The two tech giants will collaborate with other Platinum members of The Zephyr Project – an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is developing a safe, secure, and flexible RTOS for the Internet of Things (IoT) in space-constrained devices – including Intel, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, and Oticon to ensure IoT security and critical safety challenges.
“Google believes in building secure products for all of our users, and we are excited to join forces with Zephyr to develop a secure real time operating system,” says Puneet Kumar, Director of Engineering, Chrome OS. “The Zephyr Project has built a strong community of experts, and we look forward to working with all of the participating organizations to improve the state of the RTOS our products depend on.”
“Facebook is pleased to support the Zephyr project which shows great promise in accelerating the pace of RTOS innovation,” says Ric Wheeler, Engineering Manager at Facebook. Olof Johansson, Engineering Director, adds that, “The project’s focus on establishing neutral governance, encouraging a diverse development community, and the attention to security will help create a thriving and sustainable open source ecosystem around Zephyr. We are excited to be part of that.”
Currently, the project reports that it is seeing an uptick in products developed on the RTOS, specifically those that help monitor COVID-19. Developers are creating products – ranging from distance trackers to contact tracing wearables and smart safety shoes – based on Zephyr RTOS because of its small footprint, integrated stacks, and its dependability to speed time to market, says the organization.
Several such products include the following:
- Laird Connectivity’s Sentrius BT710 wearable tracker/multi-sensor.
- Intellinium Safety Pods technology to help protect construction workers during the pandemic.
- Intellinium smart PPE feature in shoes or boots that alerts a worker through a vibrating signal on the smart shoes when there is a risk of getting too close to someone.
- Phytec Distance Tracker Kit, which tracks distance measurement between two or more people in a workplace.
“Zephyr’s focus on product level quality and integrating key technologies have made it an ideal platform for rapid time to market for IoT based solutions,” says Kate Stewart, Senior Director of Strategic Programs at The Linux Foundation. “With the COVID-19 situation challenging us all, it’s very encouraging to see companies choose to use Zephyr as part of their solutions.”
The organization also announced the availability of Zephyr OS release 2.4.0, which brings major enhancements in the kernel, Bluetooth, and networking subsystems, and the CMake build infrastructure. This release, says the organization, expands support for product makers by adding infrastructure to support use of commercial toolchains, the more testable TCP2 stack now the default, and adding support for virtual memory management.
In addition, the Bluetooth host support has been extended to include periodic advertisement and isochronous channels. There is now support for ARM Cortex-M1/M3 DesignStart FPGA and NXP i.MX RT685, i.MX8M Mini, and LPC11U6x, as well as a variety of other board and shield updates.
The Zephyr Project will be present at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe, a virtual event on October 26-29.
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