Switching from microcontroller to Linux

A clear trend has emerged in recent years: Many companies are considering a switch from traditional microcontroller-based development to Linux-based solutions for their embedded applications. This shift offers a number of advantages: Linux provides a robust and extensible platform that allows developers to implement sophisticated applications faster while supporting a wide range of hardware options. By using Linux, organizations can also benefit from the rich selection of open source tools and libraries that can accelerate development and reduce costs. In addition, Linux facilitates integration with cloud services and enables companies to develop more flexible and scalable IoT solutions, for example through the use of containers.</br

However, switching from microcontrollers to Linux can be a challenge for many companies for several reasons:

  1. complexity of the technology: compared to microcontrollers, Linux is a much more complex and comprehensive technology. Companies have to deal with new concepts such as the management of operating systems, drivers, libraries and package management systems. This often requires retraining of developers and a deeper understanding of the Linux platform.
  2. resources and costs: Moving to Linux often requires additional resources and investment in training, tools and infrastructure. Companies may need to evaluate and purchase new hardware platforms that support Linux, as well as allocate resources to develop and customize Linux-based software.
  3. integration with existing systems: Many organizations already have established systems and software solutions based on microcontrollers. The transition to Linux requires seamless integration with these existing systems, which can present additional challenges. This may include porting existing code, ensuring interoperability and minimizing downtime during the transition.
  4. adapting to new development methods: Developing software for Linux often requires a different approach and methodology compared to developing for microcontrollers. Organizations may need to adapt to new development practices such as Agile, DevOps and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) to work effectively with the Linux platform.

Overall, moving from microcontrollers to Linux requires careful planning, resource allocation and a step-by-step approach to overcome the challenges and take full advantage of the Linux platform. It can be helpful to build on libraries or a software framework to significantly reduce the initial effort.