Linux 3.18 released, Free Electrons contributions

PenguinLinus Torvalds has recently released the 3.18 version of the Linux kernel. As usual, LWN.net made an excellent coverage of the merge window: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

As of 3.18-rc6, LWN.net gathered some statistics about the 3.18 kernel contributions, and Free Electrons is ranked as the 14th contributing company for this release in number of patches, right after MEV Limited and before Qualcomm.

A quick summary of our contributions:

  • Improvements to the support of Atmel ARM processors: addition of a memory driver for the RAM controller (Alexandre Belloni), improvements to the irqchip driver to support the new SAMA5D4 processor (Alexandre Belloni), updates to the defconfigs (Alexandre Belloni), new clock driver for the SAMA5D4 processor (Alexandre Belloni), preparation work for multi-platform (Boris Brezillon), numerous fixes to clock drivers (Boris Brezillon), NAND driver improvements (Boris Brezillon), new reset and poweroff drivers and moved all the corresponding logic to a Device Tree based description (Maxime Ripard), refactoring of the clocksource driver and move to the proper drivers/clocksource directory (Maxime Ripard).
  • Improvements to the support of Marvell EBU ARM processors: XOR driver improvements (Ezequiel Garcia), pin-muxing description in Device Tree for more platforms (Ezequiel Garcia), support for the RTC on Armada 375 (Grégory Clement), support for the Spread Sprectrum Generator on Armada 370 (Grégory Clement), improvements to the support of the Armada 370 RD platform (Thomas Petazzoni), extensions to the cpufreq-dt driver to support platforms with independent clocks for each CPU, various fixes.
  • Improvements to the support of Marvell Berlin ARM processors: add support for the Ethernet controller by re-using the existing pxa168_eth driver (Antoine Ténart).
  • Improvements to the support of Allwinner ARM processors: addition of the support for a phase property to the Common Clock Framework, and usage in the context of the MMC clock on Allwinner processors (Maxime Ripard).
  • Various small UBI improvements (Ezequiel Garcia).
  • A number of trivial fixes: removal of IRQF_DISABLED, typo fixes, etc. (Michael Opdenacker).

The detailed list of the patches we have contributed:

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DMAEngine Documentation: Work (finally) in Progress

While developping a DMA controller driver for the Allwinner A31 SoCs (that eventually got merged in the 3.17 kernel), I’ve realised how under-documented the DMAEngine kernel subsystem was, especially for a newcomer like I was.

After discussing this with a few other kernel developers in the same situation, I finally started to work on such a documentation during the summer, and ended up submitting it at the end of July. As you might expect, it triggered a lot of questions, comments and discussions that enhanced a lot the documentation itself but also pointed out some inconsistencies in the API, obscure areas or just enhancements.

This also triggered an effort to clean up these areas, and hopefully, a lot more will follow, allowing to eventually clean up the framework as a whole.

And the good thing is that this documentation has been merged by the DMAEngine maintainer and is visible in linux-next, feel free to read it, and enhance it!

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Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded training materials published

Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded trainingAs we announced in out latest newsletter, we recently launched a new Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded development training course.

The first public session will take place in Toulouse, France on November 18-20 and we still have a few seats available. We can also deliver on-site sessions at the location of your choice, see our Training cost and registration page for more details.

However, what brings us here today is that we are happy to announce the release of all the training materials of this new course: like all Free Electrons training materials, they are available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

Fully committed to its knowledge sharing principles, Free Electrons has chosen to publish those materials even before the first session has taken place.

The materials available are:

We of course welcome reviews, feedback and comments about these materials, in order to improve them where needed. Send us your comments!

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Call for participation for the FOSDEM Embedded developer room

BrusselsThe FOSDEM is by far the largest and most vibrant open-source event in Europe. With 5000+ participants, 400+ talks in just two days, a completely free entrance with no registration required, and many topics covered, it has become over the years a major meeting event of open-source developers.

The 2015 edition will take on January 31 and February 1st in Brussels. Like most years, a specific track dedicated to embedded systems is on the schedule, called the “Embedded Developer Room”. A call for participation has been published, and proposals are expected by December, 1st.

