First LTS release of Linux-based IoT RTOS

April 25, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Linux IoT embedded RTOS project achieves major milestone
Linux Foundation hosted collaboration project The Zephyr Project (San Francisco, CA), which is building a small, scalable open source RTOS for IoT embedded devices, has announced a major technical milestone with the first Long Term Support (LTS) release.

The Zephyr 1.14 LTS release is designed to offer vendors a customizable operating system that supports product longevity, security, and interoperability. With the Zephyr LTS, says the organization, developers aren't locked into a particular architecture, back-end platform or cloud provider and will have the freedom to choose from an ecosystem of hardware.

"The Zephyr LTS release allows product developers to focus on innovation rather than the common and standard operating system layers," says Anas Nashif, the Zephyr Project Chair of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). "Products based on the LTS release will benefit from a maintained code base throughout their development and deployment lifecycle. The LTS will serve as the baseline for the auditable version of Zephyr, which will benefit both the maintained LTS and development branches."

Representing a major milestone on the Zephyr technical roadmap, one of the goals of the LTS is to stabilize the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that a consistent foundation for applications is created for the operating system. Other key features for this release include the following:

  • Support for more than 160 board configurations spanning eight architectures
  • A re-implemented Timing system that simplifies drivers and reduces typical kernel build size by hundreds of bytes
  • A new experimental BLE split software controller for supporting multiple BLE radio hardware architectures
  • Major updates to the logging and shell subsystem with support for multiple back-ends, integration of logging into the shell, and delayed log processing
  • A new "west" tool for managing multiple repositories and enhanced support for flashing and debugging
  • Added support for application user mode, application memory partitions, and hardware stack protection in ARMv8-m

The Zephyr TSC, says the organization, is actively working towards safety certifications with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The project plans to submit key parts of the Zephyr kernel and operating system services based on the LTS release for safety certification. These certifications indicate a product


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