Tracing The Evolution Open Source & Embedded Systems

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Information about Tracing The Evolution Open Source & Embedded Systems

Published on March 10, 2014

Author: Lounge47



The last session traced the evolution of Open Source and its relevance to Embedded systems. It highlighted the most popular tools used by the Open Source community and shared some tips on how to build embedded devices through leveraging the power of this paradigm. The discussions also dealt with Intellectual property issues.

“Tracing the Evolution” Open Source & Embedded Systems Jayakumar Balasubramanian Director, Emertxe Information Technologies Presented at 8th March 2014 Copyright @ Mr. Jayakumar Balasubramanian, Emertxe

Some motivation.. Personal experience:  Install, Crash, re-install, Crash – “Dorm-room” experiences!  “Migration to Linux” – Lingering over a decade now  Its everywhere – Device, Pipe and Cloud services Viewpoint:  Open Source & Embedded products – Builder’s view  Lab prototype v/s mass production – How different or same they are?  Managing open source with open source – Recursion?

Tracing the evolution - Open Source

How it all started?  With GNU (GNU is not UNIX)  Richard Stallman made the initial announcement in 1983, Free Software Foundation (FSF) got formed during 1984  Volunteer driven GNU started developing multiple projects, but making it as an operating system was always a challenge  During 1991 a Finnish Engineer Linus Torvalds developed core OS functionality, called it as “Linux Kernel”  Linux Kernel got licensed under GPL, which laid strong platform for the success of Open Source  Rest is history!

How it evolved?  Multiple Linux distributions started emerging around the Kernel  Some applications became platform independent  Community driven software development started picking up  Initially seen as a “geek-phenomenon”, eventually turned out to be an engineering marvel  Centered around Internet  Building a business around open source started becoming viable  Redhat set the initial trend in the OS business Kernel Applications Customization

Where it stands now? OS Databases Server/Cloud Enterprise Consumer Education CMS eCommerce

Business models Consulting & Support • Charge for specific consulting service offering • Technical installation, customization and support Dual License • Distribution under two sets of terms and conditions • Community and Commercial editions Partner program • Developer/Partner ecosystem • Hosted as a platform Donations • Address a non-commercial need • Create a donation system and raise funds

Licensing blues..  Copyright and Copy left  GNU General Public License (GPL)  Freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve  (“Free” = “Freedom”) != “Free Beer”  Commercial distribution  Reciprocation  Derived work

Inflection Point – Linux Kernel

Kernel history

Embedded + Kernel  Non x86 architectures in Embedded Systems  Secure and portable monolithic architecture  Supports multiple instructions (ARM, MIPS, PPC etc…) – ideal for Embedded  Quality and reliability of code  Communication protocols and software standards  Cost and Time-to-market advantages  Vendor independence

Engineering marvel * Source: Linux foundation report, 2013

Why so?  Product features into Kernel, wider adaption  Higher interest from semiconductor companies  Global development model, leveraging talent  Influencing ability  Organizational brand Bottom line: It no longer a geek phenomenon. Can’t afford to miss this any more

Embedded products using Open Source

Three aspects Build  What do I want to build? How am I doing to build?  How to I test and qualify the product? Qualify  How to I manage the product and release to my customers? Manage & Release • Building ‘lab prototype’ is different from ‘mass manufacturing’ • Application product building doesn’t suite Embedded

Step-1 : Build Choice Points • • • • • Which version of Kernel? Which development environment? Tool chain Drivers and binaries Support and training Key actions: • • • • • Download Kernel: Develop BSP (if required) Build the image (Use Build-root or Yocto) Add custom functionality Development & Coding

Step-2 : Qualify Code & Build Code quality Secure & Scale Automate Diagnostics Test

Step-3 : Manage Project Mgmt Bug tracking Collaboration Right from setting initial code base, open source tools are available for develop, Qualify and release the final product. There are very useful product/project management tools available to easily manage it.

Closing notes..  Its no longer a “geek phenomenon”!  For new product ideas all of us (engineers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs) can rely on Open Source and its associated ecosystem  Excellent product/project management tools are available to monitor, track and launch commercial Embedded products  Qualification is a very mature area in Open Source, which MUST be leveraged  Obvious benefits in terms of – Cost, Time-to-market, Support and a sense of contribution

Tux Rocks!

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