The Linux Foundation has published an 11-page, highly-detailed whitepaper focused on the use and suitability of Android as the embedded software backbone of an ever-widening array of devices. It’s an excellent introduction to Android for developers, project managers, and CxOs in companies that develop embedded systems and devices.
The whitepaper, by Alcatel-Lucent software architect Benjamin Zores, begins with a brief accounting of the emergence and huge success of the Android operating system. Following the initial overview, Zores discusses, in some detail, Android’s architecture, key components, benefits, and potential drawbacks.
Quoting from the whitepaper’s introduction…
- “Linux has continuously grown in the embedded systems market for over a decade, gaining market share from proprietary operating systems. The proliferation of embedded devices, the explosion of open source development, the inherent hardware support, the incredible networking capabilities, and the royalty-free economic model have all helped propel use of the Linux kernel into one of the best choices for the design of new embedded systems.
While the success of Linux in the embedded market can not be denied, its notoriety was once confined to mostly technical professionals. That changed in 2008 with Google’s release of the Android mobile phone operating system, based on the Linux kernel. Thus began the tremendous growth of Linux in the consumer world, with over one million Android devices being activated every day in 2012 and predictions of total Android devices shipped reaching one billion in 2013…”
Android Software architecture
(click to enlarge; source: Linux Foundation whitepaper)
You can download the complete 11-page whitepaper from the Linux Foundation’s website, here (requires free registration). Additionally, the LF is offering a 2-day course entitled Introduction to Embedded Android Development.
Zores has designed Linux-based devices for more than a decade. He’s also a contributor to several several open source projects, including being the original author of the OpenBricks embedded cross-build framework, the GeeXboX HTPC live distribution, and the uShare UPnP/DLNA MediaServer.