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Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Linux and Open Source Solutions for Embedded Systems

Mind Newsletter - Q2 2011


Contents:

1. New Android and Linux Device Driver trainings
2. Next Embedded Linux training
3. Case Study: Optimization of GStreamer pipeline for a video capturing application
4. Technology Focus: Improving embedded software development processes using Open Source software (Part 3/4)



1. New Android and Linux Device Driver trainings


Mind is proud to announce a new range of trainings for Open Source software development to address the needs of developers who would like to develop their skills in the fields of Android application development as well as Linux Kernel Device Driver development.

The Android training is a 3 days training which is intended for developers who want to learn to write Android applications. In a 50 to 60% lab-time approach, the participants get a real hands-on experience and they learn how to work with Android and how to avoid classical pitfalls. The training first describes the Android architecture, and then covers all major parts of the API and application through theory and exercises. During the training, all attendees also receive an Android based device so that they can continue to experiment later.
Next Android training will take place between June 22nd and June 24th 2011 in Brussels (Belgium).

The Linux Kernel and Driver development training is a 5 days training which is intended for developers who want to learn how to write or improve Linux Kernel Drivers for Embedded Linux platforms and Linux in general. In a 50 to 60% lab-time approach, the participants get a real hands-on experience and they learn how to avoid classical pitfalls. The training goes deep into the kernel architecture, the main APIs, the integration of device drivers with other parts of the kernel and with userspace applications. During the training, all attendees also receive a specific ARM development board with which they can continue to experiment later.
Next Linux Kernel and Driver development training will take place between June 27th and July 1st 2011 in Brussels (Belgium).

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.
Android


Linux


2. Next Embedded Linux training


Due to the growing success of our Embedded Linux trainings, we have already planned a number of sessions for the remaining of the year. The first one will take place between June 13th and June 18th 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


3. 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.
GStreamer


4. Technology Focus: Improving embedded software development processes using Open Source software (Part 3/4)


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.

The second article covered 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.

This third article covers Embedded Software Testing. Testing the software is the easiest way to get feedback about the code you've written and to make sure that you're going in the right direction and that you don't break things. However, the developer has to find a good balance between time spent on testing and time spent on development. This article structures and combines best practices, techniques and tools, available for embedded software testing.

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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