Embedded systems

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Mon Jun 17 20:28:22 EDT 2002

Stuart wrote:
> Is Python practical for embedded systems?   I am working on a project at the
> moment that uses a GSM/GPRS modem and a GPS receiver.  I have prototyped the
> whole thing in Visual Basic, and now I need to port it over to a suitable
> processor (possibly on a 68000 device using Linux).
> I don't really want  to get into C for this project, and was wondering if
> Python was suitable?  Are memory requirements an issue?

We are building embedded Linux systems using Python as the primary
language (with bits of C for some custom drivers).  Our processors
are x86 but a standard port to 68K should work fine I suppose.
Memory is about what you might expect, which is to say that it
requires more than C by several times, but any system capable of
running Linux and a few apps can handle Python on top of it
without much trouble, IMHO.

For what it's worth, we had a 386-based proprietary system 
running with a compacted Python running in 1MB RAM and 1MB
flash, but it was way too tight for our needs.  We now use
486/100 processors with 32MB RAM and 64MB CompactFlash cards,
and have _plenty_ of room to spare.  We could probably get
by with as little as 4-8MB RAM and 16-32MB flash for what we
currently do.


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