Linux Kernel 2.6: the Future of Embedded Computing, Part I
With major vendors in the consumer devices market forming such associations as the Consumer Embedded Linux Forum (CELF), Linux is becoming the first choice among operating systems in the consumer devices market. To help with the consumer devices market, Linux 2.6 includes the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, or ALSA. This state-of-the-art facility supports USB and MIDI devices with fully thread-safe, multi-processor-safe software. With ALSA, a system can run multiple sound cards and do such things as play and record at the same time or mix multiple audio streams.
Video4Linux, the system for supporting video, is all new in Linux 2.6. Although it is not backward-compatible with previous video paradigms, it is intended for the latest stable versions of radio and TV tuners, video cameras and other multimedia. And on a completely new track, Linux 2.6 includes the first built-in support for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) hardware. This type of hardware, common in set-top boxes, can be used to make a Linux server into a TiVo-like device, with the appropriate software.
In Part II of this article, we look at human device interfaces, networking filesystems and 64-bit machines.
The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6, by Joseph Pranevich
Aseem R. Deshpande is a software engineer who studied at the University of Pune in India. He has been working as an embedded software developer for the past year and a half. His other interests include Grid computing and helping people to "fall". He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.