Embedded Linux …ELC, Lineo, Trolltech and ARM

LONDON — More embedded Linux news as an industry consortium announces platform standards, and Lineo signs deals
The Embedded Linux Consortium has announced that it is to publish a single unified specification for an embedded Linux platform. The ELC Platform Specification will be based on existing specifications, such as POSIX 1003.13 PSE 52 and PSE 53, the Single UNIX Specification and the Linux Standard Base, and aims to avoid fragmenting standards among the Consortium’s 124 member companies.

The specification will cover the basic operating system services that any compliant system must support, and give coherence to Linux’ move into the embedded market to compete as an open source alternative to single vendor embedded operating systems like Windows CE and PalmOS.

“Linux promises to be a major force in the post-PC embedded markets, provided it avoids the fragmentation of the UNIX wars of an earlier era,” commented Harry Kohl, a financial analyst with Sutro & Co, “The ELC initiative for a common platform should open up huge addressable new markets for Linux in emerging embedded applications such as hand-held devices, set-top boxes and internet connected products, which are potentially much bigger than the PC market.”

At the same time, British chip company, ARM, and the embedded systems specialists, Lineo, have formed a partnership to accelerate the development of embedded Linux on ARM core-based microprocessors. As part of the deal, ARM has chosen Lineo as an ARM DevZone Linux partner to work with the ARM Linux engineering group to develop ARM-optimized versions of Lineo OS technology. Lineo’s Embedix SDK 2.0 already supports the ARM7 Thumb and ARM9 Thumb microprocessor families, and will support ARM10 Thumb when it becomes available.

Lineo has also penned a deal with Trolltech to co-operate in pooling forces for a comprehensive embedded Linux environment. Trolltech will integrate its Qt/Embedded application framework for Graphical User Interfaces into Embedix. In return, Lineo will resell and provide professional services for Qt/Embedded.

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