Posts Tagged ‘simulator’

FOSDEM 2016 Schedule – Open Source Hardware and Software Event in Europe

January 13th, 2016 3 comments

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day event that usually takes place on the first week-end of February in Brussels, but this year it will be on January 30-31. The event brings thousands of developers, hackers, and other person interested in open source technology who present their projects and share ideas. FOSDEM 2016 schedule is now available, and There will be 557 speakers, 612 events, and 50 tracks this year including 7 main tracks: Distros, Enterprise, Hardware, Communications, Miscellaneous, Office, Systems Administration, and Virtualization.


So I’ve had a look at some of the talks, especially out of  “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “IoT” devrooms, and prepared my own virtual schedule although I won’t be able to attend.


For many years MIPS processors have been involved in the embedded market, particularly in areas related to networks and storage. With the success of the mobile market, and the great evolution of the world linked to the “makers”, other architectures (such as ARM), they have reached very large levels of diffusion.

Meanwhile, the MIPS architecture has evolved, introducing innovations and improvements to adapt to both the processor market from performance, both to the world of micro-controllers. The future of MIPS is a new family divided into several generations evolving.

During the presentation, after a brief and simplified introduction to architecture, will be shown the technologies available at the time and what will be the future developments.

The presentation will also show some reference platforms (ex. Imagination Creator CI20), and how to work to integrate and port on these platforms. Application examples with Yocto and buildroot, to switch to a full distribution (Debian). Finally it will also present a perspective on the use of MIPS in embedded designs.

AsteroidOS is a free and open-source smartwatch platform based on OpenEmbedded, libhybris, BlueZ5 and Qt5. The OS currently offers a basic user experience on the LG G Watch. This technical talk will briefly introduce the philosophical background of the project and more deeply its architecture’s details in order to attract developers, porters and curious.

This talk will successively be focused on how to boot an Android Wear watch, on how to gain hardware acceleration on that kind of hardware, on how Qt5 and OpenEmbedded are used and on the future of AsteroidOS.

AsteroidOS uses similar technological choices as those of projects like SailfishOS, NemoMobile, Mer, WebOS-Ports or Ubuntu Touch but adapted to the needs of smartwatches. The architecture of those project will briefly be compared during the presentation.

Based on Migen, MiSoC is a library of cores and a system-on-chip integration system to build gateware for various applications. MiSoC is lightweight (runs on FPGA devices as small as Spartan-6 LX9 with 32-bit RISC CPU and SDRAM), portable (demonstrated on Xilinx, Altera and Lattice devices) and high performance (e.g. contains the fastest open source DDR3 solution we are aware of). Designing and integrating cores is facilitated by Python and Migen features. Current MiSoC applications include LTE base stations, video processing (Numato Opsis) and experiment control system (ARTIQ).

Nemo Mobile is a long time FOSS operating system. Created in 2012 as continuation to Meego Community Edition, it has been actively developed since then. The newest iteration of it is to use Glacier UI as its renewed User Interface, along with its Qt Components. These components are now used in the NemoTablet adaptation using Raspberry Pi2 as underlying hardware and its plethora of possible peripherals to create a true DIY tablet derived from SailPi project.

With Raspberry Pi 2 introduction in February 2015, it was then possible to create an adaptation for it. This enables the myriad of functionality it offers, with its hardware provided. Initial adaptation was done originally for SailfishOS, but Nemo Mobile had the first run and checking that everything worked, before a closed system was installed. Nemo Mobile, however, was then not tried until later. The idea came once the official touchscreen by Raspberry Pi Foundation was released, so that a FOSS tablet could be built by anyone and used. Raspberry Pi 2 has non-free hardware, but Nemo Mobile itself is FOSS completely. As with all other adaptations, the questions regarding hardware freedom limitations rise for a good reason.

Libreboot is a free software BIOS replacement (boot firmware), based on coreboot, for Intel, AMD and ARM based systems. Backed by the Free Software Foundation, the aim of the Libreboot project is to provide individuals and companies with an escape from proprietary firmware in their computing. Libreboot is also being reviewed for entry as an official component of the GNU system.

Boot firmware is the low-level software that runs when you turn your computer on, which initializes the hardware and starts a bootloader for your operating system. Libreboot currently supports laptops and servers, on x86 (Intel and AMD) and ARM (Rockchip RK3288), with more hardware support on the horizon. The purpose of this talk is to describe the history of the project, why it started, why it’s important, where it’s going and, most importantly, to tell people how they can get involved.

Francis also runs the Minifree (formerly Gluglug), a company that sells computers with libreboot and Trisquel GNU/Linux pre-installed.

No abstract, but it’s clear about Olimex’s Allwinner A64 A64-OlinuXino board to be used in the company’s open source hardware laptop.

