11.05 Cycle Summary

Cycle 2 will focus on instrumentation, graphics and multimedia and integration with distributions.


Embedded systems are, by their nature, complex and diverse as they are tailored to the market segment that they're serving. As an example, automotive systems are different from consumer entertainment systems in HD television. This drives a need to create tools that systems to be tuned for efficiency, battery life and so on. Instrumenting the system, allowing the designer to view its operation, is one part of this puzzle. Another is making available tools that that present the output of that instrumentation to the developer in a coherent way. Of course, some tools already exist. For those tools it may be sufficient to test that they work on ARM based platforms; other tools may need to be invented. Linaro aims to help make tuning ARM Linux based systems faster and easier.

Graphics and Multimedia

Graphics and multimedia in the embedded world are evolving fast, with a general trend towards GPU based acceleration via standard APIs such as OpenGLES. The graphics sub-systems supported by distributions being built to support products are many and varied. Adding acceleration into these systems is often done in an add hoc way; making one of the problems to solve to make it easier to add graphics acceleration into the various graphics systems. Another is to allow such systems to be tuned. Again this means adding instrumentation, if it does not already exist, and creating or modifying tuning tools. Linaro aims to help make integrating and tuning graphics acceleration faster and easier.

Integration with Distributions

It cannot be stated often enough that Linaro is not a distribution. That leaves us with a problem to solve in that we want the engineering that happens in Linaro to make its way into ARM Linux based products as quickly as possible. One, simple way, that all distributions benefit from Linaro's efforts is to take the stable upstream releases from projects that Linaro is contributing to. This however has limitations as it can, in some cases, take considerable time for code to make its way from the development releases into stable releases and then into products. In Cycle 2, Linaro will work actively with distributions to take the results of the working groups that are of interest to them. In this cycle, I expect that that will consist of the toolchain. Beyond this cycle, I expect that the kernel work will become more interesting.

New Working Groups

Linaro will be setting up two new Working Groups for the November 2010 to May 2011 engineering cycle:

Cycles/1105/Summary (last modified 2011-03-25 18:15:15)