New quarterly newsletter: 2011 report, best wishes and 2012 plans

The below message has been posted on our English and French newsletters. Don’t hesitate to subscribe to these newsletters if you are interested in getting quarterly news about Free Electrons.

The Free Electrons team wishes you a Happy New Year 2012 and all the best for your professional and personal projects. We are taking this opportunity to give some news about Free Electrons.

In 2011, Free Electrons has:

Worked on multiple development projects for various customers. Amongst the most important ones:

  • development of an embedded Linux system and Qt-based application for a RFID/GSM device based on the AT91 ARM processor
  • boot time reduction on a MIPS-based point-of-sale system, by improving the embedded Linux system integration
  • development of an embedded Linux system for an AT91-based device for the medical field (kernel and bootloader adaptation, system integration, application porting)
  • porting of the PREEMPT_RT patch set to the 2.6.32 kernel delivered by Texas Instruments
  • developed the driver for the Analog to Digital converters built-in the AT91 processors
  • conducted a real-time performance analysis of the PREEMPT_RT and Xenomai solutions on AT91 based processors
  • developed an Ubuntu-based embedded system on a BeagleBoard, for image acquisition and analysis with OpenCV
  • boot time reduction on an i.MX-based device, with major bootloader modifications
  • developed a demonstration system for a racing car control panel on a AT91-based device, with a Qt graphical application

Helped customers solve various embedded Linux related problems, through the support provided by Free Electrons engineers

Contributed to various open-source projects:

  • 167 patches to the Buildroot build system
  • 6 patches to the Linux kernel, and more are coming with the mainlining of our AT91 ADC driver
  • 6 patches to the Barebox bootloader
  • 4 patches to the U-Boot bootloader
  • 3 patches to the LTT-ng project

Given multiple sessions of our Embedded Linux system development and Linux kernel and driver development courses. The materials of these courses are being constantly updated and are still freely available under a Creative Commons license.

Prepared materials for a new Android system development course. A four days training session to understand the Android system architecture, how to build and customize an Android system for a given hardware platform, how to extend the Android platform to take new hardware devices into account. A first public session will be organized in June in Toulouse.

Switched the hardware platform used in our Embedded Linux system development course from the aging Calao USB-A9263 platform (AT91-based) to the much more powerful IGEPv2 platform from ISEE (OMAP3-based), offering more possibilities to improve our course.

Hired a new engineer, Maxime Ripard, with Android and embedded Linux experience, and created a new office in Toulouse, France.

Moved its headquarters to Orange, France. While we remain reasonably close the Nice area, where we started, we get closer to other parts of France.

Given two presentations at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Prague (Using Buildroot for real projects and Qt for non-graphical applications), gave one presentation on boot time reduction at the GENIVI meeting in Dublin, and gave five editions of an embedded Linux introduction seminar in France.

Attended multiple conferences, for which the Free Electrons team also recorded and published videos of the talks:

Participated to the development of the community of Linaro, an engineering organization working on improving Linux on the ARM platform. In addition to making sure that Linaro has all the infrastructure required to nurture a community of developers and users, we also supported Linaro release users on AskLinaro.

In 2012, we expect to:

Work on more development projects in the field of kernel porting, boot time reduction, power management and embedded Linux system integration.

Announce several new training sessions:

  • Git training. A two days training session to clearly understand how to use the Git distributed version control system, both for internal projects and for contribution to open-source projects.
  • Advanced Buildroot training. A three days training session to get a clear and detailed understanding of the Buildroot embedded Linux build system: how to add new packages, how to customize it to generate the embedded Linux system for a given hardware platform.

As we are currently preparing those courses, we are definitely interested in having feedback. Do not hesitate to contact us with your ideas and needs about those topics.

Switch our Linux kernel and driver development course to an OMAP3-based platform, and expand it to the development of a driver for an I2C-attached device.

Convert our training materials to a text source format (LaTeX), and maintain them in a public git tree, making it easier to contribute to them and to follow changes between between versions.

Participate to multiple conferences. Free Electrons will be present at the FOSDEM in Brussels in February, at the Android Builders Summit and the Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco in February, and also at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Barcelona in October. This participation to conferences allows Free Electrons engineers to remain up-to-date with the latest developments in the embedded Linux area and to create useful contacts in the community.

You can follow Free Electrons news by reading our blog (24 articles in 2011) and by following our quick news on Twitter.

Free Electrons remains available to help you in your embedded Linux projects, either through its development and support services or through its training sessions. Do not hesitate to contact us!

Best regards, and again, Happy New Year 2012!

Gregory, Maria, Maxime, Michael and Thomas – Free Electrons

About Michael Opdenacker

Michael Opdenacker is the founder of Free Electrons. He is best known for all the free embedded Linux and kernel training materials that he created together with Thomas Petazzoni. He is always looking for ways to increase performance, reduce size and boot time, and to maximize Linux' world domination. More details...
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