Highlights of Embedded World Linux Embedded Software


In my daily work at LinuxGizmos, I was recently at the heart of the Embedded Linux Hardware news at Embedded World in Nuremberg. There are many new SBCs and compute modules, many of which are based on NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini, as well as a new Qualcomm Robotics RB3 platform, more IoT gateways, and Linux compatible chips such as version STM32MP1 and Octavo SiP from the SoC of ST. .

Yet Embedded World has also produced news on embedded Linux software. Here we take a brief look at a few highlights, including Google’s open source for its Cloud IoT Device SDK, the Linux Foundation launching an ELISA project for security-critical open source systems, and a new long-term kernel of the Civil Infrastructure Platform project. .

In other news, Siemens has created a Debian-based binary version of Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL), and AMD and Advantech are working with Mentor to develop a smart implementation of MEL in machine learning. Finally, Wind River announced a “Helix platform” that combines Wind River Linux and VxWorks, and MontaVista launched MontaVista Carrier Grade eXpress 2.6.

Google Releases SDK for Open Source Devices

Google has released an open source licensed Cloud IoT Device SDK designed to connect IoT-oriented Linux microcontroller devices and gadgets to its Google Cloud IoT platform. The SDK can be seen as a low-end MCU-focused equivalent of its Linux-focused Cloud IoT Edge stack for IoT gateways that integrate Google’s AI-accelerating Cloud TPU chips.

The Cloud IoT Device SDK includes client libraries written in Embedded C to “enable developers to securely connect, provision, and manage devices with Cloud IoT Core,” Google explains. Target devices range from handhelds to low-end smart home devices. Support for the operating system includes Zephyr, Mbed OS, FreeRTOS, and POSIX compatible platforms such as Linux. The first partners include Arm, Cypress, Nordic, Espressif, Microchip and NXP.

The open source version presents an alternative strategy to Google’s proprietary, high-end Android Things IoT platform. Google recently announced that Android Things will be limited to OEM partners developing smart speakers and displays with Google Assistant.

Linux Foundation Launches Security Critical ELISA Project

The Linux Foundation, which this week welcomed 34 new members, including HP, also announced a project called Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (ELISA) to develop open source tools and processes that help companies build and certify applications. and security critical Linux systems. Targeted applications include robotics, medicine, smart factories, transportation, and self-driving cars.

ELISA builds on the work of the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) SIL2LinuxMP project, as well as the Linux Foundation’s real-time Linux project. ELISA’s founding members include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, Linutronix, and Toyota, which is a major member of LF’s Automotive Grade Linux project. The list also includes new member LF and robotics manufacturer KUKA.

The objectives of the ELISA project include working with certification authorities and standards bodies “to establish how Linux can be used as a component in security critical systems”. The project will develop reference documentation and security-related use cases, educate and collaborate with the open source community, provide members with incident and hazard monitoring of critical components, and promote best practices.

CIP releases the first SLTS kernel

ELISA is linked to LF’s Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project, which this week announced the release of its promised Very Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel with 64-bit Arm support. The key improvement to the SLTS kernel is its unprecedented 10+ year support. The core is also designed for the higher safety, security and reliability requirements of large infrastructure and industrial applications.

The CIP project also announced two new working groups. The first is a software updates working group led by Toshiba. The second is a Renesas-led security task force, whose new RZ-G2 SoCs are the first to support SLTS.

Mentor Embedded Linux goes binary

Like Wind River Linux and MontaVista, Mentor Embedded Linux (MEL) from Mentor Graphics has been one of the leading commercial embedded Linux distributions. It is also based on the Yocto Project code. Today, almost two years after the acquisition of Mentor by Siemens, Siemens PLM Software announced a new version of MEL which abandons the Yocto foundation for Debian. The distribution, which combines MEL with an internal Debian stack designed for Siemens automation equipment, is available as an “enterprise class” binary.

Because it can load as a simple binary, the new Siemens enterprise version of MEL is easier to install and use than the Yocto-based version, says Siemens. (The Yocto version will continue to be available.)

Siemens partner Xilinx is also convinced of the binary approach: “By combining the capabilities of an embedded Linux distribution with those of the Debian binary desktop Linux distribution, today’s developers – many of whom have perfected their skills. skills in Linux desktop development – can easily extend those same skills into complete embedded systems, ”said Simon George, director of system software and SoC solutions marketing, Xilinx.

The new Linux solution provides a stable kernel, a robust toolchain, broad community support, secure field updates and application isolation, says Siemens. It offers up-to-date cloud support and familiar MEL features such as Sourcery Analyzer tools. Improved multicore support enables heterogeneous systems that also run Mentor’s Nucleus RTOS.

AMD and Advantech Collaborate on ML-Focused MEL Version

In other MEL news, AMD, Advantech and Mentor announced a custom version of MEL that runs on Advantech’s SOM-5871 compute module based on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. The solution “will allow customers to more easily implement machine vision applications within their IoT or edge compute ecosystem, helping to improve the efficiency and accuracy of machine vision solutions,” AMD said. The chipmaker hints that the platform will align with LF’s EdgeX Foundry project for advanced computing.

Wind River goes multiplatform with Helix Platform

Wind River, no longer owned by Intel, unveiled a Wind River Helix virtualization platform, a general framework that integrates both Wind River Linux and the company’s VxWorks RTOS. The Helix platform provides an integrated state-of-the-art computing platform for applications ranging from industrial infrastructure to autonomous driving.

Helix Platform uses the Wind River hypervisor to enable temporal and spatial partitioning that takes advantage of RTOS and virtualization technology, security features, and COTS certification. Linux, VxWorks, and even third-party operating systems like Windows and Android can coexist on multiprocessor and multi-core systems, all orchestrated by the common Helix Cloud platform.

MontaVista unveils CGX 2.6

Finally, MontaVista announced version 2.6 of its MontaVista Carrier Grade eXpress (CGX), the 12th generation of its Carrier Grade Linux certified distribution. Like Wind River Linux and the original MEL, CGX is an embedded commercial distribution based on the Yocto project code and intended for industrial and network customers.

Released in mid-2019 with BSPs for x86 and ARMv8, MontaVista CGX 2.6 is based on Yocto 2.6, the Linux 4.19 kernel and the GCC 8.2 tool chain. Highlights include enhanced security features such as OpenSSL FIPS, OPTEE / Trustzone, Secure Boot, and SWUpdate.

CGX 2.6 supports BLE, 4G / LTE, Zigbee, LoRA, CANbus, Modbus and Profibus protocols. Cloud support has been updated with APIs for the latest Amazon AWS IoT, Microsoft Azure IoT, Google Cloud IoT, and ARM mBed Client. Of course, Kubernetes is also supported.

MontaVista was instrumental in the early development of embedded Linux, was owned by network chip maker Cavium for several years before being redeveloped as an independent company when Marvell acquired Cavium. Like his old rival Wind River, MontaVista is once again unhitched and ready for action.


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