As with any technology element, subsequent product generations typically yield performance, size, integration or cost advantages. This is often driven by the silicon devices used to define the product.

Key to leveraging the advances in silicon has been the equal advances in embedded software. A leading element is the ongoing growth and maturity of Linux as a fully functional and flexible operating system environment as well as a configurable environment for embedded systems. This article will demonstrate why the performance and integrated benefits of contemporary silicon devices coupled with the functionality and cost benefits of Linux are providing embedded developers with options never before available.

The term “Embedded” takes on many definitions, even within the embedded market itself. In general, it defines any non-desktop or non-laptop computing element that is constructed of standards-based or proprietary hardware and software. Therefore, for the purpose of this paper, it was deemed necessary to establish the definitions of an embedded platform to be a CompactPCI/PICMG 2.16, AdvancedTCA or PCI server platform.