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Study finds 300% growth in embedded Linux development

Jul 30, 2001 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Santa Cruz, CA — (press release excerpt) — From household appliances and consumer electronics gadgets, to controllers used in aviation, factories, and automobiles, application-specific devices have become a new frontier for Linux, according to a new report published today by software industry analyst Evans Data Corporation.

The Evans Data “Embedded Systems Developer Survey,” released today, shows a dramatic change in the software content of the microprocessor-controlled devices in the workplace and in our homes. Based on a survey of more than 500 embedded systems developers, the comprehensive report projects a three-fold increase in Linux-based projects in the next year, as part of a shift toward commercially available operating systems rather than those developed in-house.

“Embedded Linux has captured the attention of the development community like few other phenomena,” said Tom Williams, Evans Data's Embedded Systems analyst. “Developers are open to new technical approaches and are willing to move to them once they are convinced that they will satisfy key demands for performance, cost effectiveness and time-to-market.”

The study also found keen interest in tools and products that can help developers get their projects completed correctly and on time, suggesting that inefficiencies endemic to this industry are gradually being overcome. Two-thirds of the developers reported a high incidence of embedded projects that are started and never completed, as well as a high proportion of projects delivered late.

Of developers polled in the June 2001 survey . . .

  • More than 45% expect to release a Linux application in the coming year; 14% have already released a Linux application
  • More than 80% said Linux is important to the embedded system development community
  • Open source code, royalty-free licensing and a large community of knowledgeable developers were cited as Linux's key benefits
  • Factors slowing Linux adoption include lack of specific board support packages, availability of device drivers and fragmentation of the code base
  • Some 15% of developers report that between 26% and 50% of their projects are never finished. Forty-one percent report that up to 25% of projects are abandoned
The “Embedded Systems Developer Survey” looks at multiple facets of embedded systems development, including hardware and software platforms, Linux, Java, and open source software, types of applications, embedded databases and development tools.

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