Lecture: Building a robust embedded Linux platform


Platform technology: "... is a term for technology that enables the creation of products and processes that support present or future development." [1]

This talk will present obvious and non-obvious challenges for an Embedded Linux project and provide mechanisms and strategies to counter these. Obvious issues include how to maintain system robustness e.g. upon power failure during a partially written upgrade, or how to scale down a system to fit a small memory footprint. Non-obvious issues include how to kick-start third party development by providing SDKs and a rich lib and app environment on your devices, or making it easy to integrate new apps and features. In the talk we will present on how to tackle these by leveraging the raw power of OpenEmbedded.

These issues and the concepts solving them will be presented by means of a real life example - the HidaV platform project.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_technology

When designing an embedded Linux system, robustness and down-scaling issues prominently come to mind first. An embedded system should provide exceptional robustness, e.g. concerning power failures, crashes, or partially written upgrades. Also core system components often need to be scaled down or be replaced by thinner alternatives.

There is much more to an embedded Linux project than "just" robustness and scaling, though. At some point of project growth a common build+debug environment might be feasible in order to reproduce build errors. Maybe you need certain features in your device, like package management, without sacrificing robustness. Over time more and more FLOSS apps may need to go into the firmware, all this while maintaining all apps and libraries already integrated. In other words: you need a way to make additions and extensions sustainable.

This talk will present the HidaV platform project and our ways of engaging with all these issues. We will present your standard set of robustness issues with embedded systems and our concepts, workflows and approaches to tackle these; some novelty included. We will show how the raw potential of OpenEmbedded can be leveraged to provide an SDK, a plethora of apps and libs to choose from, software lifecycle management for third party apps and your own extensions, and much more.


Day: 2012-08-25
Start time: 14:00
Duration: 01:00
Room: HS3
Track: Hardware
Language: english



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