Not too long ago even in the Open Source community there was a debate going on whether a general purpose kernel such as Linux could be converted into a real-time kernel or not. Meanwhile it has become clear and is generally accepted, that this is, in fact, possible and that such an adapted Linux kernel is suitable in a wide variety of industrial real-time applications. To convert the Linux kernel into a real-time kernel was, among others, an important rationale when founding OSADL. Since January 2016, the Linux Foundation has been taking care of coordinating the real-time development and raising funds for it (Linux Foundation RTL Project). OSADL is contributing to this project as a Gold Member and, as such, representing the automation industry in the consortium.
Nevertheless, the availability alone of an adapted Linux kernel is not sufficient. Continuous tests on a large number of systems have to be carried out in order to establish stability and reliability. This is one of the reasons why the OSADL QA Farm was founded.
Currently, more than 100 different embedded systems with ARM, Mips, PowerPC and x86 processors are continuously tested and monitored in the OSADL QA Farm. Special attention is drawn to a complete documentation of any error conditions which eventually are made available to the kernel developers. All systems are subject to long-term monitoring of numerous variables such as benchmarking, mass storage, network, processes, real-time, sensors, time synchronization and power consumption. The results can either be treated confidentially or made publicly available at the OSADL website. In any case, the data can be used to optimize hard and software systems.
What are the reasons for companies to have their devices tested and monitored in the OSADL QA Farm?
- Ideal conditions through already existing infrastructure
- Easy distinction between systematic and individual errors
- Reliable selection of the most suitable board for the respective use case
- Independent external test instance
Some of the systems have now been in the OSADL QA Farm for more than five years. After this period of time, with 200 million daily single measurements of the preemption latency, data of significantly more than 10¹¹ cycles are available, thus ensuring a high confidence of the results.
For more information please go to: qa.osadl.org