Having covered the basics of embedded Linux systems, including generic system architecture, we will now discuss the embedded hardware Linux supports. First, we’ll cover the processor architectures Linux supports that are commonly used in embedded systems. Next, we will cover the various hardware components involved, such as buses, I/O, storage, general-purpose networking, industrial-grade networking, and system monitoring. Although we will include many different components, we have omitted those not typically used in embedded configurations.
Note that the following discussion will not attempt to analyze the pros and cons of one hardware component or another. Hardware development is moving forward far too quickly for us to be in the business of doing such things. Use this chapter, instead, as a starting point for your research in either identifying the components to include in your system or judging the amount of effort needed to get Linux to run on the hardware you have already chosen.