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Linux Foundation's Yocto Project To Join Forces With OpenEmbedded To Advance Embedded Linux

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The Yocto Project, a working group of the Linux Foundation, is likely something most of you have never heard of. It’s “an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture.” The Yocto Project has been compatible with OpenEmbedded, “the build framework for embedded Linux,” and today comes the announcement that Yocto is aligning more closely with OpenEmbedded, including shared governance.

The Linux Foundation will continue to provide support and guidance to the newly merged efforts, and today’s announcement comes with an impressive list of companies committed to the technology. It’s no surprise that MontaVista Software, Texas Instruments and Intel are involved: they’re established players in the embedded Linux world. But to see folks like Dell and LSI in the list is interesting, and says a lot about the health and success of Linux in embedded devices.

For those of you, like me, who recall that the Linux Foundation is also shepherding Meego and a number of other large-scale open source initiatives, it might help to understand a little more about what, exactly, the Linux Foundation is (and isn’t) doing. According to a Linux Foundation spokesperson,

We host projects and help advance work where members and developers need a neutral, central place to collaborate. We’re focused on efforts that align existing and new resources to advance Linux overall… Companies cannot collaborate together in a transparent, efficient way without a third-party like The Linux Foundation.

With that, it’s a little easier to see how the Linux Foundation’s involvement in all of these projects is a good thing. They’re not specifically invested in whether Meego succeeds to beat out Android, for example, so much as they’re helping ensure that the larger Linux ecosystem remains healthy and functional. Similarly, Intel’s involvement with Yocto/OpenEmbedded only serves to benefit their existing efforts with Meego, while also helping reduce costs and complexity for developing other, custom embedded Linux solutions.

Yocto Project Aligns Technology with OpenEmbedded and Gains Corporate Collaborators

Project gains momentum as the OpenEmbedded Community and an increasing number of companies collaborate to build Linux for variety of chip architectures

SAN FRANCISCO, March 2, 2011 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that the Yocto Project will align with the OpenEmbedded community to advance embedded Linux. The Linux Foundation today is also announcing a variety of new companies that are participating in these embedded Linux efforts.

The Yocto Project is merging technology with the OpenEmbedded community and extending governance to include OpenEmbedded representatives. In addition, the projects are planning to share a common OpenEmbedded Core consisting of software build recipes and core Linux components, preventing fragmentation and reinforcing the OpenEmbedded methodology as an open standard for embedded Linux build systems.

The Yocto Project is a Linux Foundation workgroup announced late last year to help develop open source, high-quality technology that helps companies make custom Linux-based systems for embedded products, regardless of hardware architecture. The OpenEmbedded community, founded in 2003, is focused on building a common build framework for embedded Linux.

“The Yocto Project and the OpenEmbedded community bring together the industry’s key stakeholders from the embedded Linux community to build a core set of technologies to advance Linux for the burgeoning systems and devices market,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “This kind of massive collaboration is exactly what makes Linux the driving force behind today’s new technology innovations.”

An annual survey of embedded developers conducted by Embedded Market Forecasters reported in 2010 that the two primary factors that contribute to choosing an embedded Operating System (OS) are cost (44.6%) and availability of source code (33.1%). These drivers are contributing to the explosion in demand for Linux. But until now, deep customization and hardware options were limited without a huge investment on development.

“The open source Yocto Project brings together the elements needed to make the embedded Linux development process easier,” said Philip Balister, Vice Chairman, OpenEmbedded Board. “We’re happy to be working with the Yocto Project and believe it can advance Linux development efforts for embedded systems and devices.”

“Linux is huge in the embedded market because it can be adapted for any application, but it isn’t always easy to get started with a custom design,” says Grant Likely, Linux kernel developer, Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board (TAB) member, and president, Secret Lab Technologies Ltd. “I’m thrilled that OpenEmbedded and the Yocto members are working together to make building custom Linux systems simple and reliable.”

“Linux is paving the way for the future of computing and embedded computing is at the very core of that future,” said Steve Sakoman. “The Linux Foundation and its members are accelerating this future by bringing open source communities together on a common set of goals. The alignment of Yocto and OpenEmbedded is one big step towards that future.”

New Companies Pledge Support for Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded
The Linux Foundation, the OpenEmbedded community and participating companies in the Yocto Project recognize that collaborating can bring together a variety of upstream sources to ease embedded Linux development. Companies contributing to the project today now include Cavium Networks, Dell, Freescale Semiconductor, Intel, LSI, Mentor Graphics, Mindspeed, MontaVista Software, NetLogic Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Tilera, Timesys, and Wind River, among others.

