The OS options for DSPs are growing, and Linux is at the top of everyone's list. Here's the latest on this popular OS.
My colleague Seth Benton writes:
"Computers are going mobile and mobile is going Linux. Or so the recent actions of juggernauts Intel and Texas Instruments seem to indicate. In July Intel announced its Mobile Linux (Moblin) project, an open source project aimed at producing Linux components for Intel's Mobile Internet Devices. On October 3 Texas Instruments, along with ARM, Marvell, MontaVista, Movial, Mozilla, and Samsung, announced their own open source Linux project, the Linux Mobile Computing platform.
TI's participation is notable addition to its already considerable involvement with Linux. To date, TI's Linux support has been focused on the ARM cores in it OMAP and DaVinci devices, and these Linux ports have been provided by third parties such as MonaVista. Linux support is available for the DSP side of the DaVinci chips is also available through VirtualLogix and Softier, but my feeling is that this has been a low priority for TI. However, TI may simply have been waiting for the legal mess around Linux to be cleared up. Now that this issue has been resolved, rumor has it that TI will roll out its own Linux port for C6x DSPs.
As a big fan of open source, I hope these projects succeed. With mobile devices taking center stage, mobile Linux may give the open source community their long awaited Trojan Horse into Redmond."
As an aside, I should note that TI is hardly the only DSP vendor pursuing Linux. ADI has been offering a Blackfin Linux port since 2003—slightly beating TI in the Linux race. From everything I've heard, it's a great option for doing DSP on Linux.
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