Open Source Engineering – Linux and GNU


The discipline of engineering, with its scientific underpinnings of collaborative work and shared knowledge, has a lot in common with the principles of open source software. Indeed, open source engineering is becoming an established term, and open source software in general – and Linux in particular – often play a central role.

Reflecting this, in recent months we have run a number of articles on Linux and GNU as they relate to electronics engineering, from Linux in mobile handsets and its use as an RTOS, to the issue of “Tivoisation” and hardware lock-ins, and telecom networking with carrier grade Linux. Not forgetting automotive Linux…

Here, we roundup the articles, features and analysis pieces related to Open Source engineering in general, and Linux in particular.

Recent Linux News

Previous In-Depth articles to note

Migrating to Linux: How and Why
Linux is firmly established in the embedded market, but migrating existing source code to the operating system is a considerable undertaking.

A – X of Linux
A Android
B Broadcom and LiMo
C Carrier Grade Linux
D Driving automotive
E Ericsson 3G
F Free software embedded
G Google G1
H How to migrate
I Intel
J Jumping on board
L Luminary Micro
M Mobile Linux
N Nokia does battle
O Open Source engineering
P Power shift
Q Qualcomm
R RTOS versus Linux
S Stallman
T Tivo-isation
U UK radio mapping
V VirtualLogix VLX
W 2 Watt green PC
X Xilinx adds Linux

Spelling out GNU and Linux stories

Telecoms networks – Carrier Grade Linux comes of age
The promise of Linux that is robust enough to be used in telecoms networks has been a long time coming, but the fourth generation of specifications for Carrier Grade Linux is now becoming well-established, writes Hans Juergen Rauscher.

How to move from legacy OS to Linux in easy stages
Whether you are planning a move to embedded Linux or are considering the investment needed to convert your existing application to run on embedded Linux, this paper will help you to understand the transition process.

Analysis: Embracing open source GPLv3 and avoiding hardware lock-in
An army of developers supporting your device isn’t just for giant brands anymore, and the benefits of an open design can be so great that “Tivoisation” should not even be a consideration.

Free software encircles embedded design
Open-source software has become a staple in the embedded-system industry as designers struggle with escalating software complexity on limited budgets.

Analysis: Linux versus RTOS
Linux has become well-established in the world of embedded design, but there are often reservations about its real-time performance. A careful analysis of the real-time performance requirements of a system design can reveal whether Linux can be used or a real-time operating system is necessary.

Automotive Linux drives innovation
Some fundamental shifts have been taking place in the automotive industry over the past two years that will dramatically change the way multimedia entertainment equipment is designed.

Mobile Linux: Your Electronics Weekly guide
With ever more functionality being added to smartphones and the use of 3G comms becoming more pervasive, the opportunities for handset manufacturers are increasing. An important part of this landscape is Mobile Linux.

How to keep track of fast-changing Linux OS
In the Linux world change happens fast, probably faster than any other kernel in history so how should we deal with this high-speed development?

EW’s Open Source Engineering blog

Open Source Engineering with Linux & GNU
Observations from the coal face of Open Source Engineering, bringing Linux and GNU software to embedded environments, whether for industrial, automotive or mobile applications.

Previous Linux news stories to note

Android confirms Linux as mobile platform of the future
LiMo Foundation welcomed the launch of the G1 handset using Google’s Android platform seeing it as a major endorsement to the mobile Linux concept.

Comment: Google OS suggests MCU power shift
Google’s launch of its own web browser called Chrome has been viewed as a direct challenge to Microsoft’s market-leading Internet Explorer web browser. But one aspect of the launch could have wider significance.

Intel, Nokia and Google do battle in mobile Linux market
All the major software companies are lining up behind a set of different so-called “standard” approaches to what will be the first open source mobile phone platform.

Renesas has Linux-based reference design for SH processor
The HiCO.SH7722 is supported by a Linux Board Support Packages featuring an up to date Linux kernel, compiler and tool-chain versions.

Intel builds Linux open source support for Atom
The acquisition is part of Intel’s project to develop its mobile software platform, called Moblin, for its recently announced family of Atom processors.

Freescale backs Mobile Linux with LiMo move
Freescale Semiconductor is the latest semiconductor firm to join the LiMo Foundation, the industry group behind an open Mobile Linux-based software platform for mobile phones.

LiMo mobile Linux takes on Google and Nokia
LiMo’s Linux open software platform seems to be cleaning up as the main mobile phone operating system despite the best efforts of Nokia and Google to convince the market of their open platform credentials.

Handset makers jump onboard Mobile Linux
The seven new devices from Motorola, NEC and Panasonic Mobile Communications confirm LiMo as the one to watch in the mobile Linux market.

Intel, Wind River turn ignition on Linux for automotive electronics
At Telematics 2008, Wind River Systems and Intel announce their intention to create an open-source Linux platform for “infotainment” automotive applications, with the contribution of Atom-optimised software components, via

MIPS tool finds code hot spots
MIPS Technologies introduces what it claims is the first hot spot analyser (HSA) for Linux Kernel profiling at the Embedded System Conference in Silicon Valley.

MontaVista guarantees license release for embedded Linux
Responding to fears amongst open-source software users, MontaVista is guaranteeing which version of General Public License (GPL) its embedded Linux will be released under.

Broadcom puts LiMo Linux in mobile handsets
Broadcom has adopted mobile Linux based on the LiMo Foundation software platform in a mobile phone reference design.

ST adds Trolltech Linux support to mobile processor
STMicroelectronics has added a Linux and Trolltech’s Qtopia application environment to its Nomadik multimedia application processor.

Linux will cut cost of mobiles below $100, says NXP
NXP Semiconductors has teamed up with mobile Linux design company Purple Labs to create a 3G Linux reference design for a low cost multimedia phone which operators will buy for less than $100.

Linux added to Xilinx softcore processor
Linux operating system support and an improved internal bus architecture are the main elements of the latest FPGA-based embedded processing platform from Xilinx.

Other online Linux resources


The Linux Kernel Archives

Free Software Foundation

General Public License (GPL)

Stephen Fry introduces free software in a video (GNU’s 25th birthday)

Linux International End-User Organization

Tags: Carrier Grade Linux, Linux, mobile handsets, rtos

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