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Fujitsu brings fast-boot Linux to the infotainment domain

October 05, 2010 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

Fujitsu brings fast-boot Linux to the infotainment domain

In automotive electronics, operating systems known from the general IT hitherto had to chance to get established. Among other problems, their boot times were far too long. Now Fujitsu Semiconductors has created a Linux derivative designed to boot fast enough.

Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe has announced the implementation of a new Linux fast-boot technology in Fujitsu's MB86R0x-SoC devices, known as the 'Jade' family. Based on Fujitsu's proprietary 90nm CMOS process technology, 'Jade' devices are, according to the vendor, optimized for applications requiring high CPU performance combined with sophisticated 2D/3D graphics. They feature the ARM926EJ-S, a fully synthesizable processor with a Jazelle technology (Java Acceleration) enhanced 32-bit RISC CPU, 16kB instruction cache, 16kB data cache, 16kB ITCM, 16kB DTCM and a memory management unit (MMU).

According to Markus Mierse, Director of Fujitsu’s Graphics Competence Center (GCC), Linux is becoming popular in automotive applications since it offers several advantages, but had some shortcomings due to its boot time which used to be too long for automotive applications. With its Linux fast-boot solutions the company now hopes to get Linux into the vehicles: The operating system is said to be ready to accept user commands in less than 1 second after the reset button has been pushed. The technology is based on a standard Linux kernel, which enables Fujitsu and its partners to leverage from fast innovation cycles of the Linux operating system.

With its Linux / SoC combo, the company aims at the infotainment domain, currently a hot battlefield in automotive electronics. New consumer devices such as the Apple iPod can make rapid impact and create high demand, and car manufacturers want to equip their vehicles with interfaces to these latest devices. The automotive industry needs to find ways to reduce costs and re-use code from other parts of the industry. The open source model of Linux allows drivers and modules to be provided quickly by all the developers working on a project, for faster innovation and development of new applications. But Linux not only has to enable the rapid delivery of fully-featured solutions for the automotive industry, it also has to provide a solid, proven core that is stable for embedded applications and can be accepted by both the automotive OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers.

Key to the strategy of Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe is the forging of strategic partnerships with specialist companies that have expertise in important technologies. Fujitsu and its partners bridge between hardware and software based on a huge background in automotive applications and offer its very special knowledge and expertise.

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