Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive - Minix

This is a discussion on Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive - Minix ; Actually, the cost of semiconductor memory continues to decline. This means that at some point, super-small memory footprint systems won't have huge advantages except in very high volume applications (of which there aren't that many). Still, a small, reliable unix-like ...

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Thread: Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive

  1. Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive

    Actually, the cost of semiconductor memory continues to decline. This
    means that at some point, super-small memory footprint systems won't
    have huge advantages except in very high volume applications (of which
    there aren't that many).

    Still, a small, reliable unix-like OS ported to many architectures has
    value.

    -Mike


  2. Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive

    Embedded systems are fairly cost sensitive. Ideally, all the
    electronics--CPU, all the ROM and RAM, and all the I/O
    controllers--should be on a single chip to reduce the manufacturing
    cost. A smaller system means a smaller chip which means more chips per
    wafer. Knocking $1 off the manufacturing cost can knock as much as $5
    off the selling price. In a competitive market, being a little bit
    cheaper than your competitors has real value. There are people who will
    buy a DVD player for $34.95 over an equivalent one for $39.95.

    Andy Tanenbaum


  3. Re: LinkSys finds Linux memory footprint expensive

    LinkSys writes:

    > We sell literally hundreds of thousands per month.


    Karram writes:

    > But, I am thinking how licensing an RTOS can be
    > cheaper than adding more flash and ram.


    Andy writes:

    > Embedded systems are fairly cost sensitive.


    Absolutely. Save a buck per unit, and at hundreds of thousands per
    month, it turns into millions quickly.

    I have worked with product managers who maintained their jobs by
    covering their salary through simple cost reduction initiatives.

    There is a bottom to what you can sell hardware for and remain
    profitable or break even. But a commercial RTOS vendor can discount to
    near zero on high volume, because his NRE (non-recurring engineering,
    the one time cost to develop the RTOS) is already paid by previous
    funding or customers. If the per unit hardware savings were only 20
    cents, and VxWorks licensed at 10 cents per unit, LinkSys and VxWorks
    still each realize a windfall that would pay off my house rather
    nicely. Over and over again.

    But if LinkSys could get that dime back per unit by replacing VxWorks
    .... they wouldn't hesitate.

    Thanks.

    Jim


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