A brief discussion about the stable release branch 4 of KiCad as well as goals for the next development cycle and beyond.

The WPANKit is a ptxdist based Open-Source 6LoWPAN Board Support Package (BSP). The main focus is to provide a software development kit for the linux-wpan project. The linux-wpan project aims to implement a 6LoWPAN inside the mainline Linux kernel.

This talk will present the WPANKit: An Open-Source Linux BSP to develop 6LoWPAN IoT applications. It contains support for various common platforms such Raspberry Pi’s and Beaglebones. Additional components like the openlabs 802.15.4 transceiver SPI transceiver or BTLE USB dongles gives you a getting started platform into the Linux 6LoWPAN world.

The WPANKit will directly build a current mainline 6LoWPAN kernel, which is the official bluetooth-next tree. This is important, because the mainline 6LoWPAN development is still much in development. Additional the WPANKit offers a large of userspace IoT software collection e.g. tshark for sniffing network traffic, libcoap, etc. On top of this BSP you can develop your IoT application, setting up a Border-Router or help at the current mainline 6LoWPAN Linux-kernel development.

Through the power of ptxdist you can easily add new own packages for cross-compiling. As well we accept patches to integrate new software into the official WPANKit repository, so we getting more and more new IoT capable software into the WPANKit which can be used by other ptxdist users.

An AdaCore intern has rewritten the CrazyFlie drone software, originally in C, into SPARK. In addition to fixing some bugs, this allowed to prove absence of runtime errors. Various techniques used to achieve that result will be presented, as well as a live demo of free fall detection.

This talk will take us through the available FOSS software stacks that are available for automotive. This last year has produced a lot of working software from fiber-optic networking drivers in the Linux kernel, complete In-Vehicle Infotainment stacks, to a newly released Qt Automotive. There has also been a change in available hardware to run this software on, new boards like the Minnowboard Max, Renesas’ Porter board, and even the Raspberry Pi 2. This talk will try and cover the entire software ecosystem and how it matches to hardware, how you can get involved today, and what the future holds.

Turris Omnia aims to bring to the market affordable, powerful and secure SOHO router which is completely open-source and open-hardware. As a operating system it uses our own fork of OpenWrt which has some additional features such as automatic security updates. This talk will cover few topics such as motivation for starting this project and developing of our own hardware and software.

FROSTED is an acronym for “FRee Operating System for Tiny Embedded Devices”. The goal of this project is to provide a free kernel for embedded systems based on ARM Cortex-M CPU family, which exposes a POSIX-compliant system call API. Even if it runs on small systems with no MMU and limited resources, Frosted has a VFS, UNIX command line tools and a HW abstraction layer which makes it easy to support new platforms and device drivers.

This talk will cover why the project was started, the approach taken to separate the kernel and user-space on ARM Cortex-M CPU’s without MMU, the collaboration with the libopencm3 project to provide a high quality hardware abstraction layer and the future goals of the project. Of course there will a demo showing the latest developments: dynamic loading of applications and possibly TCP/IP communication.


Yocto project has been used at Open-RnD for building a number of IoT related products. The talk will go though the details of integration of Poky build system and OpenEmbedded layers into 3 projects carried out at Open-RnD:

  • an autonomous parking space monitoring system
  • a distributed 3D steroscopic image acquisition system
  • a gadget for acquisition of metabolic parameters of professional athletes

The presentation will approach to building software, automation and upstreaming of fixes. Only widely available hardware platforms such as BeagleBone Black, Raspberry Pi, Wandboard or Gateworks GW5400 (not as widely used as the previous ones, but still fully supported) were used in the project, hence all the points made during presentation are directly applicable by professionals and hobbyists alike.

Tizen is an open source GNU/Linux based software platform for mobile, wearable and embedded devices as well as Internet of Things. Tizen:Common provides a generic development environment for Tizen 3 which key features include, Wayland, Weston, EFL UI/UX toolkit, and a web runtime for safely running standalone HTML5 apps. Yocto Project offers tools to easily expends features of Tizen:Common by creating layers for new profiles. This talk will focus the Tizen architecture and it will provide guidelines for creating and building new Tizen profiles, based on Tizen:Common, using the Yocto Project for devices with Intel or ARM processors. It will also provide information about hidden gems in Tizen on Yocto and practical examples for packaging and deploying HTML5 applications through Yocto recipes for the open source hardware development boards like Raspberry PI2 or HummingBoard (Freescale I.MX6 ARM SoC) or MinnowBoard Max (Intel).

Finally, since Tizen aims to because the OS of everything, we will illustrate this by extending Tizen Distro with new connectivity features provided by IoTivity library, the open source implementation of OpenInterConnect’s standard.

