Category

Blog

Renesas RZ/G2M-96CE board adopted as Arm64 reference board for the next CIP SLTS Kernel

By | Blog

Today, the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) Project is debuting the Renesas RZ/G2M-96CE board, based on the Arm 64-bit architecture, at Embedded Linux Conference. It is the first-ever using Arm 64-bit architecture that the CIP project will support.

The CIP project aims to support the reference hardware in the project’s Super Long Term Support (SLTS) Linux Kernels and minimal reference filesystem, CIP Core. Testing of the reference hardware will be done using CIP’s customised kernelci and LAVA instances and B@D. This makes it easy for software developers to make the most of the software developed by CIP and allows them to quickly and easily develop industrial applications.

The RZ/G2M-96CE board is based on the Linaro 96boards extended consumer specification. This design allows for rapid prototyping for application, kernel and hardware engineers.  The RZ/G2M-96CE board development kits will be available Q1 2019.

RZ/G2M-96CE board Block Diagram (Preliminary*) includes:

The RZ/G2M-96CE joins the current list of CIP-supported embedded hardware including:

  • RZ/G1M iWave Qseven Development Kit (Armv7)
  • AM335x Beaglebone Black (Armv7)
  • QEMU x86_64

CIP will be showing a selection of the reference hardware, including the RZ/G2M-96CE board, at their booth at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2018. Stop by to learn more about the project. For additional information about how Renesas is providing the solutions using CIP kernel on the RZ/G2M-96CE board, please visit here for details.

CIP Member Spotlight: Cybertrust

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Cybertrust, Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight our newest member Cybertrust Japan, Co., Ltd. in a conversation with Tatsuo Ito, Vice President, CTO and Principal Evangelist.

What does your company do?

Cybertrust is a company that supplies enterprise Linux operating systems, advances its commitment to building secure and reliable embedded equipment and systems. We enable customers to build and manage highly secured IT infrastructures.

Our business portfolio covers Linux and Open Source Software Businesses,  Authentication Businesses, and Security and IoT Businesses. With more than 17 years of development experience of Linux OS, we have a proven track record of building mission critical systems and offering super long support in both server and embedded areas.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?

We have a lot of experienced engineers in open source, Linux, embedded systems and employ multiple Linux kernel maintainers. As a Linux distributor, we are committed to making the base layer that supports embedded system foundations more robust and secure. By investing in the base layer, we can supply more secure enterprise Linux operating systems and build more reliable embedded equipment and systems.

Why did your company join CIP?

As a measure against a wide range of springboard attacks, the Bipartisan Legislation was introduced to improve security of IoT devices last summer in the U.S. This requires devices that are purchased by the U.S. government to meet certain minimum security requirements, such as patchable capability to fix security holes. Users also are reaching consensus that embedded devices are not over when they are made, and that they have to be supported definitely, which has resulted in a bigger demand from them for super long-term support (SLTS).

Unlike server systems, platforms for embedded systems vary user-by-user, and are customized for each user. This increases costs and generates resource issues to realize SLTS for both users and platform vendors. CIP aims to achieve SLTS in tandem by a community, not by one company alone. We agreed with the objective, and decided to join the CIP.

How are you currently active in CIP?

We will contribute to step up the level of long-term support and to make it sustainable, which would lead to the safety and security of society as a whole.

Cybertrust is active in CIP by:

  • Contributing to the maintenance of the SLTS kernel in the direction that a Cybertrust member will take over the CIP kernel maintainer
  • Responding to the Spectre/Meltdown issues for LTS4.4/CIP SLTS (under way)
  • Promoting CIP to  our customers/partners or at commercial events
  • Recruiting new CIP members

How are you going to use the software?

As a new member of CIP, we’re excited to go all in. We will be using the open source industrial grade software, such as CIP SLTS kernel and CIP Core, as the foundation for our distro for embedded systems. With CIP’s new collaboration with Debian LTS, we will also use that to complete various use cases.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

CIP members have the expertise and work together diligently on the same goal of creating an open source framework that is secure and reliable on a global scale. We believe that together, we can address these critical issues.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

The embedded infrastructure that supports social infrastructure will cover wider and deeper towards the advancement of IoT, the improvement of convenience by smart city, and the safe and secure society against natural disasters and environmental changes.

