[uClinux-dev] about nommu or mmu

John Williams jwilliams at itee.uq.edu.au
Wed Mar 19 00:44:41 EST 2003


ChangDa Tong wrote:

> I mean if more and more cpu used in the embedded device have a mmu,
> could uclinux have less usage? Could the nommu cpu's is used less in the
> near future? Maybe this affect  the spreadness of uclinux. Could anyone
> show some facts that nommu processor is hard to be repleace the nommu
> ones?

An interesting question, which could be subtitled "The future of uClinux".

To get the ball rolling, you might speculate that uClinux will just go 
deeper and deeper embedded.  At the coal face it will always be the 
struggle of getting the necessary performance from the cheapest piece of 
hardware that will do the job.

When the processors used in a network router (like SnapGear's stuff) can 
"afford" an MMU, then they would probably upgrade to regular linux.

However, by that time, even smaller, cheaper and faster no-mmu 
processors will exist, and they will be embedded in your internet-ready 
toaster.  Then, by the time the toaster manufacturer upgrades to proper 
linux, maybe you'll run uClinux in your internet enabled wrist watch, or 
the microchip embedded in your skull that reminds you to take out the 
garbage and feed the cat.  I can see it now, tattoos reading "uClinux 
inside"!

Of course I'm being a bit silly, but the "ubiquitous computing" folks 
will need an OS, and uClinux might well be it.

Remember that in the early days IBM (or so the story goes) predicted the 
global market for "computers" as being upper bounded somewhere around 
10.  Oh, and Bill Gates said no-one would ever need more than 640K of RAM.

Cheers,

John




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