A Walk on the Embedded Side of LinuxWorld

Rick gives his impressions of all things embedded andembeddable at August's mega-Linux event.
Earthlink's R&D Group

This group showcased the prototype of an open-standards Automotive Vehicle Location (AVL) telematics platform that was created to serve as a platform to demonstrate automotive software applications, study how Linux and internet technologies can be applied to the automotive environment and test the feasibility and effectiveness of systems such as remote diagnostics, m-commerce and location-sensitive applications. Earthlink is sponsoring a contest for Linux, XML, Java, wireless and web application developers. Come up with a clever idea and get one of these interesting systems to play with. (See www.research.earthlink.net.)

Earthlink R&D's Telematics Research Platform Runs Linux

Embedded Linux Consortium

The ELC announced that several new members have joined recently, including Future Sound Technologies, Intel Corporation, American Megatrends, Inc., Aleph One, Ltd. and Vibren Technologies. Based on the roster at the ELC web site, the consortium currently has 68 corporate members (36 executive and 32 affiliate level). One bit of hot news is that the ELC's Board of Directors recently approved a change to the ELC's bylaws to allow the ELC to own intellectual property, thereby clearing the way for ELC to engage in developing and licensing embedded Linux standards. (See www.embedded-linux.org.)

Embedded Linux Journal

On the opening day of LinuxWorld, ELJ announced the winners of their first embedded Linux design contest. Each winner gets an all expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica! (See embedded.linuxjournal.com.)

Empower Technologies

Empower demonstrated their new LinuxDA “Linux upgrade” for the Palm III and V. They also announced that LinuxDA has been licensed by two Palm-compatible Taiwanese consumer device manufacturers: Elitegoup Computer Systems and APlux Communications. (See linuxda.com.)

Hewlett-Packard Company

Hewlett-Packard issued a major embedded Linux strategy announcement in connection with LinuxWorld. Per the announcement, embedded Linux is now the OS of choice for all HP-developed devices. HP's embedded Linux system is called Chai-LX. HP also demonstrated the new Digital Entertainment Center audio system, which contains an x86 processor and uses Chai-LX as its embedded OS. (See www.hp.com/linux.)

Linux in the Living Room? HP's New Digital Entertainment Center


IBM alphaWorks showed off its experimental TechMobile, a modified Ford Explorer 2002 Limited Edition that has been outfitted with Linux-powered computers running a variety of web-enabled applications. In the demo, a simple user interface on a Bluetooth-enabled PDA controls the car's headlights, door locks and engine starter. Other IBM technologies showcased in various locations on the show floor with applicability to embedded Linux-based systems included the DB2 database, VisualAge Micro Edition (shown by MontaVista) and Embedded ViaVoice (also at MontaVista's booth). (See www.alphaworks.ibm.com.)

IBM's Car of the Future Has “Linux Inside”


In contrast with last summer, when Lineo occupied multiple locations on the show floor due to having acquired several other Embedded Linux companies, Lineo was not an exhibitor this time, but instead held a press conference to make several strategic announcements. These included: the selection of Lineo's Embedix Digital Media core by Motorola for use in the DCT5000 set-top box and the planned release of a “GPL Compliance Toolset” to help developers and their companies identify which licenses govern their software and what the implications of those licenses are. (See www.lineo.com.)