Key Learnings at OSS Japan

By | Blog

Written by Yoshitake Kobayashi, Chair of the CIP TSC and Senior Manager of Open Source Technology Department at Toshiba 

On June 20-22, more than 1,000 technologists and open source industry leaders attended Open Source Summit Japan and Automotive Linux Summit 2018 in Tokyo. The attendees came from organizations both big and small from 45 countries around the globe. In fact, attendees from overseas increase from 28% last year to 33% this year – making this a true international conference.

The Linux Foundation shared the results of the post-event survey – of attendees surveyed, more than 55% were attending for the first time this year, underscoring the ever-expanding interest and participation in the open source ecosystem. The survey also showcased the fact that around 87% of attendees only attend three or fewer conferences a year, making Open Source Summit Japan and Automotive Linux Summit a valuable place to connect with this audience.

CIP, a Silver Sponsor of the conference, was very active in the event. We kicked off the conference with several face-to-face meetings for the Technical Steering Committee and the Governing Board to discuss the roadmap, security, the new partnership with  Debian Long Term Support activities and welcoming Cybertrust as a new Silver Member. You can see the announcement here.

Dan Cauchy, Executive Director for Automotive Grade Linux, gave a keynote speech about the state of the alliance and mentioned CIP as a key partner in collaboration to make safer systems. AGL and CIP work together Functional Safety. You can see his presentation here.

Additionally, several CIP leaders gave presentations. I gave a presentation about how CIP has progressed since its launch two years ago with the CIP SLTS kernel, Real time Linux, Board at desk (CIP Testing), CIP Core and what’s ahead with collaboration with other open source project like Debian and EdgeX Foundry. You can view the presentation here.

Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Principal Consultant at CodeThink and active CIP TSC member, shared a technical summary that discussed Long Term Support (LTS) the 4.4 Linux kernel, the extensive testing the kernel goes through and the impact of all the technical activity that increases long term maintenance. In total, around 100 people attended the CIP-related sessions led by myself and Agustin.

Additionally, CIP member Wolfgang Mauerer, provided best practices and guidelines for embedded Linux quality assurance to around 50 attendees. He shared tips designing and running automated statistical tests that capture relevant information, how to properly evaluate the resulting data and common mistakes in over-interpreting statistical results and predictions.

In addition to technical content provided these industry visionaries, OSS Japan and ALS  hosted a bustling showcase featuring sponsor booths with interactive demos. The CIP booth had demos from Hitachi, Renesas and Plat’Home and CIP-branded Legos that were a hit with attendees.

Nearly 95% of this year’s attendees visited sponsor booths, and hundreds of attendees participated in the evening booth crawl, time dedicated exclusively to attendee-sponsor interaction, and a lot of them stopped by our booth to discuss our project and make their own CIP Lego man. In fact, we’ve now adopted him into the project and he’s the official CIP mascot!

Additionally, a Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) workshop was held at the conference with about 50 people. I did a lightning talk to explain all of the CIP activities for LTS and CIP SLTS. The discussion made two things clear: collaboration and education are the keys to maintain the stable kernel. CIP believes this as a fact, which is why we launched a CIP kernel team. Nevertheless, the workshop was great and really helped instill a positive camaraderie for long term support – not just for CIP but all projects and industries like automotive and IoT.

In addition to attending the conference, the CIP project team had time for a little fun….

If you missed CIP at OSS Summit Japan, don’t worry, you’ll have another chance. Come visit us at Open Source Summit Europe, which will be co-located with Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit! More details to come…

CIP Member Spotlight: Hitachi

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Cybertrust, Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Hitachi in a conversation with Hidehiro Kawai, Researcher.

