Design Con 2015

Get the best out of Embedded Linux at ARM Techcon

September 16, 2013

Bernard Cole-September 16, 2013

Included in this week’s Tech Focus newsletter  is the blog on "Learning Linux for embedded systems,“ by Michael Eager, a new contributor to Embedded.com.

Complementing it in the newsletter are a range of how-to design articles and blogs on how to adapt various Linux operating system distributions to a variety of soft and hard real-time embedded applications, including a two part series by Freescale’s Wim Rouwet on “Building a Linux-based femtocell base-station using software performance engineering.” 

For even more up-to-date information on how to use Linux on various ARM based architectures, be sure to register to attend  the upcoming 2013 ARM TechCon  to be held Oct. 29 to 31 in Santa Clara, Ca. Among the excellent classes and presentations, it will include the following must-attend venues:

Four Ways to Improve Linux Performance for Multicore Devices (ATC-311), in which Michael Christofferson of Enea provides an tutorial on how developers can get the best performance out of their Linux-based multicore ARM based designs.

Controlling Multicore Race Conditions in Linux/Android (ATC-115)  in which Michael Anderson of the PTR Group leads attendees through such issues as process migration and caching control, that can increase application performance an order of magnitude or more in Linux and Android-based designs.

Lessons Learned Delivering the First Big Endian Linux for ARMv7 (ATC-301) , an excellent “how we did it” from Paul Sherwood and Rob Taylor of Codethink Ltd. on implemented the Linux operating system running in Big Endian mode. It covers lessons learned about everything from drivers and kernel issues to userland and toolchain topics.

Baserock: A New Open Source Approach for Embedded ARM Linux. (ATC-312) will be taught  also by Paul Sherwood and Rob Taylor of Codethink Ltd, and focuses on their Baserock Linux distribution. Using real-world examples it will highlight some state-of-the-art technical solutions to the long-standing problems of productivity, traceability, and repeatability in embedded-software design.

Preparing an Android Platform for Launch(ATC-324), in which Skip Hovsmith of CriticalBlue delves into the various tradoffs an embedded developer faces when using Google’s Android Linux distribution, such as performance, responsiveness, and power efficiency. Do you want smooth, high-frame-rate graphics? Fast browser performance? A responsive camera? Longer battery life? In what proportion?

Renderscript-Based High-Performance Apps for Heterogeneous Android Platforms(ATC-306)  is for developers who are considering the use of the Android Linux distrition in one of ARM’s Big.little or Mali T600-based designs. Taught by Haidong Lian and Lihua Zhang of MultiCoreWare Inc., they will provide a basic course in the use in mobile heterogeneous computing of Google's Renderscript, which offers a set of high-performance compute APIs which support processors of different architectures without requiring that code be rewritten and recompiled.

One of the important take-aways from such classes is that in exchange for the freedom that open source platforms such as Linux and Android provide developers will have to take responsibility on the software performance engineering necessary to each specific application.

In Part 2 in his article Win Rouet describes how such techniques were used to determine which real time Linux alternatives were most appropriate in the femtocell-based design he implemented. For further information I recommend:

Software performance engineering for embedded systems,” a three part series by Robert Oshana on the general principles of this methodology, the various tools available and when and how to use them, and

Performance analysis of Linux-based embedded systems,” a two part series by Mark Gray and Julien Carreno, on a variety of open source and proprietary tools for analysis of Linux system performance.

In addition to the development articles, white papers, blogs and webinars in this week’s newsletter, a number of technical papers and conference papers I found and are my Editor’s Top Picks include:

Do-it-yourself embedded Linux development tools
Choosing between Xenomai and Linux for real-time apps
A best-effort real-time multiprocessor Linux kernel
A Real-Time control system using Linux RTAI and Matlab/RTW
Reliable real-time applications of the Android Linux OS

Embedded.com Site Editor Bernard Cole is also editor of the twice-a-week Embedded.com newsletters as well as a partner in the TechRite Associates editorial services consultancy. He welcomes your feedback. Send an email to bccole@acm.org, or call 928-525-9087.

See more articles and columns like this one on Embedded.com. Sign up for the Embedded.com newsletters. Copyright © 2013 UBM--All rights reserved.

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