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Monday, September 06, 2004
Embedded Linux Arises As New OS For Mobile Gears

Propelled by wide development and adoption of open-source software in mobile computing and consumer electronics appliances, Linux-based embedded software is arising as new operating system.

Samsung Electronics began in December last year supplying embedded Linux-based smart phones to China. Buoyed by sales of 10,000 units of this smart phone, the company plans to ship its upgraded model toward the end of this year. The company also began adopting embedded Linux operating system in its set-top-box for digital TVs.

Another major consumer electronics maker, LG Electronics, also recently began installing embedded Linux program in its set-top-boxes. An automobile maker, Renault Samsung, began this year adopting embedded Linux operating system in telematics gear installed in its new vehicles.

A Linux program developer, Mizi Research, supplied Linux operating system to Samsung Electronics to adopt in the latter's smart phones. Mizi Research also agreed with Red Flag, a Linux software developer in China, to join hands in supplying its products in that market.

Palmpalm Tech agreed with Cellon of the United States to supply its Linux-based application and kernel for Cellon?s smart phones to be supplied to China at the end of this year. Palmpalm Tech will also provide its Linux operating system to Sharp of Japan and Exadigm of the United States to be installed in their PDAs and point of sales (POS) systems, respectively.

"Unlike real time operating system, Linux provides easier development environment for new devices as its source is open. It also enables to easily replace applications in small gears with short life cycle," said Seol Ho-gyu, manager of development team at Palmpalm Tech.

CNetia IT supplied its Linux operating system to the Electronic and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI) to be embedded in the latter's repeaters for new relay stations.

In addition, Kasan Electronics, a consumer electronics maker, has developed a Linux-based embedded operating system that is interoperable with 'Palm OS' of 3COM. Sigma Design, a chipset maker, also supplied its open-source embedded chipsets to a dvix player maker.

Industry experts predict that the world market for embedded Linux operating systems, which posted 28 million dollars in 2000, will grow to 213 million dollars this year and to 300 million dollars next year. Industry observers expect its domestic market to expand from 19 million dollars this year to 30 million dollars in 2009.

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