What does your company do and what is your role? 
Hitachi is a global company that provides solutions and products in a variety of fields, including electric power, transportation, IT, etc. for more than 100 years.  Our main mission is to create a better society by social innovation.  We have good knowledge of IT and OT (operational technology) for many fields, competitive products, and digital solutions powered by AI or machine learning.  Closer collaboration with customers and our technologies will realize the social innovation.

As a researcher for Hitachi, my role is to develop an industrial grade open platform which supports our innovations. Specifically, I’m working to develop a software-based fault tolerant system for civil infrastructures which requires high availability, integrity and robustness.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?  
An open platform and open source technology will become a key factor to making things innovative in the IT industry and civil infrastructure systems.  Sharing efforts for a non-competitive “base layer” will accelerate our innovation. Currently, systems are becoming more open and flexible to incorporate new valuable technologies. For example, global businesses are working with more open source technologies to maximize trends with IoT, edge computing and more.

Why did your company join CIP? Can you provide a use case scenario? 
The best part of open source software is that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. But even with continuous updating it is not easy to keep this software reliable and secure for more than 10 years. This is where CIP comes in. We thought it would be better if we joined the CIP project and shared this effort among other industry leaders.

The CIP framework would be suitable for IoT controllers which requires real-time processing, super long-term support, flexibility, security and connectivity – all, which be provided by CIP.

How are you currently active in CIP?

As a Platinum member, Hitachi is active on the Governing Board as well as the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). I am the representative for TSC and share CIP requirements, issues and updates among the Hitachi group. This helps Hitachi understand CIP’s progress and mission as well as helps make CIP’s activities more effective.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve? 
Though it may take several years to get a return on our investment from CIP, we believe that it is important to keep contributing to CIP. In order to ensure the safety and security for the civil infrastructure platform, we need to keep working with OSS and develop long term support for more than 10 years.

Recently, CIP has put a focus on security and is considering to provide a framework or tools to assist and comply with security standards like IEC 62443. This is a huge milestone and, once we’ve achieved this, all CIP members and contributors will get see benefits.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years? 
I am amazed at how innovation moves so quickly. In 20 years, I think most of our life will be automated or assisted by AI. In fact, AI will be rooted in open source technology and collaboration with contributors and projects who will provide tons of data. I think we may even see a day where AI maintains the CIP kernels!

CIP Member Codethink Reveals Technical Report Card

By | Blog

CIP’s mission is to extend the life of industrial systems and solutions by up to 10 years. To do this, a lot of testing, testing and more testing has to happen! Codethink helps lead CIP’s Technical Steering Committee and plays an integral role in the technical community. As such, Codethink shares updates and progress reports on an ongoing basis. In this new blog post, Agustin Benito Bethencourt shares what Codethink has been focusing on this year and the results of these efforts.

CIP 4.4 kernel maintenance
Ben Hutchings, CIP’s Debian kernel maintainer, has been the 4.4-cip kernel
maintainer for almost two years now. His role is to design, establish and consolidate the CIP kernel maintenance process, integrating it with the upstream stable kernel process as much as possible, reducing exceptions to the minimum, since they will be maintained by CIP on its own for the coming years. Until now, almost all of those exceptions are directly related to platform
specific features.

This year, as maintainer, Ben is focused on security as well as supporting the CIP community, providing advice and answering questions about the Linux Kernel and the Debian LTS process.

Several versions of the CIP kernel have been released so far in 2018, being the latest one published this past May 18th, version 4.4.130-cip23. A new version of the CIP kernel will be published right before the Open Source Summit Japan 2018 starts.

If you are interested in using the CIP 4.4 kernel, please visit: https://gitlab.com/cip-project/cip-kernel/

After industrial leader Moxa joined CIP in 2017, Codethink put efforts in promoting other kernel developers from CIP Members to participate in the kernel 4.4 stable review process. This is being one of the most rewarding activities for Codethink. Bringing new blood to a critical process for so many companies could become one of the most relevant contributions CIP can
make to the Kernel community.