It is worth mentioning that the scope of the FOSDEM Embedded Developer Room goes much beyond Embedded Linux: it covers all types of embedded systems, including micro-controller based development, fun hacking or do-it-yourself projects, and much more. Looking at last year’s schedule of the Embedded Devroom is a good way of getting a feeling of the topics that are covered.

Also, FOSDEM has many other tracks that can be interesting to embedded Linux developers: last year there was a track about Tracing and debugging, a track about Memory and Storage, a track about Hardware, a developer room about Graphics, etc.

So, save the date, and join FOSDEM 2015 in Brussels!

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Videos of XDC2014 and Kernel Recipes 2014

Recently, two interesting conferences took place in France: the X.org developer conference (in Bordeaux, October 8th-10th) and the Kernel Recipes conference (in Paris, September 25th-26th).

X.org Foundation logo

Kernel Recipes logo

Both conferences have now published videos and slides of the different talks:

  • for the XDC 2014 conference, they are available in the program page
  • for the Kernel Recipes conference, they are available from the schedule page

It also means that the video of the talk given by Free Electrons engineer Maxime Ripard about the support for Allwinner processors in the kernel is now available: video, slides.

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Call for participation for the Embedded Linux Conference 2015

San Jose, CaliforniaThe Embedded Linux Conference Europe is just over that it’s already time to think about the Embedded Linux Conference 2015, which will take place on March 23-25 in San Jose, California.

The call for participation has been published recently, and interested speakers are invited to submit their proposals before January, 9th 2015. The notifications of whether your talk is accepted or not will be sent on January, 16th and the final schedule is planned to be published on January, 23th.

At Free Electrons, we really would like to encourage developers who are working on interesting embedded Linux related projects to submit a talk about what they are doing: talking about a specific open-source project, feedback on some experience doing an embedded Linux based product, etc. The scope of topics covered by the Embedded Linux Conference is fairly broad, so do not hesitate to submit a proposal. Giving a talk at this conference is really a great way of getting feedback about what you’re doing, raising awareness about a particular project or issue, and generally meeting other developers interested in similar topics.

It is worth mentioning that for those people whose talk is accepted, the entrance ticket is free. For hobbyists working on their own on open-source projects, the Linux Foundation also has the possibility of funding travel to the conference.

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Free Electrons team back from ELCE and Linux Plumbers

As we announced in an earlier blog post, the entire Free Electrons engineering team was at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and Linux Plumbers Conference last week in Düsseldorf.

Free Electrons engineering team at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014

Free Electrons engineering team at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014. From left to right, Grégory Clement, Alexandre Belloni, Maxime Ripard, Antoine Ténart, Thomas Petazzoni, Boris Brezillon and Michael Opdenacker.

In addition to attending many talks, meeting developers of the embedded Linux community and therefore keeping us up-to-date with the most recent developments in this domain, we also gave a number of talks, for which the slides are now available:

Boris Brezillon giving his DRM/KMS talk

Boris Brezillon giving his DRM/KMS talk

Maxime Ripard giving his Allwinner kernel talk

Maxime Ripard giving his Allwinner kernel talk

Thomas Petazzoni giving his Buildroot talk

Thomas Petazzoni giving his Buildroot talk

At the social event, from left to right: Grégory Clement (Free Electrons), Kevin Hilman (Linaro), Boris Brezillon (Free Electrons), Maxime Ripard (Free Electrons)

At the social event, from left to right: Grégory Clement (Free Electrons), Kevin Hilman (Linaro), Boris Brezillon (Free Electrons), Maxime Ripard (Free Electrons)

All the slides of the conference are also available on the event site of the Linux Foundation, and all talks have been video-recorded by the Linux Foundation so hopefully videos should become available in the near future.

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Free Electrons registered as Yocto Project Participant.

Yocto_Project_Badge_Participant_Web_RGB
Earlier this month, Free Electrons applied and was elected Yocto Project Participant by the Yocto Project Advisory Board. This badge is awarded to people and companies actively participating to the Yocto Project and promoting it.

