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Zephyr Project F2F Meeting of the Minds

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Written by Amy Occhialino, the Zephyr Project Governing Board Chair and Director of Software Engineering at Intel

Zephyr Project Members at the F2F meetings in Portland

The Zephyr Project has active community members and contributors all around the world. As such, the various governing boards and sub-committees have met face-to-face once to twice a year in the past to work on strategy, execution tactics, and networking. This year, the Zephyr Project’s governing board, technical steering committee (TSC), and marketing sub-committee had their first face-to-face of 2019 in Portland, Oregon from April 23rd – 25th hosted by the Intel Corporation. 

Almost 40 people from the project joined the meetings to discuss plans for the rest of the year and celebrate wins, like the recent release of the LTS.

Members of the Zephyr Project Governing Board

The governing board’s face-to-face session focused on reviewing the Zephyr Project’s vision statement, the 2019 goals and year to date results, and the tactical and strategic initiatives for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020.  The TSC’s face-to-face sessions focused on the retrospective of our newly released LTS version, feature release plans for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, and strategies around formalizing our processes and procedures.  The marketing sub-committee’s session focused on reviewing the 2019 goals year to date results and changes to our marketing and outreach collateral which will be released and formalized over the course of 2019.

And, as always, we spent some quality time networking with all community members, building stronger relationships and partnerships.  The Zephyr Project’s board hosted a wonderful dinner at Toro Bravo in downtown Portland and member Intel Corporation hosted an LTS release celebration at the beautiful Garden Vineyard in Hillsboro, Oregon. 

Celebration at the Garden Vineyard

We are excited about the collaboration and discussions we had at these F2F meetings and look forward to reaching more milestones this year and sharing more great use cases!

This is an exciting time to get involved with the Zephyr Project. If you’re new to Zephyr, take a look at our Getting Started Guide or our Contributor Guide. Or, you can join the conversation or ask questions on our Slack channel or Mailing List.

What Zephyr Project Members Had to Say about the new LTS release

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The Zephyr Project introduced Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS (long term support) a few weeks ago. The release marked an important technical milestone for the community and all of the Zephyr Project members. Here’s what some of our members had to say…

“A long-term stable release of Zephyr is a strong signal that the operating system has reached a high level of maturity and can be depended upon in even the most challenging of applications”, said Michael Gielda, VP Business Development for Antmicro. “We had been helping customers build real products with Zephyr using our open source Renode simulation and testing framework since the RTOS’ early days and can now even more confidently recommend this vendor-neutral and community-driven operating system platform.”

“With this key milestone, the Zephyr community has a strong foundation to build innovative IoT and embedded products, said George Grey, CEO of  Foundries.io. “Foundries.io is committed to support the LTS through the Zephyr microPlatformTM (ZmP) and will continue to align the secure, OTA updatable ZmP with the next generation of Zephyr Project features. This offers the Zephyr community the benefit of the LTS release, coupled with choice on supporting new features as they become available. We look forward to supporting our customers using Zephyr for a wide range of full stack applications, including those requiring BLE, OpenThread and LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular communications.”

“With the release of Zephyr 1.14 LTS, developers can focus on differentiation with the confidence that the software they are developing on always has the important fixes and latest security updates,” said Kumar Gala, Linaro IoT and Embedded Group (LITE) Technical Lead and Zephyr Project 1.14 LTS Release Manager. “Linaro is pleased to have helped drive the release which provides developers with a stable set of API for real world applications on constrained devices.”

“We are very excited to see that the Zephyr Project has gotten to the major milestone this LTS release is” said Paal Kastnes, Technical Marketing Manager with Nordic Semiconductor. “Having the long term support option is something which is very often requested by our customers. This is especially the case for segments where development runs over longer times or for products with long lifecycles. Having the opportunity to introduce minor patches without rebasing the entire firmware framework is a major advantage for these users.”

