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A Letter to the Industry

BY Imad Sousou ON Aug 26, 2018

Over the last several months, I have talked with many people in the industry and at Intel about a huge need we are seeing. When autonomous robots begin to work alongside people in factories, safety is critical. When cars begin to drive on our streets or drones fly without a human, safety becomes paramount. Today manufacturers are talking about building use-specific operating systems from the ground up that meet a targeted safety need. That kind of solution is expensive and not sustainable. Instead, I believe we need a Linux* OS distribution that can be used in safety-compliant solutions.

At Intel, we have started to tackle this important challenge and are excited about the possibilities. We are developing an open source project to help address this need: the Intel® Safety Critical Project for Linux* OS. This project will help manufacturers of autonomous and safety critical systems move from a system that sometimes  requires thousands of microcontrollers and electronic control units, to one that takes advantage of the power, performance, and safety of a multicore solution.

Our safety critical project will be based on the Clear Linux* Project. We believe this is the best option because the Clear Linux* project provides an advanced way to develop and distribute an operating system designed to provide:

  • A binary distribution model
  • Packages aggregated into “functional bundles,”  allowing for efficient scaling
  • Software updates built into the core of the operating system distribution architecture enabling faster  delivery of critical fixes like security updates
  • Single number OS versioning that ensures reproducibility and traceability to the file level to support functional safety argumentation and certifiability
  • Highly automated workflow and release process to reduce cost to develop, deploy, support and maintain an OS.

The Intel Safety Critical Project for Linux OS will make it easier to create safe solutions by applying traceable rigor to the open source component selection process that includes extended analysis and targeted testing. In addition, when needed the distribution will include components developed using a traditional compliant development methodology.

Join me next week at the Open Source Summit in Vancouver as I talk about the importance and value both of these new open source projects bring to the table in developing the next generation of devices.

We are committed to posting updated code, tools, and documentation on this page as we move through the development process. My ask to open source developers and the industry is to join us in tackling this challenge head on so together we can propel industries forward by delivering critically safe standards and solutions. We know this won’t be easy, and we look forward to working with you.