Cavium Networks
“Cavium Networks applauds the Yocto Project’s goal of simplifying and streamlining embedded Linux development,” said YJ Kim, General Manager, Infrastructure Processor Group, Cavium Networks. “This effort will have a strong positive impact as a growing number of embedded developers are going to market with Linux on multi-core processors.”

Dell
“The collaboration between Yocto and OpenEmbedded promises to deliver a flexible, standardized infrastructure and enable Dell to deliver innovative customer solutions more quickly,” said Mark Cathcart, Senior Distinguished Engineer and Director of Software Engineering in the Dell Enterprise Products Group. “We look forward to participating in and contributing to the project.”

Freescale Semiconductor
“The Yocto Project is helping bring together contributors from the OpenEmbedded community and many other important, upstream projects,” said Raja Tabet, Vice President of Software and Systems for Freescale’s Networking and Multimedia Group. “Together these projects bring additional force to the advancement of embedded Linux devices.”

Intel
“By aligning resources from the Yocto Project and the OpenEmbedded community, the industry can accelerate the adoption of embedded solutions,” said Doug Fisher, Vice President, Software and Services Group (SSG), and general manager of SSG’s Systems Software Division at Intel. “Linux is pervasive in embedded computing and this deeper collaboration will enable companies and developers to advance a whole new generation of embedded Linux devices.”

LSI
“The Yocto project is delivering a core suite of tools with a standard open approach that enables developers to focus on application development rather than adapting to customized environments,” said Gene Scuteri, vice president, Networking Components Division, LSI. “This open source effort in alignment with OpenEmbedded will drastically save development resources for customers and make it easier to expand the use of embedded Linux for solutions in networking and enterprise applications.”

Mentor Graphics
“The Yocto Project represents a massive collaboration among the embedded Linux community’s most important stakeholders including the OpenEmbedded community,” said Glenn Perry, general manager, Mentor Graphics Embedded Software Division. “Our active investment of technical resources and participation in the Yocto Project will deliver a common technology that will help unify the Linux user community.”

MontaVista Software
“As an early supporter of OpenEmbedded solutions, MontaVista is delighted to see the alignment of the embedded community in support of the Yocto Project,” said Dan Cauchy, VP of Marketing and Business Development, MontaVista Software. “This represents a major step forward in reducing fragmentation in the embedded Linux market, it will provide greater consistency of software and tools across multiple architectures, and ultimately will help device manufacturers achieve faster time to market.”

NetLogic Microsystems
“We are pleased to support the Yocto Project through our multi-core processor family. The Yocto Project is bringing a core set of tools into one place where developers can easily download and build board support packages,” said Chris O’Reilly, VP of Marketing, NetLogic Microsystems. “This open source effort in alignment with OpenEmbedded will drastically ease the development process and accelerate bringing embedded Linux to market.”

Texas Instruments
“OpenEmbedded is a very popular choice among BeagleBoard.org community software developers and is utilized within TI to design many of our own software development kits,” said Jason Kridner, Chief Software Technologist, Texas Instruments ARM Microprocessor Business. “The Yocto Project will take ease-of-design to the next level. The alignment with OpenEmbedded will drastically increase open source collaboration efforts and make it easier than ever to promote Linux in embedded systems as well as deliver a positive and improved end developer experience.”

Tilera Corporation
“The Yocto project is a major step forward for embedded Linux. We are very happy to be part of this collaboration and to bring our many-core experience to the community,” said Vijay K. Aggarwal VP of Business Development, Tilera Corporation. “The Yocto project will significantly decrease our customers’ time to market and efforts to provide custom solutions across a variety of application segments.”

Timesys
“The Yocto project’s goal to help companies build custom Linux-based products with greater ease aligns completely with Timesys’s mission to reduce the complexity and risk associated with embedded Linux product development,” said Atul Bansal, CEO Timesys Corporation. “The collaboration between OpenEmbedded and Yocto will help advance even greater adoption of Linux in embedded devices.”

Wind River
“Wind River sees tremendous potential in the Yocto Project. By establishing a shared build infrastructure, the Yocto Project can provide developers with a significant head start on their embedded Linux projects and help to curb issues such as fragmentation and duplication,” said Scot Morrison, senior vice president of products at Wind River. “With the OpenEmbedded community and additional partners adding further support, there is rising momentum around the Yocto Project to work collectively to advance the embedded Linux industry.”

The Yocto and OpenEmbedded community will be meeting at The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit and Embedded Linux Conference in April. For more information on these events, please visit: http://events.linuxfoundation.org. Embedded Linux training opportunities will also be available at these events: http://training.linuxfoundation.org. For more information about the Yocto Project, please visit http:/www.yoctoproject.org.