Embedded Linux Consortium is Dead

Interesting news from alllinuxdevices.com

"The Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC) filed dissolution papers with the state of California yesterday, ending a five year run promoting embedded Linux and developing standards for it. The ELC's primary piece of intellectual property--the ELC Platform Specification--has been transferred to the OSDL (Open Source Development Labs), which could move the standard forward, given sufficient member interest.

The Embedded Linux Consortium, ELC, finally dissolved this week.   The ELC was formed in 2000 with the mission to help standardize an embedded Linux platform specification.  This included defining an API specification so that middleware and application developers could reuse each others work with a high degree of compatibility. From its original 165 members, before dissolution the consortium only maintained 7 members. 

It would appear to me that the embedded Linux community is fragmented and fragile.  According to the ELC, the remaining work will be passed on to the OSDL, the committee responsible for overseeing the Carrier Grade Linux standard and home of Linus Torvalds. 

However, because interest will be needed to continue ELC work within the OSDL and since there has been little interest thus far (given that the number of members dropped to just 7 before dissolution), the future for the standard is most certainly bleak.

- Mike

Comments (6)

  1. eric says:

    Maybe they don’t have to "promote" Linux anymore.

  2. mikehall says:

    This isn’t about prompting Linux, this is about creating a standard set of API’s that could be targeted by application and middleware developers – the fact that the consortium has disolved and is being passed over to a group that will not move the standard forward is an example of the fragmentation and fragility of embedded linux.

    – Mike

  3. mikehall says:

    Yes, the graph you pointed me at does initially look interesing, however, if you consider that Linux is displayed in the graph as 25% – so then add the Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded listings you get 21%, but this doesn’t include versions of Windows CE before Windows CE version 4.0, plus you also need to consider the large number of embedded systems that ship using Windows classic desktop operating systems such as MS-DOS, Windows 98, Windows 2000, or even Windows XP.

    The graph shows current adoption of operating systems for embedded projects, and of course is skewed based my comments above. When I mentioned fragmented and fragile I refer the lack of standardized API across Embedded Linux.

    – Mike

  4. Paul A. Lowe says:


    Just got finished meeting with a hardware platform supplier (board builder) based in Taiwan. I was pressing for a low cost simple board that supported CE 5.0. They expressed concern on this, stating that 9 out of 10 designs they are involved in today (for this type of board)is for embedded Linux. This is not the only Taiwanese board house I have run into that is shying away from CE (in the low cost board sector). My point is, finding a board (low cost) that will support CE is getting harder today then a year ago. Why? Now I admit I am not going to the board houses that are well known here(they cost too much), instead I am going to the many unknown houses that supply lots of boards (some to the popular houses). In the high end boards (X86 based, Geode and such) they support (or at least say they do) CE. But you start digging in the ARM, MIPS, NEC, Sharp processor boards and Embedded Linux seems king. Please comment on this.


  5. Clearer says:

    This is the WinCE homepage. News about embedded Linux should never be found here. I consider everything about anything other than WinCE to be a way to look like this site is non-partial. It is.

    Please, do not respond to posts regarding another, other than WinCE, embedded OS on this site again.

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