We have mainly contributed to the meta-fsl-arm and meta-fsl-arm-extra layers but we also have some contributions in OpenEmbedded Core and in the meta-ti layer.

Free Electrons offers a Yocto Project and OpenEmbedded training course that we can deliver at your location, or that you can attend by joining one of our public sessions. Our engineers are also available to provide consulting and development services around the Yocto Project, to help you use this tool for your embedded Linux projects. Do not hesitate to contact us!

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Linux 3.17 released, Free Electrons 14th contributing company

PenguinLinux 3.17 has been released a few days ago. One can read the coverage of the 3.17 merge window by LWN (part 1 and part 2) to get some details about the new features brought by this kernel release.

As usual, Free Electrons has continued to contribute a significant number of patches to this kernel release, even though with 147 patches, our contribution has been less important than for the 3.16 release for which we contributed 388 patches. With 147 patches merged, Free Electrons is the 14th contributing company by the number of patches.

Our contributions remain mainly focused on support for various families of ARM processors:

  • For the Atmel processors
    • Switched to use the generic PWM framework instead of custom PWM drivers. This allowed to remove three obsolete drivers (a backlight driver, a LED driver and a misc driver). This work was done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Continue the migration to the common clock framework, by adding clock information to a large number of Atmel boards. Done by Alexandre Belloni.
    • Migration of the interrupt controller driver from arch/arm/mach-at91 to drivers/irqchip. Done by Boris Brezillon.
  • For the Marvell EBU processors (Armada 370, 375, 38x, XP)
    • Addition of the mvpp2 network driver, which is used on the Armada 375 SoC. This work was done by Marcin Wojtas from Semihalf, with a lot of review, help and debugging done by Ezequiel Garcia.
    • Addition of cpuidle support for Armada 370 and Armada 38x. This work was done by Grégory Clement and Thomas Petazzoni.
    • Preparation work to enable cpufreq on Armada XP was merged. However the feature cannot be enabled yet due to missing features in the cpufreq-cpu0 driver. Done by Thomas Petazzoni.
  • For Marvell Berlin processors
    • SMP support has been added. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Description of the I2C controller has been added to the Device Tree. Done by Antoine Ténart.
    • Support for AHCI has been added. Also done by Antoine Ténart.
  • For Allwinner processors
    • New DMA controller driver for the DMA engine of the Allwinner A31 SoC. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • A number of fixes and improvements to the pin-muxing driver for Allwinner platforms. Done by Maxime Ripard.
    • Support for the Merrii A31 Hummingbird board has been added. Done by Maxime Ripard.
  • Other changes
    • Addition of a helper function to convert an ONFI timing mode into the according NAND timings. Done by Boris Brezillon.
    • Addition of a driver for the Foxlink FL500WVR00-A0T panel. Done by Boris Brezillon.

The detailed list of our contributions:

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Xenomai 2.6.4 released, with Atmel SAMA5D3 support

XenomaiAt the end of September, the Xenomai project has announced the release of version 2.6.4. For the record, Xenomai is a hard real-time extension to the Linux kernel.

Amongst a number of bug fixes and improvements, this new release brings an interesting new feature to which Free Electrons contributed: the support for the Atmel SAMA5D3. This means that Xenomai can now be used on platforms such as the Xplained SAMA5D3 and any other SAMA5D3 based platform. This work was done by Xenomai ARM maintainer Gilles Chanteperdrix, thanks to the testing and insights of Free Electrons engineer Maxime Ripard.

Mainly, the change needed was to support the AIC5 interrupt controller used in SAMA5D3, which is different from the interrupt controller used on earlier AT91 processors. This change should also provide compatibility with the recently released SAMA5D4, though we haven’t tested this at this time, and Xenomai only provides its patch up to kernel 3.14, while SAMA5D4 support was only recently added to the mainline kernel.

This 2.6.4 Xenomai release also brings support for the 3.14 kernel version, through the corresponding I-Pipe patch.

There are also some other interesting Xenomai news: in early October, they have released the first release candidate of Xenomai 3, the next generation Xenomai architecture. And they also have a brand new and more modern website at xenomai.org.

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