“As a founding member of the Zephyr Project, we are excited to support this latest release that brings new feature enablement and support to our expanding portfolio of i.MX RT crossover processors,” said Maureen Helm, NXP Microcontroller Software Architect and Zephyr Technical Steering Committee member. “The Zephyr 1.14 LTS release provides developers a well-tested, stable foundation for immediate project start and is based on a rich, open source microcontroller ecosystem that supports exciting new applications.”

Please see below for the more information about the Zephyr LTS:

Read the news release:  https://www.zephyrproject.org/the-zephyr-project-announces-major-technical-milestone-with-new-long-term-support-code-release/

Download it: https://github.com/zephyrproject-rtos/zephyr/tree/zephyr-v1.14.0

Check out the release notes: https://github.com/zephyrproject-rtos/zephyr/releases/tag/zephyr-v1.14.0

Share the benefits with your network: https://www.zephyrproject.org/learn-more-about-zephyr-1-14-0-lts/


Start the discussion with the Zephyr community on our Slack channel now!

Learn more about Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS

By | Blog

Last week, the Zephyr Project introduced the first long term support (LTS) release of Zephyr OS, Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS. This release marks an important technical milestone for the community and is intended to be a more stable, certifiable option for product makers and developers. You can download Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS, see the complete release notes here and check out the announcement here.

Major Enhancements

  • The Zephyr project now supports over 160 different board configuration spanning 8 architectures. All architectures are rigorously tested and validated using one of the many simulation platforms supported by the project: QEMU, Renode, ARC Simulator, and the native POSIX configuration.
  • Enhancement of the native POSIX port by adding UART, USB, and display drivers. Based on this port, we added a simulated NRF52832 SoC which enables running full system, multi-node simulations, without the need of real hardware.
  • Applied MISRA-C code guideline on the kernel and core components of Zephyr. MISRA-C is a well established code guideline focused on embedded systems and aims to improve code safety, security and portability.
  • Addition of an experimental BLE split software Controller with Upper Link Layer and Lower Link Layer for supporting multiple BLE radio hardware architectures.
  • Introduction of the west tool for management of multiple repositories and enhanced support for flashing and debugging.
  • Zephyr now has support for the x86_64 architecture. It is currently implemented only for QEMU targets, supports arbitrary numbers of CPUs, and runs in SMP mode by default, our first platform to do so.
  • Added support for application user mode, application memory partitions, and hardware stack protection in ARMv8m

Improvements and Subsystem Overhauls

  • The timing subsystem has been reworked and reimplemented, greatly simplifying the resulting drivers, removing thousands of lines of code, and reducing a typical kernel build size by hundreds of bytes. TICKLESS_KERNEL mode is now the default on all architectures.
  • The Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) subsystem continues to evolve with the addition of a new CPU affinity API that can “pin” threads to specific cores or sets of cores. The core kernel no longer uses the global irq_lock on SMP systems, and exclusively uses the spinlock API (which on uniprocessor systems reduces to the same code).
  • Overhaul of the Network packet net-pkt API and moved the majority of components and protocols to use the BSD socket API, including MQTT, CoAP, LWM2M, and SNTP.
  • The power management subsystem has been overhauled to support device idle power management and move most of the power management logic from the application back to the BSP.
  • Introduction of major updates and an overhaul to both the logging and shell subsystems, supporting multiple back-ends, integration of logging into the shell, and delayed log processing.

Thank You

This release would not have been possible without the hard work and skill of the 250 developers who contributed code over the last 6 months. We would also like to thank the countless project management, documentation, marketing, administrative and leadership team members from Zephyr Project member companies who contributed to this joint initiative. Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the family, friends and support networks of everyone who participated in the creation and release of Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS.

What’s Next

While this release marks the culmination of one of the largest and most ambitious efforts undertaken by the Zephyr Project to date, it is just the beginning. Work has already begun on a number of major initiatives including obtaining functional safety certification of the core OS.

Join Us

This is an exciting time to get involved with the Zephyr Project. We invite you to try out Zephyr 1.14.0 LTS. You can find our Getting Started Guide here. If you are interested in contributing to the Zephyr Project please see our Contributor Guide. Join the conversation or ask questions on our Slack channel or Mailing List.