Why? They need a strong and well-define embedded system environment. Where is it? You will know it after you read the following information. And, why can uClinux and SSP(SoC Software Platform) technology beat down Microsoft in the embedded systems market? There are some evidences in the following:
1. Cost competition: Based on cost competition in the embedded systems market, embedded products only require the cheapest SoC in the world. The cheapest SoC must have a low speed CPU. uClinux is only one solution on operating systems for a low speed CPU and is mature in the SoC in 2003. And, uCliunx only need low-speed CPU, like ARM7, and a little runtime memory. Microsoft windows.net is difficult to execute on the ARM7.
2. Graphic User Interface: Only uClinux, you can’t do anything in the embedded systems market, because embedded products need a graphic user interface to communicate with people.
3. Embedded Browser: People like the Internet world; therefore, they have been educated to use a browser to view all information on any device. Due to the condition, an embedded browser is an important feature in the embedded systems market.
4. Chip Drivers: Which is an important thing except uClinux, GUI, and an embedded browser in the embedded systems market? The answer is “Driver”. No drivers, no embedded products. In Microsoft world, all chips and manufacturers help Microsoft to provide all drivers on the PC. Who wants to provide drivers in uClinux? How do you get the drivers you want? If you can't get workable drivers, you must fail in your projects. I know you can pay more money to get the drivers. So, I call this driver technology “Bottom-Up technology”(meaning: No workable drivers, no embedded system products).
5. Quick Embedded Software customization: Developing an embedded system product needs to modify the hardware design and software even using SoC. Because most of motherboard companies are in Taiwan, a fully completed chip component chain exists in Taiwan. Therefore it is easy to customize the hardware design for them. When the hardware design changes, quickly modifying software and drivers is an emergency step. In general case, this step always spends much time in the development period and loses the time-to-market chance.
6. Strong and well-defined IT Environment: Why can SSP technology with uClinux beat down Microsoft in the embedded systems market? Because SSP technology has been developing in a Taiwan hardware and component-chain environment for 4 years. SSP technology has been developing based on “Bottom-Up Technology”. Most of Taiwan hardware companies request software solutions from Taiwan embedded software companies, ex. EzHomeTech Inc. These Taiwan embedded software companies, ex. EzHomeTech Inc., can get more future software specification than other companies outside Taiwan and can verify whether the specification is actual requirements in the embedded systems market.
7. VOD experiments and Driver Providing: Now there are at least 3 companies included CHT (the biggest telecom company in Taiwan) to promote Video on Demand (VOD) in Taiwan that there are above 3 million ADSL users. They need more embedded systems techniques to improve their STB functions for video streaming and web EPG. So, most of Taiwan manufactures want to develop their STBs to feed the requirements. They need embedded software company to help them to let their STBs play video and music, and surf Internet. So, they will provide the whole drivers as they provide them to Microsoft. Based on above conditions, there is a strong and well-defined experiment environment of embedded systems in Taiwan. How many Taiwan companies produced their STBs in the past 8 years? The answer is about 400 companies. How can I know the number? Because I got these STBs in the past 8 years.
8. SSP technology: SSP technology has been developing based on “Bottom-Up Technology”. SSP technology was born from 1996. And, it is commercial in 2000. Now SSP technology is developed based on uClinux. It provides a GUI, embedded browser, streaming technology, development SDK, and much know-how of embedded systems.
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