Testing
After the strategy change decided by CIP at the end of 2017, Codethink has put Board at Desk(B@D)[3], the tool based on kernelci.org used to test the kernel, in maintenance mode, at least until the new CIP testing infrastructure is up and running. kernelci and LAVA versions have been updated, some minor improvements to ease the configuration has been merged, the Renesas board IWG20M is now supported in B@D and the documentation has been improved. Led by Robert Marshall from Codethink Ltd, two activities will focus the test automation efforts the coming weeks/months:

* Move B@D into containers, which will allow us to share efforts with AGL and
integrate B@D with the new CIP testing infrastructure.

* Modify the current integration process so B@D becomes more resilient to
upstream changes with heavy impact to the tool.

These actions will reduce the maintenance effort so they will allow us to
focus on creating tests.

Other activities
Codethink contributes to CIP in several other areas as well. Agustín Benito will talk about the CIP kernel process at Open Source Summit Japan 2018 and introduce CIP to Open Source developers at the OpenSouthCode  in June. Codethink has also contributed to the CIP blog with an article earlier this year and is an active participant at the CIP Technical Steering Committee.

For more information, visit CIP’s wiki page: https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/civilinfrastructureplatform/ciptesting

CIP Member Spotlight: Moxa

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Moxa in a conversation with SZ Lin, a Software Supervisor.

What does your company do?

Moxa is a leading provider of industrial networking, computing, and automation solutions for enabling the Industrial Internet of Things. With 30 years of industry experience, Moxa has connected more than 30 million devices worldwide and has a distribution and service network that reaches customers in more than 70 countries.

Moxa offers a full spectrum of innovative, high-quality solutions that have been deployed in a wide variety of industries, including factory automation, smart rail, smart grid, intelligent transportation, oil and gas, and marine.

I am currently leading an embedded Linux team that helps develop industrial-grade Linux distribution to adapt the Linux for various products especially the industrial related computing systems. For more information about Moxa’s ARM-based Linux Platforms, click here.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?

There are lots of industrial Linux products in Moxa. In order to fulfill the goal of long-term support; we need to align the kernel version and focus the resources to maintain it.

CIP aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs.

As such, we think the best solution is to build an industrial base layer via cross-enterprise collaboration, because every company has similar problems. We can reduce the maintenance effort, exchange our knowledge and make the product better.

Why did your company join CIP?

We’ve been interested in CIP for a long time – even before Moxa joined the project in January 2018. Every solution Moxa creates offers reliability, safety and is easy to integrate. We believe CIP will help us ensure high-quality software components that will address the long-term needs of smart cities and the future of manufacturing.

How are you currently active in CIP?

We share knowledge and collaborate with other members in the Technical Steering Committee to help determine technical policy and strategic decisions for CIP. Additionally, Moxa has formed a team to help maintain the CIP kernel. This team reviews and discusses the kernel patch with CIP members.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

Building secure, robust and long-term support products.

Since Moxa provides industry solutions for Rail, ITS, Smart Grid, Marine and Oil & Gas, we need to offer industrial-grade platform and product with long-term stable, secure and robust features. We believe that the CIP base layer is the best for such applications.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

The explosion of IoT has made the issue of cybersecurity more important than ever. If there is a security attack, there will be massive damage in civil infrastructure systems, some that we might not recover from. This is why CIP is so important –  it address the needs and security of long-term software for the power generation and distribution, water, oil and gas, transportation and building automation industries.

Join CIP at Open Source Summit Japan!

By | Blog

Register now for Open Source Summit Japan. Click here

Next month, more than 1,000 open source enthusiasts, developers and influencers will visit Tokyo for The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit – Japan. Open Source Summit Japan is the leading conference connecting the open source ecosystem under one roof, providing a forum for technologists and open source industry leaders to collaborate and share information, learn about the latest in open source technologies and find out how to gain a competitive advantage by using innovative open solutions.

The event, which takes place June 20-22, will cover the open source technologies with sub-conferences LinuxCon, ContainerCon and CloudOpen; help ecosystem leaders to navigate open source transformation with tracks on business and compliance; and explore the newest technologies and latest trends touching open source, including networking, serverless, edge computing and AI.

This year, developers will have the opportunity to learn about the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) and how to get involved with industry leaders such as Codethink, Hitachi, Moxa, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens and Toshiba.

