I have not used Linux extensively in embedded in the past but the recent changes in the 2.6.39 kernel that bring more real time support make linux even more attractive in this area. One thing that commercial RTOS's allow is for applications to lock portions of the cache to hold highly reused code like DSP algorithms. I have not looked into how this is done in Linux or if it can be done at all. But partitioning control of the cache is an important feature in a small set of performance sensitive applications.
It has not been possible to use Linux for some of the applications I have been involved with in the past because of latency issues but Linux is constantly changing and 2.6.39 opens up possibilities that were out of reach before.
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