As 2006 winds to a close, the editors of LinuxDevices.com have assembled a retrospective aimed at highlighting major trends and events in the world of embedded Linux. Of the approximately 1,200 stories we published this year, these were the most important, in our opinion.
For embedded Linux, 2006 was shaped by a handful of mega-trends. We've identified the following trends to be among the year's most visible, if not important:
- Linux comes into its own in phones, shipping in dozens of new designs, including some 20 models covered here
- Numerous established vendors and startups scramble to offer “complete” mobile phone software stacks. Players include Trolltech, a la Mobile, Cellunite, Aplix, Access, and probably others
- Changes in leadership at some key embedded Linux tools vendors, including MontaVista, LynuxWorks, and TimeSys
- AMD and Intel sell off their non-x86 mobile processor lines, including AMD's Alchemy (MIPS) and select Intel XScale (ARM) app processors and basebands. AMD also closes a Geode development center
- Increased reliance on and investment in Eclipse — which gains new device capabilities — especially from Wind River. Wind River rev'd Workbench to an all-plugin architecture, a move echoed by MontaVista
- Embedded Linux finds itself at the heart of the GPLv3 debate, while GPLv2 continues to hold up in court
- Design wins abound, including a wrist-worn PC, a whole-house audio system, a dual-ARM9 handheld gaming device, a third-generation kitchen PC, several humanoid robots, a WiFi tablet, and several devices with electronic paper displays.
- Several major consumer electronics vendors shipped Linux-based VoIP phones, while many traditional stereo vendors branched out into Linux-based media servers and Internet radios. Linux also continued to see heavy use in digital TVs and set-top boxes. See our Device showcase for specifics.
- The Linux kernel gained significant real-time enhancements, technology that was quickly adopted by MontaVista.
- A wide variety of standards organizations released new specifications to guide Linux vendors and users toward greater interoperability.
For a more complete look at the year's top trends, be sure to click through the pages below. They highlight what we consider to be the top 175 or so stories, culled from about 1,200 for the year. Enjoy . . . !
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.