Attendees can stop by CIP’s booth in the sponsor showcase and experience interactive demos from Hitachi, Plat’home and Renesas. Leaders from the project will be on-site to answer questions, discuss the importance of industrial grade open source software and how it impacts the city of the future.

If seeing CIP in action at the booth isn’t enough, there are two CIP-focused sessions at the conference as well:

  • Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Principal Consultant at CodeThink and active CIP TSC member, will share a technical summary for CIP on Wednesday, June 20 at 3:10 – 3:50 pm. He’ll discuss Long Term Support (LTS) the 4.4 Linux kernel, the extensive testing the kernel goes through and the impact of all the technical activity that increases long term maintenance. To learn more about this session or to add it to your schedule, click here.
  • Yoshitake Kobayashi, Senior Manager of Open Source Technology Department for Toshiba and chair of the CIP Technical Steering Committee (TSC), will present an overview for CIP that shares progress CIP has made since inception two years ago and discuss CIP’s roadmap and the future of the project on Friday, June 22 at 4:20 – 5 pm. To learn more about this session or to add it to your schedule, click here.

Additionally, CIP member Wolfgang Mauerer, Senior Key Expert and Professor for Siemens AG and active TSC member, will provide best practices and guidelines for embedded linux quality assurance on Thursday, June 21 at 4 – 4:40 pm. He’ll share tips designing and running automated statistical tests that capture relevant information, how to properly evaluate the resulting data and common mistakes in over-interpreting statistical results and predictions. To learn more about the session or to add it to your schedule, click here.   

If you haven’t registered for your OSS-Japan yet, use CIP’s community code “OSSJ18SPN20” and you’ll receive 20% off your pass. We hope to see you in Japan!

CIP Member Spotlight: Plat’Home

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Plat’Home in a conversation with Masato Minda, Manager of IoT Strategic Business Deployment.

What does your company do?

Plat’Home is a pioneer and leader in the open source computing industry including Linux in Japan. When the company was founded in 1993, it focused on Open Source Computing and developing and exploring the new frontier that OSS and Linux can enable. Plat’Home designs, develops and manufactures Linux Servers and Gateways since 1996, and the products are widely adopted by the Japanese Telecommunication Carriers, utility companies, power plants, and social infrastructure including smart city and building.

OpenBlocks 600 with signature by Linus Torvalds (Oct 2009)

 

The manufacturing of Linux Microserver, “OpenBlocks”, which is specially designed for the large-scale deployment of social infrastructure. Plat’Home is trusted by the Japanese customers by our commitment for the long-term use and professional support for both hardware and software including Linux.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?

In 2014, we launched a new type of microserver that is designed to address common IoT LAN & WAN connectivity challenges in the IoT market in various use cases, where sensors and devices are embedded ubiquitously in social infrastructure and used long term. Plat’Home is committed to meeting and exceeding customer expectation and requests.

OpenBlocks IoT VX2 (The latest model)

 

Why did your company join CIP? Can you provide a use case scenario?

Since launch, our intention has been to make industrial-, and carrier-grade Linux that we can offer for an extended amount of time. CIP’s mission aligns with ours and will help us achieve long term support for our customers. Our products are currently used in building automation, city management, network management and so on. Under such mission critical circumstances the operating system is required to operate reliably over a long period of time.

How are you currently active in CIP?

As a founding member of CIP, we collaborate with other members in the Technical Steering Committee and help determine technical policy and decisions for CIP. Additionally, we participate in several of the top-tier IoT trade shows such as the Embedded Linux Conference and Open Source Summit Japan. 

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

The current main use of our products is the IoT gateway that are used under conditions that require long-term stable operation in various locations. We believe that the CIP base layer is the best for such applications.

Since Plat’Home has focused on OS, middleware and communication layers, we don’t have many resources available to cover specific vertical needs or requirements. One of the best benefits of being in CIP is that we can collaborate with companies like Hitachi, Siemens, Toshiba and Renesas on the same mission.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

Today, Linux is also used on many mobile phones. In the next 20 years, anything that can be connected will be connected. Linux is one of the most important pieces of computer software in devices, network and cloud. We believe it will be the same trend in civil infrastructure systems.

