By Rick Leatherman, Bob Martin, and Yakov Levy, MIPS TechnologiesEmbedded.com (07/02/09, 12:15:00 AM EDT)
Today, Linux is broadly used for development of embedded appliances such as DTVs, set-top boxes, DVR players, xDSL/cable/PON modems, home routers and gateways. It is especially well-suited for digital home and home networking, with advanced networking capabilities, wide availability of device drivers and royalty free run-time costs.
Beyond embedded appliances, Linux also powers enterprise-class appliances like servers and routers. Linux is the #1 embedded operating system in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the rest of Asia.
Linux is also gaining traction in mobile devices. At the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we saw several Android-based netbooks. According to market research firm In-Stat, mobile Linux will grab significant market share in China. The firm says that by 2012, total shipments of mobile Linux-based smartphones in China will account for about 25.4% of total shipments of smartphones in China.
The prolific nature of Linux is due to the fact that compared to the typical proprietary commercial OS, Linux is open source, inexpensive, fast and secure. It also scales better and has a smaller footprint than other operating systems.
With Linux, engineers have access to and control over the source code, along with ongoing support from the open source community—a large community comprised of engineers familiar with Linux.
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