This session will show you how to build your own retro hand-held console that is powered by Java, runs on a Raspberry Pi, and is printed on a 3D printer. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Hacking Java on the Raspberry Pi
  • Rigging input devices with Pi4J
  • Insane performance tuning on the JVM
  • Why your boss [or SO] needs to buy you a 3D printer!

And of course your retro gaming mettle will be put to the test, so make sure to dust off your old 8 and 16 bit consoles to prepare.

How to roll your own build and extend the Fairphone 2 hardware

The project is currently doing hundreds of build and boot tests for upstream kernels on a wide variety of hardware. This session will provide an introduction to the system, some live demos and how to start consuming its results, and be a forum for further discussions.

Distributed boards farms across the world are working together to deliver unified build, boot, and test results for every merge of an upstream Linux kernel tree. A community based architecture agnostic effort, aims to detect regressions in a timely manner and report back to kernel developers with a concise summary of the issues found. On every merge, all defconfigs for x86, arm, and arm64 are built, booted, and tested on over 300 real or virtual hardware platforms. Come join in the discussion and help make Linux better!

Hardware is funny stuff. It is often documented to work one way when it actually works a slightly different way. Different revisions of the hardware may have different bugs that require different sets of work-arounds. Programming it even slightly incorrectly can lead to software crashes or system hangs. Sometimes some versions of the hardware work fine, but the version not on the developer’s desk crashes. Failure modes are often opaque and give no clues for fixing the problem. Writing robust, reliable software to run directly on hardware is hard.

Software simulation of hardware is a technique that, in many cases, can alleviate some of this pain. Teams that develop hardware will often create a simulator as a by-product of hardware synthesis. Not ever developer is fortunate to have access to such tools. Those who do have access often find them slow or difficult to use. After all, these simulators are generally created as an aid for the hardware developers themselves. Much of the benefit of a full hardware simulator can be attained by developing the simulator independently from the hardware development. When the correct techniques are applied, it’s not even that hard.

This talk will present a variety of techniques based on experience with several “home grown” simulation environments. Techniques for both developing and validating the simulator and techniques for integrating simulation in the regular development process will be described.

  • 16:00 – 17:00 – PHP7 by Derick Rethans

With PHP 7 having been released, it is time to show what’s in there. Speed, scalar type hints and spaceships.

These are just a few selection from the complete schedule. Last year, most FOSDEM 2015 videos were available in mid-March, so I’d expect FOSDEM 2016 videos to be available in about the same time frame.

As usual, the event will be free, and does not require registration, so you just need to show up at the Université libre de Bruxelles in order to attend.

Getting Started with 64-bit ARM Development: Hello World and Linux on ARMv8 Fast Models

November 6th, 2012 20 comments

At the end of last year, ARM announced ARMv8, the first ARM 64-bit ARM archtecture, and last week at ARM Techcon 2012, ARM announced the first ARMv8 cores: Cortex A53 and A57. But since there’s no silicon at the moment, what if you wanted to develop code running on ARMv8 before the hardware is available? The answer is: Fast Models, a Virtual Platform (VP) to accelerate software development. This is especially important for ARMv8 since hardware is not expected to be available for another year. In this post, I’ll first show how to run “Hello World!” in ARMv8 fast models, then we’ll run ARM Linux 64-Bit (Aarch64) in the virtual platform.

ARMv8 Foundation Model

In order allow the developer’s community to program for ARMv8 (Cortex A53/A57 cores), ARM has made ARMv8 Foundation Model, a virtual platform, available free of charge.

This v8 Foundation model provides a basic ARMv8 platform environment suitable for running bare metal semi-hosted applications, and Linux OS booting. The platform provides:

  • An ARMv8 processor cluster with 1-4 CPUs
  • Up to 8GB of RAM
  • An optional 128MB of secure RAM
  • 4 PL011 UARTs exposed as host TCP sockets
  •  A network device model connected to host network resources
  • A block storage device implemented as a file on the host
  •  A small system register block

The V8 processor model implements:

  • AArch64 at all exception levels
  • AArch32 support at EL0/EL1
  • Little and big endian at all exception levels
  • Generic timers
  • Self-hosted debug
  • GIC v2 memory mapped CPU interfaces and distributor
  • No support for Thumb2EE
  • No support for Crypto extensions

The models require an x86 64-bit Linux machine running Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5.x for 64-bit architectures, Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 6.x for 64-bit architectures, Ubuntu 10.04 (64-bit) or later. However, any x86 64-bit Linux distributions with glibc v2.3.2 (or greater) and libstdc++ 6.0.0 (or greater), should be able to run the models. I used a machine running Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 LTS 64-bit with the instructions below.

Hello Word! for ARMv8

To get started, visit the page linked above, and click on “Download Now” at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to login or register (It’s free), and then on the top right of the screen click on “Download Now” again to start downloading the V8 Foundation Model.  You’ll a get a 8 MB file called FM000-KT-00035-r0p8-44rel23.tgz.

