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VDC report: Linux gearing up for improved real-time support

May 10, 2002 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Natick, Massachusetts — (press release excerpt) — Driven by the interest of embedded developers to use Linux in embedded systems, the question of whether and how Linux can be adapted to satisfy the requirements of real-time application demands continues to gain increased attention. As a UNIX derivative, Linux was not conceived to be a real-time operating system (RTOS), but implements what is referred to as a 'fair' scheduling model. While real-time requirements vary by application, Venture Development Corp. (VDC) expects that real-time solutions for Linux will accelerate the broad adoption of Linux in embedded designs.

The availability of source code, royalty free options, and reliability make Linux attractive to embedded developers and are often cited as benefits in the use of the GNU/Linux operating system for embedded projects. However, VDC research reveals that real-time limitations are the most important factor cited by embedded developers inhibiting their adoption of Linux for use in future projects.

Most Important Factors Inhibiting Linux Adoption by Respondents Planning to Use Linux (in rank order):

  1. Real-time Limitations
  2. Doubts About Availability and Quality of Support
  3. Fragmentation Concerns
  4. Doubts About Vendor Longevity
  5. Footprint Size
  6. Others

A variety of real-time alternatives are currently available from FSMLabs (Sorroco, NM), TimeSys Corporation (Pittsburgh, PA), REDSonic, Inc. (Santa Ana, CA), preemptible kernel patch, low-latency patches (introduced by Ingo Molar), and Real Time Application Interface (RTAI, Milan Polytechnic).

Linus Torvalds recently merged the preemptible kernel patch, originally introduced by MontaVista Software, into the version 2.5 main Linux development kernel tree. How well these technologies can satisfy embedded developers' real-time application requirements will be critical to Linux's use in a diverse array of future devices that span vertical markets, accelerating adoption and penetration in the embedded systems market. Considering that embedded developers are looking to use Linux in embedded projects that have increasing real-time requirements, Linux is gearing up for real-time support just in time.

About the VDC report

This report, 'Linux's Future in the Embedded Systems Market' is an analysis of the current size and future growth of the worldwide market for embedded Linux software solutions. This multiclient study is designed to provide subscribers with relevant and up-to-date market intelligence to support strategic marketing and product planning decisions. The report includes:

  • Analysis of the strategic business issues Linux faces in the embedded systems market;
  • A global forecast of revenue for products and services, segmented by geographic and vertical markets through 2006;
  • Worldwide vendor market share data;
  • Identification of end user preferences, motivations, and market niches;
  • Profiles of the leading vendors of embedded Linux software solutions for operating systems and complementary add-on components; and
  • Recommendations providing insight into current and future market opportunities.

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