The Linux Foundation’s Zephyr project flies higher with its RTOS implementations and the addition of new members


It is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to efficiently process data through their system while being constrained by outdated traditional operating systems; instead, real-time operating systems (RTOS) go beyond earlier constraints to provide enhanced functionality. As innovators rapidly develop a myriad of sophisticated technologies that require constant streams of data to operate effectively, the importance of overhauled real-time operating systems has become critical to the success of data-critical solutions and devices.

Satisfying Consumer Demands, Last month the Zephyr Project announced a major milestone in raising awareness of the use of Zephyr RTOS in the creation of next-generation connected products and solutions from new Platinum member Baumer as well as a host of of registered Silver members, namely, Infineon Technologies, Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc., Percepio and Silicon Labs.

An open-source project hosted by the Linux Foundation, Zephyr unites the collaborative efforts of a range of developers and users to create a safe, secure, and flexible real-time operating system optimized for resource-constrained devices on multiple architectures. Zephyr is designed with a focus on broad chipset support, security, reliability, long term support releases alongside a growing open source ecosystem while providing a growing set of software that can be used in various industry applications and sectors, including industrial IoT, wearables, machine learning and more.

Kate Stewart, vice president of Dependable Embedded Systems at the Linux Foundation, said, “Zephyr fits where Linux can’t,” she continued. “This will help these new members in the development, delivery and maintenance of a wide variety of products and models. We look forward to working with our new members to improve the technology behind their products and solutions.

Offering vendors a customizable operating system that supports product longevity, security, and interoperability, the October 2021 release of Zephyr Long Term Support (LTS) Release 2 has helped a variety of product developers. By removing the constraints that previously locked developers into a particular architecture, core platform, or cloud provider, they will have the freedom to choose from an ecosystem of hardware. Included in LTS V2 is a range of improvements including:

  • Improvements to Bluetooth audio, direction finding and mesh
  • Support for Bluetooth advertising PDU chaining
  • Added armclang/armlinker toolchain support via toolchain abstraction
  • Added support for MWDT C/C++ toolchain via toolchain abstraction
  • Update to CMSIS v5.8.0 (Core v5.5.0, DSP v1.9.0)
  • Support for M Profile Vector Extensions (MVE) on ARMv8.1-M
  • Improved thread safety for Newlib and C++ on SMP-enabled systems
  • IEEE 802.15.4 software address filtering
  • New action-based power management API
  • USB Device Framework now includes all definitions and structures from Chapter 9
  • Generic System Controller (syscon) driver and emulator
  • Linker support for tightly coupled memory in RISC-V
  • Additional blocking API calls for LoRa
  • Support for expanded PCI/PCIe capabilities Enhanced MIS-X support
  • Added Service Type Enumeration (STE) with mDNS/DNS Service Discovery
  • Added Zephyr Thread Awareness for OpenOCD to West
  • EEPROM can now be flash emulated
  • Added generic Ethernet MDIO and Ethernet PHY drivers

Additionally, products based on the LTS release will benefit from a maintained codebase throughout their development and deployment lifecycle. The LTS will serve as the benchmark for the auditable version of Zephyr, which will benefit both the maintained LTS and development branches.

New Platinum Member Baumer, a leading international company of smart sensors, encoders and digital cameras for industrial automation, joins other global companies including Google, Intel and Nordic Semiconductor. Additionally, Roman Kellner, Embedded Software Team Leader at Baumer, will join the board and his commitment to ensuring balanced collaboration and feedback that meets the needs of his community.

Barna Ibrahim, Zephyr board member and chair of the marketing committee, said. “The Board’s mission is to cultivate an innovative relationship among stakeholders to advance Project Zephyr’s support for new hardware, development tools, sensors, and drivers while maximizing device functionality. that run applications developed using the Zephyr RTOS,” she continued. , “we are delighted to welcome Roman to the Board of Directors and look forward to working more closely with Baumer.”

“Baumer, as a sensor manufacturer, relies on the capabilities of microcontrollers across a broad performance range for our product portfolio,” said Roman Kellner. “Zephyr was chosen as our next sensor platform for its openness, reliability, high configurability, added value over a pure RTOS scheduler, and future ability to cover insecure and secure products with the same base We are pleased to lend our expertise to award Zephyr RTOS as a high performance sensor platform.

Joining various other members, The Zephyr Project also welcomes new Silver members:

  • Infineon, a global leader in semiconductor solutions that make life easier, safer and greener;
  • Qualcomm Innovation Center, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies that focuses on enabling and optimizing open source software that works with Qualcomm Technologies solutions;
  • Percepio, a leader in visual trace diagnostics for embedded systems and the IoT; and
  • Silicon Labs, a leader in secure, smart wireless technology for a more connected world.

“The Zephyr project brings stability to developers, allowing them to focus on product innovation, and at Infineon, we are happy to help help customers drive incremental value,” said Danny Watson, P.Eng. principal in product marketing at Infineon. “Infineon aims to be a key contributor to and shape the underlying evolutionary goals of the Zephyr project by providing more capable and intelligent open source software for Infineon’s PSoC™ 6 microcontrollers.”

“The Qualcomm Center for Innovation (QuIC) is proud to become a new member of the Project Zephyr community,” said Anthony Scarpino, Senior Director of Engineering, Qualcomm Canada ULC. “QuIC is excited to contribute to Project Zephyr to collaborate in creating best-in-class RTOS for secure, connected and resource-constrained devices. QuIC supports the construction of microcontroller-based devices as part of the hardware and software ecosystems of upcoming products and sees participation in Zephyr as a pathway to world-class innovative solutions.

“At Percepio, we have long recognized the potential of Zephyr RTOS as a leading independent platform for small IoT devices where Linux is not an option, but capable enough for complex embedded IoT/Edge applications,” said the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. to Percepio, Mike Skrtic. “The latest release of Zephyr brings expanded support for software tracing, which makes debugging easier and helps improve the reliability, security and performance of embedded systems. We are delighted to have made significant contributions to the new tracing subsystem, to provide full kernel tracing support, enabling the high-end visual trace diagnostics that Tracealyzer is known for.

“We’ve had our eye on Zephyr for some time and we’re excited to be an official member of this RTOS project,” said Benny Chang, vice president, platform and chief of staff at Silicon Labs. “We appreciate the steps taken by the Zephyr community to create a reliable and well-tested RTOS for the IoT and look forward to “connecting Zephyr users with” our industry-leading hardware and connectivity solutions.”

The Zéphyr Project organizes its 2n/a Annual Zephyr Developer Summit June 8-9 in Mountain View, CA. The event will take place in person at the Computer History Museum, but it will also feature a virtual element that attendees can stream from home. Learn more or register

Edited by Luke Bellos


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