Tuesday, November 9, 2010

uClinux for your Embedded Linux Projects

Linux is getting penetrated into the area of embedded systems. The main pushing factors are
  • It is open source.
  • Free to copy and use.
  • Wide support.
  • High flexibility and the ability to extend upon itself.
Embedded Linux is targeting at embedded microcomputers rather than full fledged computers. More interesting thing is to embed linux into micro controllers. It is in this context uClinux (micro controller linux) is discussed.

uClinux is developed to run on microcomputers and micro controllers. The original uClinux was a derivative of Linux 2.0 kernel intended for microcontrollers without Memory Management Units (MMUs). However, the Linux/Microcontroller Project has grown both in brand recognition and coverage of processor architectures.It targets classic embedded 32bit micro-controllers. Main features are
  • open source project
  • stable versions based on Linux kernels 2.0.39, 2.4.27 and 2.6.10
  • most features of Linux kernel available:
           - process control
           - filesystems
           - networking
           - device drivers
  •  modified kernel memory subsystem
  • conventional kernel/application separation
Various supported CPU architectures are
  • Motorola 68k (68X302, 68306, 68X328, 68332, 68360)
  • Motorola ColdFire (5206x, 5249, 527x, 5307, 5407)
  • ARM (Atmel, NetSilicon, Aplio, TI, Samsung, ...)
  • Sparc (LEON)
  • MIPS (Brecis, ...)
  • Xilinx Microblaze (FPGA)
  • Altera NIOS (FPGA)
  • NEC v850
  • Hitachi H8/300, SH2
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