 

CIP on display at ELC-NA

By | Blog

Last month, CIP participated in The Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference + OpenIoT Summit North America in Portland, Oregon. Around 730 embedded and IoT technologists from 360 companies and 31 countries around the globe attended the event to collaborate with experts on a wide range of topics of embedded Linux and industrial IoT issues. This was an increase from last year, making this an important industry event for embedded and IoT developers. In fact 75% of attendees already said they are planning on attending next year.

CIP, which sponsored the event at the Gold level, had a strong presence at the show. In fact, Philip DesAutels, Senior Director of IoT for The Linux Foundation, mentioned CIP during his keynote. He was speaking about the increasing trend of how hardware functionality is moving into software and identified CIP as an important Linux Foundation project that is mission critical for the future of smart cities and industrial IoT by providing long term software support.

Philip DesAutels giving his keynote speech at OpenIoT Summit

 

CIP also had a booth in the technical and demo showcase that featured demos from Renesas, which displayed the Real Time Linux Patch, and Plat’Home, which showed the CIP kernel connected to its IoT devices.  Each day of the conference, the showcase hall was packed with attendees who wanted to learn about the latest projects and products, view hands-on demos and interact with other community members. In fact, 98% of attendees survey said they visited sponsor booths.

Additionally, 15 CIP technical experts attended the event from member companies including Renesas, Hitachi, Siemens, Plat’Home, Toshiba and Codethink for a face-to-face TSC meeting, collaborate with other projects and to attend the 12 keynotes and some of the 90 breakout sessions.

Yoshitake Kobayashi, Senior Manager of Open Source Technology at Toshiba’s Software Development and Engineering Center and Chair of CIP’s TSC, also gave a talk about CIP’s mission to develop an open source industrial-grade software for civil infrastructure projects, starting with a 10-year Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel built around the LTS kernel. CIP expects to add other similarly reusable software building blocks that meet the safety and reliability requirements of industrial and civil infrastructure. CIP supports electrical and power grids, water and sewage facilities, oil and gas plants, and rail, shipping and transportation systems, among other applications. If you missed the session, you can watch the video here or view the presentation here.

Yoshitake Kobayashi presenting CIP to ELC attendees

 

Other CIP members Wolfgang Mauerer and Jan Kiszka, both from Siemens AG, also showed their technical passions for other topics. Wolfgang shared best practices, how to design and run automated statistical tests that capture relevant information, and how to properly evaluate the resulting data. Jan offered a deep dive into the Xenomai community, plans to revive it, maintaining the core and defining its relationship to PREEMPT-RT. The presentation is available here.

Wolfgang Mauerer from Siemens giving a talk about statistics and evaluation

Jan Kiszka from Siemens sharing plans to revive the Xenomai community

 

Overall, the CIP members interacted with other open source projects, learned more about IoT best practices, shared their knowledge about embedded and Linux and got a chance to have some fun.

For more about CIP, read the latest coverage:

Additionally, CIP will be attending Open Source Summit Japan on June 20-22 and the Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) Europe/OpenIoT Summit Europe in the UK on October 22-24. Stay tuned here for more details or come see us there!

CIP Member Spotlight: Codethink

By | Blog

The Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project aims to speed implementation of Linux-based civil infrastructure systems, build upon existing open source foundations and expertise, establish de facto standards by providing a base layer reference implementation, and contribute to and influence upstream projects regarding industrial needs. CIP is driven by some of the world’s leading manufacturers of civil infrastructure systems and industry leaders including Codethink, Hitachi, Plat’Home, Renesas, Siemens, Moxa and Toshiba.

This spotlight series highlights CIP members and how they are contributing to open source software solutions that will benefit the world’s technical systems. Today, we highlight Codethink in a conversation with Agustín Benito Bethencourt, Principal Consultant and active CIP member.

What does your company do and what is your role?