Let’s work in a terminal window, uncompress the file and run the “Hello World!” application.

That’s it! Details are in in the document: DUI0677A_foundation_fast_model_ug.pdf, including instructions to access a web interface to monitor the machine, access to UART and more. hello.axf is a file based on “ARM Executable Format” that contains executable binary code generated with armlink linker part of the Keil ARM Compilation Tools. You can check the Makefile in the examples directory to see how armcc and armlink are used for the ARMv8 architecture.

Run ARMv8 Linux in the Virtual Platform

Now let’s do something a bit more interesting by running Linux (OpenEmbedded) in the v8 foundation model. The instructions I followed are available at

Prepare a working directory:

Download boot image:

Download and extract disk image:

gunzip vexpress64-openembedded_sdk-armv8_20121019-22.img.gz

Run OpenEmbedded in the virtual platform:

~/Foundation_v8pkg/Foundation_v8 --image ~/linaro-armv8/img-foundation.axf --block-device ~/linaro-armv8/vexpress64-openembedded_sdk-armv8_20121019-22.img --network=nat

After a few seconds, a terminal window (Telnet attached to UART) with the kernel output should pop-up:

Linux boot on Cortex A57 virtual platformBe patient, and after several minutes (12 minutes on a PC based on Intel Core 2 processor @ 1.8 GHz), you should see the command prompt.
Let’s see if we really run on ARMv8:

All good!

Building for ARMv8

Running Linux in ARMv8 is nice, but what you really want to do is write and build programs for the platform. Natively build programs inside the foundation models is probably not a good idea for most programs, since it would be quite slow, so you’ll have to cross-compile for Aarch64. I’ll build the “Hello World!” application as explained in

First download and install aarch64-toolchain:

mkdir ~/aarch64-toolchain
cd ~/aarch64-toolchain
tar xf gcc-linaro-aarch64-linux-gnu-4.7+svn191987-20120925+bzr2498_linux.tar.xz
export PATH=$PATH:$PWD/gcc-linaro-aarch64-linux-gnu-4.7+svn191987-20120925+bzr2498_linux/bin

Install some dependencies:

Then write an  “Hello World!” program, and cross-compile it:

Let’s check the file is really a 64-bit binary:

file hello
hello: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.39, BuildID[sha1]=0xf99cedfc98f57956a6de9c1c04beba2acf32dfee, not stripped

Now copy it to the virtual platform, either by updating the rootfs, or via NFS or http, and run the program:


For more, there are other very useful ARM Linux 64-bit tutorials on Linaro website, such as:

And you could also try the minimal, LAMP or SDK Aarch64 images.

It’s also possible to run Android (32-bit) in the V8 models as shown in the video below (mainly an interview), but instructions do not appear available, and it’s not something I would want to try in my (slow) machine…

Tizen 1.0 SDK and Source Code Release

May 1st, 2012 No comments

The Tizen Technical Steering Group has announced, today, the release of Tizen 1.0 “Larkspur”.

Tizen 1.0 release provides several new SDK features and improvements including:

  • Simulator: A new browser-based tool that supports the Tizen APIs and allows you to run and debug your web applications, and simulate running applications with various device profiles.
  • IDE: Enhancements include more flexibility around templates and debugging tools.
  • Emulator: Significantly improved emulator performance through Intel’s Hardware Acceleration Manager for Windows and OpenGL acceleration for Linux.
Tizen Web Based Simlautor

Tizen Simulator (Click to Enlarge)

Updates to the platform source code include:

  • Web: Support for additional features of W3C/HTML5 specification
  • Location: Support for POI (Point of Interest) and route search
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi Direct key features added

You can see the full list of changes by reading the release notes for the SDK and the source code.

Tizen has also added a bug tracker and a wiki for the community and a few back-end changes have been made in order to improve stability and scalability of the infrastructure.

If you want to install the SDK, you’ll need a dual core 2 GHz CPU, with 2 GB of RAM running the 32-bit version of Ubuntu (10.04 or greater) or the 32-bit version of Windows XP SP3/Windows 7.  Tizen SDK makes use of Oracle Java v6 or higher version and several packages: qemu-kvm, binutils-multiarch, debhelper, fakeroot, realpath, gettext, procps, xsltproc, libdbus-1-3, liblua5.1-0, libexif12, and libcurl3.

You can download the SDK for your operating system below.

Operating System Download File Size Updated Date
Ubuntu 32-bit tizen_sdk.bin 4.5 MB April 30, 2012
Windows 32-bit tizen_sdk.exe 5.1 MB April 30, 2012

The installation is straightforward (especially in Windows), but if you run into problems, you can also check the instructions to install the SDK on Ubuntu or install the SDK on Windows.

If you have any feedback/comment or want to report bugs, you can do so on Tizen community page.