This paper describes how chip vendor-supplied, Linux-based evaluation kits affect time-to-evaluation, and ultimately time-to-market for product companies and consultants alike. It was written by Alan R. Weiss, a 26-year veteran of the embedded market, and includes candid appraisals of kits from three vendors.
Weiss says that over the last decade, he and his Austin, Texas-based Synchromesh Computing consulting firm have worked with Linux development kits from many different vendors. They have seen a wide range of quality and completeness in the kits, too, in particular with regard to:
- Tool quality
- Software freshness
- Set-up ease
- Availability of reference designs and application-specific software
- Third party ecosystem support
- Customer support
Weiss observes that while silicon vendors still compete on the characteristics of their actual chips, the increasing complexity of devices and the growing role of software integration both bring a lot of other factors into the equation, too. Not the least of these is how long it takes to simply set up an evaluation kit and begin testing software on it, he suggests.
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