Codethink is an independent engineering and consultancy services company. We specialize in system-level infrastructure to support advanced technical applications, working across a range of industries including finance, automotive, aerospace, medical and telecoms. We deliver critical technology services and solutions for international corporates. We develop and maintain system-level software and infrastructure within three practices: Enterprise, Devices and Automotive.

We have a wealth of experience in truly understanding the software development life-cycle and are happy to provide specialist expertise to slot into an existing project/product team, or to handle the turnkey supply of a complete solution to a managed budget, time or quality. We are experts in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). We participate in upstream and are active contributors to a wide range of FOSS projects.

As a consultant at Codethink, I have two main roles: I help customers to transition from traditional embedded delivery models to modern ones, embracing Open Source best practices and agile principles, either in R&D or in production environments with a special focus on automotive at the moment. Additionally, I represent Codethink at The Linux Foundation and CIP project.

Why is your company investing in an open source “base layer” of industrial grade software?

Historically, Codethink has a very strong Open Source Software background. We believe that within the civil infrastructure industry there is plenty of room for sharing effort in the open, to create a commodity base system that can be maintained and shaped long term, enabling numerous stakeholders to participate and consume such software and knowledge for product development. Open Source ecosystems offer good opportunities for companies like Codethink to learn and demonstrate capabilities by actively participating in and contributing to CIP.

Why did your company join CIP?

Modern software practices are moving towards producing and deploying software fast enough so that it can be kept up to date. A significant part of our business revolves around that idea. There are environments though, in which following this approach is particularly challenging. The Civil/Social Infrastructure industry is one of them.

When it comes to software delivery or maintenance, for instance, the time perspective and economics for developing products that will still be operating in 50 years, is new to most of those coming from Open Source, especially when applied to safety critical environments. This is the main reason we wanted to participate in the foundation of CIP. The Linux Foundation project represents – for us – the perfect forum to challenge ourselves while helping others to embrace an Open Source mindset.

How are you currently active in CIP?

Our previous experience in open source community environments, helped Codethink to play an important role in shaping and foster CIP as an open source forum. As the project shifted its focus to the CIP kernel, Codethink led the testing and maintenance effort. We currently share the responsibility with Siemens, who is managing the real-time version of the CIP kernel we maintain.

Additionally, Codethink supports CIP on several other fronts such as promotion, content creation, participating in CIP governance forums, building strategic relations with other projects, etc.

How are you going to use the software?

Since Codethink is a consulting company, we don’t ship products based on CIP’s industrial grade software, but some of our customers do, especially those in industries where safety is critically important. For example, our Automotive OEMs customers are great candidates for the software.

What benefits have you seen or what do you expect to achieve?

In the kernel front, for instance, CIP takes advantage of all the work done by the kernel community on the 4.4 LTS process. CIP is adding additional effort to that process, contributing directly upstream instead of creating a separate and independent process where upstream is just an input, which requires additional effort to close the circle when contributing back to upstream. Our current simple process has proved to be very efficient.

Once the current LTS process ends, CIP will be maintaining such a critical component on its own. That will be the moment of truth for CIP. The same will apply to the rest of the components of CIP’s “base layer”, called CIP Core, which relies on Debian sources.

If the learning process we are currently following at CIP is successful, and the consolidation of the project reaches the required activation threshold, CIP will become a key forum for all those parties that ship long lasting Linux based products. Otherwise, the scope of the Initiative will be solely determined by the needs and efforts of the current members which, looking at the size of some of them, might be a bright future too.

Where do you see civil infrastructure systems in 20 years?

I see civil infrastructure systems following the general path that embedded industries and automotive are following, where the commoditization of part of the software stack is the only approach to tackle the increasing complexity, leaving enough resources to focus on differentiation factors that add value to customers. This process should push companies towards sharing more effort and resources. Open Source enables the healthiest environment in which to do so.

I think that the same principle will apply to safety critical related systems, although the adoption there will probably be slower but inexorable.

In summary, the overall transition from being Open Source consumers to producers first and contributors later, will take place faster than most think, just like it has in other industries before the Civil/Social Infrastructure.