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Advantages and disadvantages of Linux in Embedded Systems

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Advantages and disadvantages of Linux in Embedded Systems

Since Linux is known for its embedded capability this article will tell you what an Embedded System is all about. The computers that control equipment is an embedded system, they have been around same time as the computers themselves. First used in 1960’s in communications to manage telephone switching by the use of electromechanical switches. When the computers evolved and become smaller systems, so did embedded systems, giving added potentials for these small machines. Progressively more, these systems must be linked to a network, and need network stacking, in turn increasing the intricate level and need for more memory and interfaces needed by the operating system.

This is the reason embedded systems started to begin. Since Linux needs very little memory it is very flexible and small. Another advantage of an open source OS like the Embedded Linux against a traditional OS, is that Linux tends to support new IP and protocols faster than TOS vendors do. The structural design of the system is made of simple micro kernel. The file system and networking are layered atop the micro kernel in modules. Features and drivers can be added or compiled in the kernel during run time as loaded modules. This technique is used to combine drivers and applications for better functions.

A big disadvantage of using the System Embedded Linux is that the architecture provides real time use that runs in the kernel part of the OS that schedules the interrupts. If an error code happens the entire system can crash the OS which is a very serious problem.

Traditional OS provides allocation and priority levels. Each process is identified by the OS as process ID or numerical identifier so it could be tracked during execution.

Elements needed by embedded Linux are boot utility, Linux micro kernel for memory and process management plus timing services and initialization process. Others are drivers for hardware and additional application processes for more functionality.

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-embl.html

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