[erlang-questions] 'embedded' erlang?

Matthias Lang <>
Sat Oct 28 10:06:07 CEST 2006


 writes:

 > Googling around, I think I've seen this come up once or twice w/out
 > anything produced (I'm not saying that is bad, I'm not expecting to
 > produce anything myself, I'm just seeing it as a still open research
 > topic)... Anybody have a guess what the minimum size of Erlang might be,
 > with an eye towards embedded - or at least portable - systems? They can be
 > pretty well-endowed with decent CPU'S (tho usually no FPU) and a decent
 > few gigs of flash RAM.

Flash space: if you start with Erlang/OTP and strip it without
actually changing anything, it's reasonably straightforward to fit
Erlang/OTP into 3MByte of disk space. There are several companies who
have independently done that for products.

DRAM/CPU grunt: Corelatus' original generation of hardware, which has
been in live service at dozens of sites for years, runs Erlang just
fine on a 50MHz FPU-less CPU with 32MB of DRAM. Independently, Brian
Zhou has Erlang running on a chewing-gum-packet sized linux box called
a 'gumstix'.

See also:

  http://wiki.trapexit.org/index.php/Cross_compiling

So, for what I call practical purposes, it's a closed topic. It's been
done, it works, anyone competent can do it, nobody's going to get a
PhD and no space in academic journals needs to be filled.

 > I wonder to what extent the ideas behind the VM could be implemented on
 > top of some other VM that has embedded versions (JME)? There's the Scala
 > actors stuff which looks interesting, if it keeps on being
 > developed.

I guess this is where the research is...

Given the rapid rate of extinction of hardware as wimpy as my above
examples, it's hard for unimaginative people like me to see the point
of trying to "go even smaller".

Matthias



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