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Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Mind Quarterly Newsletter - Q3 2009


Content:

1. Mind celebrates its 10th anniversary
2. Next Embedded Linux training
3. Meet us at the Bits&Chips exhibition in Leuven, Belgium
4. Contributions to Open Source Software projects
5. Case Study: Linux device drivers development for an Automotive system
6. Technology Focus: Open source technologies for multimedia streaming



1. Mind celebrates its 10th anniversary


Mind was founded in 1999 and was one of the first companies in the Benelux to offer consultancy and services in the field of Linux and Open Source Software for Embedded Systems. Through a constant focus on expertise, reliability and reactivity, Mind rapidly grew as the expert company for feasibility studies, development, support and training, both for high-level (application, firmware, tools, frameworks, etc...) and low-level software (device drivers, BSPs, boot-loaders, etc...).

More recently, in 2006, Mind was acquired by Essensium to become its Embedded Software division. While keeping its main focus on Linux and Open Source Software for Embedded Systems, this acquisition allowed Mind to reach a much broader customer base at international level and to get involved in larger projects, often as a part of System-on-Chip (SoC) implementations for Essensium's customers.

In the last 10 years, Mind has been involved in several hundreds of projects, with large companies as well as innovative SMEs active in the electronic world. Today, the Linux and Open Source Software expertise of Mind can be found in numerous products involving Networking and Multimedia technologies, such as: xDSL modems, Residential gateways, Point of sales (POS) terminals, Access control systems, Video recorders, Automotive devices, etc...
Mind's 10th Anniversary


2. Next Embedded Linux training


Further to the success of the previous Embedded Linux trainings organised earlier this year, Mind will organise a new session between December 7th and December 11th 2009 in Brussels (Belgium).

This 5 days training is intended for developers who want to build an Embedded Linux system from scratch or from commercial Embedded Linux solutions. The course covers the various components of an embedded Linux target, the development choices and debugging possibilities, as well as the Linux kernel architecture. During this course all participants get the opportunity to build and experiment with a small-footprint embedded target that can be kept after the training.

On-site Embedded Linux training can also be organized upon request, to meet your specific needs and project context.

For more details, please visit our Training page.
Embedded Linux Training Datasheet


3. Meet us at the Bits&Chips exhibition in Leuven, Belgium


The 8th edition of Bits&Chips Embedded Systemen exhibition will take place in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) on November 12th 2009 and in Leuven (Belgium) on November 18th 2009.

As one of the main players in the field of Consultancy and Services for Embedded Systems, Mind will have a booth at the exhibition in Leuven and will make a presentation about "State of the art Open Source technologies for embedded software development". This will be the opportunity to meet and discuss with customers about their projects and needs, and to present the latest trends and evolutions in the field of Linux and Open Source Software for Embedded Systems.

We're looking forward to meeting you on our booth (booth number 9) during the show.

Bits&Chips 2009


4. Contributions to Open Source software projects


During the last months, Mind has contributed several new features and bug-fixes to well-known Open Source projects such as GStreamer, RTEMS, and OpenSC. For instance, a resettime function was added to GStreamer (to allow the timestamps to start at zero again when extracting a subpart from the middle of a stream), and support for a new USB dongle was added to OpenSC (to allow secure licensing).

These contributions are mainly direct results of customer projects. Mind strongly believes in the value of contributing its work back to the Open Source community as this is a way to contribute to the success of Open Source in general and since it allows its customers to have their specific improvements included in the main line and future versions of Open Source projects.

For an overview of some of our contributions, please visit our Software Contributions page.
Software Contributions


5. Case Study: Linux device drivers development for an automotive system


In this project, we developed GPIO, Audio and Video device drivers for Linux (Debian) for an automotive system.

The development was centered on the Intel Poulsbo chipset that completes the Atom CPU platform with functionality targeted both at low-cost multimedia PCs (Intel GMA500 Video, Intel High Definition Audio), and embedded platforms (I2C, LPC, GPIO).

We first developed a driver for the GPIO functionality of this chipset. Then, we integrated a vendor-supplied driver for the Cirrus Logic CS4207 Audio chipset. For the Video functionality of the Poulsbo platform, a set of Ubuntu Linux packages is freely available, as a mixture of binary-only and open source components. We ported these packages to Debian. In this project, very special care had to be taken of the interoperability between binary components and other software.

For more case studies, please visit our Case Studies page.
Linux Debian


6. Technology Focus: Open source technologies for multimedia streaming


Streaming multimedia is used in many embedded devices today, such as surveillance and security systems, home automation systems, residential gateways, telecommunication and traffic control systems. And this is probably just the beginning. In a growing number of markets, multimedia features are becoming key to differentiate from competition and win market shares.

However, building an embedded multimedia streaming application is not a simple task. It requires a thorough understanding of a number of technologies like codecs, network protocols, and synchronization, which are often not the core expertise of the companies that decide to embed multimedia in their products. Codecs come in a variety of flavors for the different compression standards available, such as MPEG (1, 2, 4), H.264, Motion JPEG, and Theora. Each of these standards has its advantages and drawbacks in terms of video quality, bit rate, robustness, and HW/SW required...

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To read the complete article, please visit our Publications page.




ESSENSIUM nv - Mind Embedded Software Division
Gaston Geenslaan 9 - B-3001 Leuven - Belgium
Tel.: +32-16-28.65.00, Fax.: +32-16-28.65.01
Web: www.mind.be, Email: contact@mind.be


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