The chip vendor partnered with Canonical to deliver Ubuntu software images built for IoT chips with adjustable hardware.

Callum Cyrus

December 17, 2021

2 Min Read
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The publishers of one of the most popular Linux products has launched a version of the open source operating system for IoT chips with adaptive designs.

Canonical, publishers of the Ubuntu operating system, has struck a partnership deal with flexible chip maker Xilinx to devise an enterprise-grade version for adaptive system-on-a-chip products. The new build is available for download through Ubuntu’s online repository.

System-on-a-chip products typically contain peripherals required for advanced IoT devices within a single silicon design.  In the case of adaptive SOCs, the hardware switches can be altered to transform the architecture’s performance according to software commands.

Businesses require more design flexibility to capture the opportunity presented by deep-learning applications like robotics, medical imaging and automated driver assistance, which typically contain more parameters than earlier sensor programs.

Xilinx, which primarily supplies programmable chip products, is betting the momentum will drive demand for more versatile architectures across enterprise IoT verticals.

Another consideration at play is that operating systems typically have to be moulded to fit the IoT hardware design, which costs money and puts considerable pressure on delivery.

That presents a quandary for IoT project management, who must balance the need for efficient lead times with the overriding objective of meeting the enterprise’s IoT goals.

IoT chip market leader Arm is targeting a similar pain point, having launched a virtual development framework to reduce project lead times in October.

By partnering with Canonical, Xilinx hopes to lure more IoT projects to its adjustable hardware projects by providing software features from the Ubuntu library, which includes an IoT app store with automatic updates and 10 years of vendor support.

“Xilinx has been on a journey to simplify embedded design while empowering developers with the capability of adaptive computing,.” said Chetan Khona, senior director for industrial, vision, health care and sciences at Xilinx.

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