The Zephyr open source real time operating system (RTOS) project has seen a significant boost with backing from European microcontroller, sensor and development tool suppliers
Swiss sensor maker Baumer is joining the project as a Platinum member with German chip maker Infineon Technologies and Swedish tool provider Percepio joining as Silver members alongside Qualcomm Innovation Centre in Canada and Silicon Labs in the US.
These say they have selected Zephyr RTOS as one of the key technologies to build their next generation of connected products and solutions.
Zephyr, part of the Linux Foundation, has a growing set of software libraries that can be used across various applications and industry sectors such as Industrial IoT, wearables, machine learning and more. The emphasis is on broad chipset support, security, dependability, long term support releases and a growing open source ecosystem.
“Zephyr fits where Linux can’t,” said Kate Stewart, Vice President of Dependable Embedded Systems at the Linux Foundation. “It will help these new members with development, delivery, and maintenance across a wide variety of products and models. We look forward to working with our new members to improve the technology their products and solutions are based on.”
In October 2021, the Zephyr community of almost 500 contributors made the long term support (LTS) v2 release available that offers vendors a customizable operating system that supports product longevity, security and interoperability. Products based on the LTS release will benefit from a maintained code base throughout their development and deployment lifecycle.
The LTS will serve as the baseline for the auditable version of Zephyr, which will benefit both the maintained LTS and development branches.
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Baumer develops smart sensors, encoders and digital cameras for industrial automation, and joins Antmicro, Google, Intel, Meta, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP and Oticon as a platinum member. Roman Kellner, Embedded Software Team Lead at Baumer, will join the Governing Board.
“Baumer as a sensor manufacturer relies on the capabilities of microcontrollers in a wide performance range for our product portfolio,” said Kellner. “Zephyr was chosen as our next sensor platform for its MCU vendor openness, reliability, high configurability, its added value compared to a pure RTOS scheduler and the future ability to cover non-safe and safe products with the same code base. We are happy to contribute our expertise to attribute Zephyr RTOS as a high performance sensor platform.”
Silver members include AVSystem, BayLibre, Eclipse Foundation, Fiware, Foundries.io, Golioth, Laird Connectivity, Linaro, Memfault, Parasoft, Pat-Eta Electronics, RISC-V, SiFive, Synopsys and Wind River, which is becoming part of automotive supplier aptiv.
“The Zephyr Project is driving stability to developers which allows them to focus on product innovation and at Infineon, we are happy to be a part of helping customers drive differential value,” said Danny Watson, Principal Product Marketing Engineer at Infineon. “Infineon aims to be a key contributor to the underlying scalable goals of the Zephyr Project and to shape it into providing more performance and intelligent based Open Source Software for Infineon’s PSoC 6 Microcontrollers.”
“The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) looks forward to contributing to the Zephyr Project to collaborate in building the best-in-class RTOS for secure, connected, resource-constrained devices,” said Anthony Scarpino, Senior Director of Engineering at Qualcomm Canada ULC. “QuIC QuIC supports the building of micro-controller-based devices as part of the hardware and software ecosystems in upcoming products and sees participation in Zephyr as a path to world- leading innovative solutions.”
“At Percepio, we’ve long recognized the potential of Zephyr RTOS as the leading independent platform for small IoT devices where Linux isn’t an option, yet capable enough for complex embedded IoT/Edge applications,” said Mike Skrtic, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Percepio. “The latest Zephyr release brings expanded support for software tracing, which facilitates debugging and allows for improved reliability, security, and performance of embedded systems. We’re pleased to have made significant contributions to the new tracing subsystem, to provide full kernel tracing support, enabling the high-end visual trace diagnostics Tracealyzer is known for.”
“We’ve had our eye on Zephyr for some time and are excited to officially be a member of this RTOS project,” said Benny Chang, Vice President, Platform and Chief of Staff at Silicon Labs. “We appreciate the measures the Zephyr community is taking to build a reliable, well-tested RTOS for the IoT and look forward to connecting Zephyr users with our industry-leading hardware and connectivity solutions.”
Zephyr competes with a wide range of embedded real time operating systems, including Amazon FreeRTOS, Green Hills Integrity, ARM mbed, MEOS, MQX RTOS, Siemens Nucleus, PikeOS, Blackbeery QNX, RIOT OS, Microsoft Azure ThreadX and Wind River VxWorks.
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