Embedded Linux differs from standard desktop Linux, in that it is targeted at systems with limited resources. In fact, we would typically customise the Linux kernel for the hardware platform, or choose a Linux port such as uCLinux that supports MMU-less processors for Cortex M3/4 MCUs. This ensures the operating system footprint is kept to a minimum.

The obvious benefit of using Linux for your embedded system is the lack of licensing costs to add to your bill of materials, as well as the possibility to use lower-end CPUs. Of course, this comes with the warning that Linux pushes up your software development costs compared with Embedded Windows.

In a recent project we developed an Embedded Linux solution for a multi-serial port, touch-screen controller. Using Embedded Linux meant that we could squeeze the OS and application on to a small solid-state storage device, enabling silent running.

  • ● Low Bill-of-Materials
  • ● Increased development costs
  • ● Small footprint