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In 2017, The Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference marks its 12th year as the premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products.

Now co-located with OpenIoT Summit, ELC promises to be the best place for embedded and application developers, product vendors, kernel and systems developers as well systems architects and firmware developers to learn, share and advance the technical work required for embedded Linux and IoT.

In anticipation of this year’s North America event, to be held Feb. 21-23 in Portland, Oregon, we rounded up the top videos from the 2017 ELC and OpenIoT Summit. Register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price. Save over $150 by registering before January 15, 2017.

1. Home Assistant: The Python Approach to Home Automation

Several home automation platforms support Python as an extension, but if you’re a real Python fiend, you’ll probably want Home Assistant, which places the programming language front and center. Paulus Schoutsen created Home Assistant in 2013 “as a simple script to turn on the lights when the sun was setting,” as he told attendees of his recent Embedded Linux Conference and OpenIoT Summit presentation, “Automating your Home with Home Assistant: Python’s Answer to the Internet of Things.”

Schoutsen, who works as a senior software engineer for AppFolio in San Diego, has attracted 20 active contributors to the project. Home Assistant is now fairly mature, with updates every two weeks and support for more than 240 different smart devices and services. The open source (MIT license) software runs on anything that can run Python 3 — from desktop PCs to a Raspberry Pi, and counts thousands of users around the world.

2. Linus Torvalds Talks IoT, Smart Devices, Security Concerns, and More

Linus Torvalds, the creator and lead overseer of the Linux kernel, and “the reason we are all here,” in the words of his interviewer, Intel Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel, was upbeat about the state of Linux in embedded and Internet of Things applications. Torvalds’ very presence signaled that embedded Linux, which has often been overshadowed by Linux desktop, server, and cloud technologies, has come of age.

“Maybe you won’t see Linux at the IoT leaf nodes, but anytime you have a hub, you will need it,” Torvalds told Hohndel. “You need smart devices especially if you have 23 [IoT standards]. If you have all these stupid devices that don’t necessarily run Linux, and they all talk with slightly different standards, you will need a lot of smart devices. We will never have one completely open standard, one ring to rule them all, but you will have three of four major protocols, and then all these smart hubs that translate.”

3. Taming the Chaos of Modern Caches

It turns out that software — and computer education curricula — have not always kept up with new developments in hardware, ARM Ltd. kernel developer Mark Rutland said in his presentation “Stale Data, or How We (Mis-)manage Modern Caches.”

“Cache behavior is surprisingly complex, and caches behave in subtly different ways across SoCs,” Rutland told the ELC audience. “It’s very easy to misunderstand the rules of how caches work and be lulled into a false sense of security.”

4. IoTivity 2.0: What’s in Store?

Speaking shortly after the release of Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF)’s IoTivity 1.1, Vijay Kesavan, a Senior Member of Technical Staff in the Communication and Devices Group at Intel Corp, told the ELC audience about plans to support new platforms and IoT ecosystems in v2.0. He also explained how the OCF is exploring usage profiles beyond home automation in domains like automotive and industrial.

5. A Linux Kernel Wizard’s Adventures in Embedded Hardware

Sometimes the best tutorials come not from experts, but from proficient newcomers who are up to date on the latest entry-level technologies and can remember what it’s like to be a newbie. It also helps if, like Grant Likely, the teacher is a major figure in embedded Linux who understands how hardware is ignited by software.

At the Embedded Linux Conference, Likely — who is a Linux kernel engineer and maintainer of the Linux Device Tree subsystem used by many embedded systems — described his embedded hardware journey in a presentation called “Hardware Design for Linux Engineers” — or as he put it, “explaining stuff I only learned six months ago.”

Linux.com readers can register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the registration price. Save over $150 by registering before January 15, 2017.

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The Linux Foundation is seeking developers and systems architects interested in sharing their knowledge, expertise and ideas at the 2017 Embedded Linux Conference and Open Internet of Things (IoT) Summit North America.

The co-located conferences, to be held Feb. 21-23 in Portland, Oregon, bring together embedded and application developers, product vendors, kernel and systems developers as well systems architects and firmware developers to learn, share and advance the technical work required for embedded Linux and IoT.

Now in its 12th year, Embedded Linux Conference is the premier vendor-neutral technical conference for companies and developers using Linux in embedded products. While OpenIoT Summit is the first and only IoT event focused on the development of IoT solutions.

The deadline to submit proposals is Dec.10, 2016.  Submit a proposal today!

Submit an ELC Proposal  

Submit an OpenIoT Summit Proposal

You can see potential speaker topics for ELC, below, and watch speakers in 155+ recorded sessions from ELC 2016

  • Audio, Video, Streaming Media and Graphics

  • Security

  • System Size, Boot Speed

  • Real-Time Linux – Performance, Tuning and Mainlining

  • SDKs for Embedded Products

  • Flash Memory Devices and Filesystems

  • Build Systems, Embedded Distributions and Development Tools

  • Linux in Devices such as Mobile Phones, DVRs, TV, Cameras, etc.

  • Practical Experiences and War Stories

  • And more.

View the full list of suggested Embedded Linux Conference topics here >>

Potential speaker topics for OpenIot Summit include:

  • Frameworks and OSes

  • Low-Power Communication

  • Connected Car

  • Drones

  • Smart Home

  • Device and Firmware Management

  • Provisioning (Device, Service, User)

  • Cloud Integration / Connectivity

  • App Development and UX

  • Security

  • Scaling

  • And More

View the full list of suggested OpenIoT Summit topics here >>

With more than 25 billion Internet connected things predicted to hit the market by 2020, the “Internet of Things” is evolving from a promise to an everyday reality. Whether it’s how we control our energy usage or secure our homes, smart devices are changing the world we live in and how we live.

IoT, like any disruptive technology shift, brings opportunities as well as challenges. Open source presents an opportunity for IoT to overcome interoperability barriers and innovate at an unprecedented rate. It provides a neutral forum for collaboration at scale and allows developers to contribute and advance software so that IoT products can get to market faster.

One key challenge is choice, and developers have a lot of it. For IoT to deliver on the promise of seamless connectivity, devices need a highly modular platform that can easily integrate with embedded devices. While Linux has proven itself time and again as the de facto operating system choice for embedded development, some IoT devices require a real-time operating system (RTOS) that addresses the very smallest of memory footprints.

To provide an open source solution that complements real-time Linux but keeps critical concerns like security and modularity top-of-mind, we created the Zephyr Project. Zephyr Project is a small, scalable, RTOS designed specifically for small-footprint IoT devices. It is also embedded with development tools and has a modular design so that developers can customize its capabilities and create IoT solutions that meet the needs of any device, regardless of architecture. This enables easier connectivity to the cloud as well as other IoT devices.

Recently the Zephyr Project announced Linaro as its newest member, joining the likes of Intel, NXP Semiconductors and Synopsys. As a global leader in open source development for the ARM ecosystem, Linaro will help drive Zephyr specifications and initiatives, and help the project realize its vision of becoming the premier multi-architecture open source RTOS for IoT.

The Zephyr Project comes at a critical time for the IoT small device development community. As an open source project, Zephyr unites the community to help make small, embedded devices “smarter,” while ensuring ubiquitous connectivity and security in small device infrastructure. It’s an exciting time for IoT, and we encourage anyone interested to join the effort.