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Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Mind Newsletter - Q4 2010


1. Next Embedded Linux training
2. Mind at the Embedded Linux Conference and at T-DOSE
3. Mind joins the Infopole cluster TIC
4. New hires in Mind's software development team
5. Case Study: Optimization of GStreamer pipeline for a video capturing application
6. Technology Focus: Improving embedded software development processes using Open Source software (Part 2/4)

1. Next Embedded Linux training

Due to the growing success of our Embedded Linux trainings, we have already planned a number of sessions for next year. The first one will take place between January 10th and January 14th 2011 in Brussels (Belgium).

This 5 day training event 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

2. Mind at the Embedded Linux Conference and at T-DOSE

In the last couple of weeks, Mind has participated in two major events in Europe:



3. Mind joins the Infopole cluster TIC

Mind has joined the Infopole Cluster TIC organisation. INFOPOLE Cluster TIC is a network of partners which brings together professionals in Information and Communication Technology in Wallonia in order to promote business and innovation through partnership. The cluster is composed of more than 160 members and includes small and large enterprises, universities, research laboratories and other ICT actors. The main goals of INFOPOLE Cluster TIC are to structure the sector, to bring the main players together, to increase the synergies and to strengthen the economic and technological foundations of companies.

Infopole Cluster TIC

4. New hires in Mind's software development team

In order to match the growing demands from its customers, Mind has recently hired several additional Embedded Software Developers with significant experience in the field of Linux and Open Source Software for Embedded Systems.

In addition to their broad expertise in Linux and other Open Source projects (such as RTEMS, eCos, Qt, GStreamer, etc...), these developers are also bringing additional knowledge and experience in device driver development, communication and networking protocol stacks, audio and video libraries, as well as user interface frameworks.

These new hires will further increase the accumulated man-years of experience of Mind's software development team, and they will also allow higher reactivity and higher available bandwidth for new project requests.

Mind's development team

5. Case Study: Optimization of GStreamer pipeline for a video capturing application

In this project we helped a customer to optimize the performance of a GStreamer application running on a TI OMAP3 processor. The application captures video from a camera, encodes it to H.264 and sends it out on the network. The OMAP3 processor has a camera interface for capturing the video and a DSP for the encoding. TI provides the open-source DMAI library for accessing these from application code, and even a GStreamer plugin for easier integration.

For this project, the customer's application required access to the raw video frames coming from the camera and resizing these before encoding. This broke the assumptions made by the GStreamer plugin and caused it to copy the video frames three times before it reached the encoder. By modifying the source code of the GStreamer plugin and of the Linux kernel, we managed to reduce this to zero copies. These modifications were contributed to the gstreamer-ti and video4linux projects and have partly been included in them.

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

6. Technology Focus: Improving embedded software development processes using Open Source software (Part 2/4)

Basing an embedded device on Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) brings many advantages, not the least of which is complete control over the software stack and free reuse of existing high quality solutions. However, it also means having to deal with large amounts of code, mainly coming from external parties. Coping with this can be a challenge for small embedded teams, used to smaller stacks developed in-house.

In this series of articles, we take a step by step tour of good software development processes and how to use them to improve your organisation. We emphasise embedded development and point out particular pitfalls to avoid.

In the first article we focused on the evolution of embedded systems, how this fuels use of FOSS, and what effect this has on your organisation.

This second article covers the software development process support tools that are suitable for embedded system development with FOSS. These include version control systems, issue tracking systems, documentation systems, managing the build process, and managing releases. Bringing these practices together allows you to deal efficiently with FOSS in your embedded software development.

To read this article or to see our other publications (articles, white papers, presentations, etc...), please visit our Publications page.
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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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