi. Like the other RTL technologies, it’s cross-platform, but is focused primarily on Linux.


  4. SDG Systems Announces Yocto Project Participation and Rugged Linux Scanner
    SDG Systems announced today that the company has been approved to be a Yocto Project Participant. SDG Systems also announced the availability of the Janam XG series rugged, gun-type scanner running a Linux implementation built using the Yocto Project.


  5. RT-enhanced Linux stack aims at comms gear
    Like Enea Linux 3.0, the new Enea LWRT focuses on real-time Linux support. Enea LWRT is primarily aimed at cellular base stations and media gateways that require real-time features like determinism, minimal interrupt latency, and high throughput, says the company. The solution is said to be optimized for integrating Linux with Enea’s OSEck.


  6. An Intel Galileo Walkthrough
    “Galileo” is software compatible with Arduino’s IDE, the operating system is a GNU/Linux distribution, which “runs” on the board only processor. The Arduino sketches are run as processes in the user space of the GNU/Linux operating system. The available IDE compiles the sketches in “.elf” format, an executable binary format, originally developed by UNIX System Laboratories and commonly used in GNU/Linux.


  7. Wireless enabled rugged box-PC runs Linux on Haswell
    Adlink has launched a compact, rugged industrial PC, featuring a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, dual MiniPCIe slots, a uSIM socket, and Linux support.


  8. Intel headgear to offer fast offline voice processing
    So far, Linux is the only supported OS Intel has mentioned for either the original single-core Quark or the dual-core model.


  9. Raspberry Pi: Extending the life of the SD card
    SD cards are said to have a finite life. If you are planning on running a Raspberry Pi 24x7x365, there are some steps that you can take with GNU/Linux to extend the life of the card: here are some ideas.


  10. Video: Two Years of Raspberry Pi


  11. Setting Up Our Voice-Over-IP Phone System
    The brains live in a model B Raspberry Pi. I installed the GNU/Linux distribution Raspbian using the easy NOOBS on an SD card, then installed RasPBX -- FreePBX and Asterisk -- using the Pi Store via the desktop as that was easiest.


  12. Smart Home Automation with Linux and Raspberry Pi
    Home automation is a hot topic at the moment but it isn't an easy area to work in. Can a book on Linux and Raspberry Pi sort it all out?


  13. Master the amazing Raspberry Pi
    As the Raspberry Pi Foundation rockets towards producing its Pi-millionth board, it’s bringing with it an eager and innovative new generation of computer scientists. If educating an entire generation of children isn’t exciting enough, Linux just so happens to be the software smarts that underpins the whole venture.

    But it can’t all be Pi for tea; we still have a huge main helping of desktop Linux goodness to tuck in to. We’re very excited about our roundup of VoIP clients, to embrace a world of fully-digital communication. From the now oddly Microsoft- owned Skype to the fantastic Jitsi, instant text, voice and video messaging is a slick and fast Linux affair.


  14. Tiny $14 ARM9 module runs Linux
    Back in 2006, Italian embedded Linux manufacturer Acme Systems shipped a penguin-shaped Tux Case for its original Fox single board computer (SBC). The new Arietta G25 computer-on-module (COM) is equipped with the same Atmel AT91SAM9G20 processor used by an updated Fox G20 SBC, as well as a newer 24-Euro Aria G25 COM that is more closely related to the Arietta G25 (see farther below). The Tux Case is still available, as well.


  15. HMI-focused ARM9 SBC features 7-inch touchscreen


  16. Linux-ready SBC debuts tiny stackable PCIe bus


  17. Tiny hacker SBC offers robot-friendly Linux distro
    The Kickstarter-backed “Rex” is a $99 robotics SBC with a DSP-enabled Cortex-A8 SoC, camera and audio I/O, dual I2C ports, and an Arduino-friendly “Alphalem OS” Linux distro.

    A recent Georgia Tech study found that Kickstarter projects often find success thanks to the use of effective marketing buzzwords like “guaranteed.” That word never shows up the Rex project’s Kickstarter page, which is perhaps one reason why this promising project has yet to reach a third of its $90,000 funding goal, with less than two weeks to go. We think Rex is worth a closer look. (Satisfaction guaranteed!)


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