Nearly 2 years ago, the Linux Foundation’s Consumer Electronics (CE) working group created the Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) Linux kernel for consumer electronics devices in order to have a common stable platform released every 2 years, and share the kernel development work among competing companies including Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC, Panasonic, Qualcomm Atheros, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony and Toshiba.
Last week, the CE working group has released LTSI 3.4 kernel, based on Linux 3.4.25 kernel release and including several backported features from newer kernels including:
The Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA), which is extremely useful for embedded devices that have very limited hardware resources and will better handle the large memory requirements of multimedia applications. CMA originally was merged into the 3.4.0 kernel release, but its functionality was quite limited. Since then, the feature has been significantly improved in the kernel.org releases and those fixes have been added to the LTSI 3.4 kernel release. For more information about this kernel option, please visit LWN.net.
AF_BUS, a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol. This feature was created for systems that required a faster D-Bus speed than the existing userspace method could provide, specifically the automotive entertainment systems. For more information about this feature, please see LWN.net.
CoDel (controlled delay), a transmission algorithm that optimizes TCP/IP network buffer control, is backported for LTSI 3.4. This is a feature used to help control the “buffer bloat” problem that has been identified by the networking community as an issue that all devices need to be aware of. This feature was backported from the 3.5.0 kernel.org release. For more information about it, please see this LWN.net post.
This release also includes patches for specific board / processor support:
Thomas B. Rücker, Program Manager at Tieto, discusses In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) with Android at the Android Builder Summit in February 2012.
In the future vehicles are going to be always online. The constantly increasing number of electronic devices raises consumer expectations. Both driver and passengers want to be online. This requires new and flexible IVI and HMI solutions. Users expect intuitive and simple to operate interfaces, but at the same time they expect the systems to handle a lot of their data and apps. We are witnessing a paradigm shift in Infotainment solutions. Open software platforms will allow users to add new functionality and services, also by third parties, over the whole life-span of a product. This requires solutions that reconcile the multi-media world of consumers with traffic security requirements, in a cost effective and secure hardware platform. The presentation will highlight challenges and opportunities by bringing Android to the IVI environment and introduce the audience to security requirements so far not addressed by smart-phones or tablets. A technology demonstrator will be shown.
Mike Anderson, CTO and Chief Scientist for The PTR Group, gives a tutorial about Linux kernel debugging in Android with OpenOCD JTAG at the Android Builder Summit in February 2012.
Owing to the use of the Linux kernel, Android device drivers can be debugged using many of the same techniques as Linux. Still, much of the user-space interface code typically found in Linux is missing in Android. This complicates the debugging of kernel driver code. This presentation will demonstrate the use of the open on-chip debug (OpenOCD) software and an inexpensive JTAG to debug Android kernel code. The target audience for this presentation are platform developers looking to debug their kernel code such as device drivers. This presentation is targeted at intermediate-level developers with some understanding of kernel code development.
Benjamin Zores, Open Source Software and Multimedia Architect at Alcatel-Lucent, gives step-by-step to port Android to your own device at Android Builder Summit in February 2012.
This talk is presented as a step by step tutorial meant for Android platform rookies, as to discover all Androidisms one has to tackle down to bring his own custom device to life. Based on a real-life Android 4.0 ICS device porting experience, the talk will cover early board bringup (from U-Boot and Fastboot to Linux kernel and drivers), AOSP device integration, Android-specific device init customization, touchscreen input layer adaptations and Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) driver interfaces development.
Tetsuyuki Kobayashi, working at Kyoto Microcomputer a Japanese development tool vendor, explains how the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) works at Android Builder Summit in February 2012.
ADB is very nice and important tool. Every Android Builders uses adb command such as ‘adb shell’ and ‘adb logcat’. But what does it mean ‘adb kill-server’ ? I studied the source code of adb. I share you how adb works and some tips I found. This session is for developers who want to know Android internal deeply.
Jason Kridner, chief software architect for the Sitara ARM microprocessor business at Texas Instruments (TI) and the community development manager, explains why and how to use Android in diverse embedded systems (and not only smartphones and tablets) at the Android Builder Summit in February 2012.
A few years back all embedded devices were designed like PCs. For example, users understood the use of a mouse and keyboard and could minimize and maximize a window using mouse clicks and launch new applications from Start. The increasing demand and usage of smartphones globally has not just changed the definition of user experience for embedded equipments but has made emerging technologies like touch and display panels, connectivity solutions and infrastructure, affordable to non- phone products segments. The embedded equipment designers and users have grown accustomed in no time to the smartphone features and technologies like multi-touch, high-resolution display panels, connectivity over 3G and Bluetooth, high capacity storage and medium and low power. For example, today, a machine operator needs a pinch-zoom feature on his HMI to resize a graph plot, a child using rear seat entertainment wants to play a touch-screen video game and users want the device to be smart and connected. According to Gartner, the smartphone sales increased 42 percent last year. Android’s share of the worldwide smartphone market was 52.3 percent for Q3 2011, double from what it was a year ago. This proves that Android is growing to become the number one OS distribution for smartphones. Android by its rich user experience, open source development model, neatly integrated software stack, commercial and community friendly software licensing, vast app and embedded eco-system and above all based on Linux Kernel, fits many embedded products that don’t belong to mobile or tablet segments. This talk highlights the benefits & advantages of Android for embedded segments and gives an overview of limitations and challenges in taking Android outside of mobile phone space.
Agenda of the talk:
Overview of Android’s growth in mobile space
Android’s influence in non mobile space
Advantages of Android with examples
Challenges in porting Android to non mobile products
Limitations of Android for non mobile space
Benefits of open collaboration on Android for non-mobile devices