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Introducing ACRN* and Sound Open Firmware: two new open source communities

BY Imad Sousou ON Mar 14, 2018

Today at the 2018 Embedded Linux* Conference, I introduced ACRN* and the Sound Open Firmware (SOF) projects to the Linux community. I’m excited about the launch of these projects— they both address industry requirements for open solutions and empower developers to accelerate innovation.

ACRN grew out of Intel’s deep experience and leadership in virtualization technology. The project will deliver an open source reference hypervisor framework optimized for embedded development. This small footprint hypervisor was built with real-time capability and safety criticality in mind. ACRN has a Linux-based service operating system as host and can simultaneously run multiple guest operating systems. ACRN helps maximize computing power and workload consolidation while meeting the growing demands of connected devices.

Similarly, SOF was developed from Intel’s leadership with system-level software. SOF was inspired by our experience enabling audio components and capabilities for client devices built using our silicon and customized by system vendors. SOF includes an open source audio digital signal processing (DSP) firmware and a software development kit that offers generic, modular, and real-time audio firmware infrastructure and tools.

SOF provides a fully-customizable open source code base firmware for all Intel hardware platforms. It allows developers to debug and resolve audio or signal processing issues more quickly. Developers can also evaluate tradeoffs and optimize footprint and performance by adding only the functionality needed for their products. Full code transparency provides the ability to improve security by independently assessing code quality. SOF firmware and drivers are platform- and architecture-agnostic, which simplifies porting and integration with other hardware platforms and DSP architectures.

By launching the ACRN and SOF communities, these projects encourage industry collaboration that will help speed innovation. The Linux Foundation will host both projects under neutral governance as they evolve and grow. You can learn more on their respective websites: ACRN and SOF.

I hope you’ll join the community and get involved in contributing code and documentation to the projects.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

View a replay of Imad’s 2018 Embedded Linux* Conference keynote announcing ACRN* and the Sound Open Firmware (SOF) projects.