If you want to scale higher in some dedicated embedded solution for a specific need, you also need the full power of a PC, Then an ARM based system with Linux OS, can be Tailored to a perfect fit.
Open ARM9 SBC
This page documents an ARM9 single board computer designed for image acquisition and processing. It's an open implementation, which means schematics and layout files are freely available. The platform runs Linux/ARM.
- 180 MHz ARM9 processor (Atmel AT91RM9200)
- 3 MPixel CMOS sensor (Micron MT9T001)
- Altera Cyclone FPGA with 6000 LEs
- 2x32 MBytes of SDRAM (32MB for the ARM9 and 32MB for the FPGA)
- 16 Mbits of serial flash
- 1 10/100 Intel Ethernet interface
- 1 high speed USB 2.0 interface
- 1 SPI interface
- 1 serial (RS-232) interface
ARM9200 board running Linux
"My student research project was programming a bootloader and patching the Linux kernel and a root filesystem in a way that an Atmel AT91RM9200 based microcontroller board does not only boot without problems, but is also a nice environment for applications "
Darrell Harmon, developing his own open SBC. Analog Devices Blackfin 532 DSP + Xilinx Spartan 3 XC3S1000 FPGA. Also has USB 2.0 High Speed port.