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Open source growing footprint in embedded marketJay Lyman, February 17, 2010 @ 5:38 pm ET
There seems to be no let up in the continued consolidation and traction for open source in the embedded space, with Intel-Wind River, Google’s Android, Cavium Networks-MontaVista and even some new open source efforts highlighting the vibrancy of not only Linux, but additional open source software efforts in embedded markets and devices.
Following on the impact of Intel’s Wind River acquisition and arrival of Android from Google and the Open Handset Alliance, additional deals have followed, including Cavium Networks’ MontaVista buy and most recently, Wind River, as part of Intel, acquiring Virtutech for its virtual prototyping tools.
That’s not the only place we’re seeing open source play a role in the latest embedded virtualization technology. Another example is use of the OK Labs’ hypervisor and virtual desktop technology from Citrix in the vendors’ joint effort for the Nirvana Phone. The idea is to quickly and easily transform a handheld device to a full-featured, high-performance PC via docking station. We may also see Linux play an important role as these vendors navigate operating system licensing.
MeeGo, the combination open source OS from Intel and Nokia, has implications for the embedded space. In fact MeeGo, backers cited automotive infotainment, connected televisions and other devices among their targets, squarely placing it in embedded markets. In addition to formidable competition from Apple, Microsoft and others, MeeGo will have to compete with a more open rival in Google’s Chrome.
Typical of open source, there are also some new efforts in the embedded space. One is a version of Ubuntu for non-PC electronics. The popular Linux distribution already serves as the basis of Ubuntu Netbook Remix, as well as a number of virtual appliances, and here we see yet another use of it in Ubuntu Electronics Remix, which is centered on electronics development and devices.
Similar to the mobile software and device space, open source is plays a continuing and increasing role in the software embedded in a range of electronics and these evolving and emerging technologies all bode well for that to remain the case.
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