Execute-In-Place in Linux 2.6.13

Perhaps the best new feature of Linux 2.6.13 is support for Execute-In-Place (XIP).

<p>This allows linux to run directly from ROM or other block devices, without first being copied to RAM.</p>
<p>You’d probably never want to do this on a server (excepting some undelivered wicked-fast cache) but for small embedded devices (WRT54G, wristwatches, cellphones) and hot-failover systems this could be very useful.</p>
<p>The embedded systems would see a decrease in cost since you don’t need as much RAM in the system (the increased flash costs for uncompressed kernels might offset this somewhat).  </p>
<p>I’m thinking you could hook up an optical 1394b (Firewire ‘800) cable at 3.2Gbps (coming soon - Firewire supports DMA in the PHY) and have a cheap-and-easy failover system using COTS parts.  Combined with a SAN-style storage, perhaps all in the same box, you could sell “non-stop"-type systems for a couple thousand dollars.  This could become a real competitive advantage for Linux.