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Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Mind Newsletter - Q1 2010


1. Meet us at FOSDEM and Embedded World 2010
2. Upcoming Embedded Linux trainings
3. Contributions to Open Source Software projects
4. Case Study: Badminton-playing robot
5. Technology Focus: Open Source technologies for embedded software development

1. Meet us at FOSDEM and Embedded World 2010

The 10th edition of FOSDEM will take place on February 6th and 7th 2010 at the ULB Solbosch campus in Brussels. FOSDEM is a free and non-commercial event organised by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet. FOSDEM is entirely free (no requirement to sign up) and was visited last year by more than 2,000 developers.
Next to the main presentation tracks, the Embedded Developer Room will gather a series of presentations on Embedded & Kernel Development. As one of the main players in the field of Linux and Open Source Software for Embedded Systems, Mind will make a presentation on the topic of "Embedded software development best practices" using Open Source Software.
All the Mind team will also be attending FOSDEM 2010, so please let us know if you would like to take this occasion to meet and discuss your projects and how we could help.

Embedded World 2010 will take place from March 2nd to March 4th in Nuremberg, Germany. Embedded World remains the world's undisputed biggest get-together for the international embedded community. The exhibition set another new record in 2009 with more than 700 exhibitors, and some 16,000 trade visitors. Embedded World 2010 will again be the opportunity to see the latest trends and evolutions in embedded technologies, for hardware, software, tools and services.
As co-exhibitor of DSP Valley, we're looking forward to meeting you on our booth 12-426. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive free entrance tickets to this exhibition.


Embedded World 2010

2. Upcoming Embedded Linux trainings

Further to the success of the Embedded Linux trainings organised last year, Mind has planned five new sessions this year, in March, May, June, September and November. The first session will take place between March 1st and March 5 th 2010 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 (file system, networking, device drivers, processes and scheduler, interrupts, memory management, bootloaders, etc...), as well as the various development choices and debugging possibilities. 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. Contributions to Open Source software projects

During recent months, Mind has contributed several new features and bug-fixes to well-known Open Source projects such as GStreamer, RTEMS, and OpenSC. For instance, in GStreamer, we have made the size of the index in Matroska files configurable, instead of requiring an entry every second.

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

4. Case Study: Badminton-playing robot

In this project, aiming at developing an automated Badminton-playing robot, we did the integration of various components such as the trajectory estimation and interception algorithms (developed in Embedded MATLAB) and the robot control loop (developed in Simulink). Everything was integrated using the Orocos Real-time Toolkit and Component Library for robot and machine control.

This project includes a Linux system (Debian) with the Xenomai real-time development framework and an EtherCAT communication library for communicating with the different motors.

In this project, very special care had to be given to the real-time aspects in order to guarantee an accurate and timely interception of the shuttle.

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


5. Technology Focus: Open Source technologies for embedded software development

A lot of Open Source software technologies are available nowadays, covering different software aspects such as kernels and distributions, build-systems, protocol stacks, GUIs, multimedia frameworks, etc... But the scope of use, the efficiency and the reliability of these technologies varies a lot, so it is extremely important to choose the right technology at project start.

In this presentation we introduce several Open Source software technologies that we have used at Mind on numerous occasions and that we can recommend for the Core system (kernel & distributions), for Basic services (Remote Procedure Calls & Networking) and for Graphics (Graphical User Interface & Multimedia). This presentation describes the advantages and limitations of these different technologies, and presents concrete examples of use, as well as alternative technologies. This presentation was originally made at the Bits&Chips Embedded Systemen exhibition in Leuven in November 2009.

To see this presentation, or to see other publications (articles, white papers, presentations, etc...), please visit our Publications page.
Mind Seal of Approval

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

We hope that you will find the information in this newsletter interesting and useful.
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