Back from the Embededded Linux Conference: selection of talks #3

After a first and a second episode, our series of blog posts with our selection of talks we liked at the latest Embedded Linux Conference continues. Read on to discover the last 3 talks that we enjoyed and decided to summarize and highlight for you.

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Back from the Embededded Linux Conference: selection of talks #2

After a first episode, our series of blog posts with our selection of talks we liked at the latest Embedded Linux Conference continues. Read on to discover 4 more talks that we enjoyed, and decided to summarize and highlight for you.

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Back from the Embededded Linux Conference: selection of talks #1

As we wrote in a previous blog post, 11 engineers from Bootlin attended the Embedded Linux Conference in Seattle in April. We have a tradition after such an event to share with you a selection of talks that we have found useful. In order to achieve this, we ask each of our engineers who participated to the conference to pick one talk they would like to highlight, and write a short summary/feedback about the talk. In this first installment of this series of blog posts, we’ll share our selection of 4 first talks.

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Bootlin engineer Louis Chauvet at Linux Display hackfest

2024 Display Next HackfestFrom May 14 to May 16, Igalia is organizing the 2024 Display Next Hackfest, an event where talented developers will gather to explore the latest technologies and trends in the Linux Display Stack.

As explained on the event website:

It has an unconference format where participants propose topics for presenting, roadmapping, discussing and examining together. It aims to unblock bottlenecks, design solutions, raise pitfalls and accommodate the needs of each layer of the display stack. Participants should feel free to propose any topic which interests them. Some topics from the previous edition include: HDR and color management, frame timing and variable refresh rate (VRR), atomic flips, testing and CI, etc.

Bootlin engineer Louis Chauvet, who has started contributing to the Linux kernel VKMS driver, and is starting to work on IGT and the latest version of the Chamelium CI testing hardware, will participate to this hackfest, together with many developers from Igalia, Redhat, Intel, Google, RaspberryPi, AMD, ARM, Collabora and more. This will allow us to discuss current developments and topics, and meet the relevant developers of the Linux graphics/display community.

Our talks at Embedded Open Source Summit 2024

The Embedded Open Source Summit 2024 took place on Apr 16-18 in Seattle, with many talks on a wide range of embedded Linux topics. 11 engineers from Bootlin participated to this conference and four of us gave talks, for which we are happy to publish the slides and videos in this blog post.

Bootlin team at Embedded Open Source Summit 2024
Bootlin team at Embedded Open Source Summit 2024

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Bootlin at Open Source Experience and SIDO in Paris, Dec 6-7

Paris will be hosting next week-end a combined event composed of the Open Source Experience and SIDO, the first dedicated to open-source technologies, and the second to IoT, AI, digital infrastructure and cybersecurity.

Open Source Experience

Thomas Petazzoni, Bootlin CEO, will be representing Bootlin at these events, and will also be participating to the round table Embedded systems security: a technical and organizational approach on December 7, at 2:30 PM UTC+1. The abstract of the round table is:

Security is a major issue. Embedded systems are increasingly complex and connected, making them more vulnerable. The aim of this round table is to discuss best practices for guaranteeing security

Thomas will be speaking with Daniel Fages (Freelance), Eloi Bail (Savoir Faire Linux) and Jean-Charles Verdié (Canonical), and the round table will be moderated by Cédric Ravalec (Smile).

If you’re interested in discussing career, business or partnership opportunities with Bootlin, do not hesitate to contact Thomas Petazzoni ahead of the event to schedule a meeting.

Back from Netdev 0x17

At Bootlin, we focus on Embedded Linux development and support, and these embedded devices often have a network interface, be-it an Ethernet port, a Wireless chip or some other kind of communication channel that falls under the Linux Networking Stack’s framework.

So it’s always interesting to see what the rest of the community is working on, and meet in real life people we interact with on the netdev mailing list.

That’s why this year, Alexis Lothoré and Maxime Chevallier flew to Vancouver to participate to the Netdev Conference, a 5 days event organised by the Netdev Society, a small non-profit run by volunteers dedicated to holding this event.

Bootlin at Netdev

Most talks at Netdev are not directly covering topics we’re actively working on, but it’s always refreshing to see these new exciting technologies that could trickle their way down to the embedded world a few years from now. It is also always pretty interesting to stay up to date about challenges encountered by other parts of the networking industry, at scales way different than the ones we are used to.

We learned for example what CXL is about, what it brings and the effort that are made to design new networking hardware around this technology to change the way we think about datacenter networking.

When we attended Netdev 0x13 in 2019, QUIC was one of the hot topics. This year, Homa was under the spotlight with talks on what it is, and how this new protocol could address some of TCP’s problems.

Like all previous editions, we learned all the progress that were made with TC and its future, new ways of bypassing the kernel stack, BPF integration in the kernel, along with XDP which continued to be more and more powerful.

Another hot topic in the kernel is the introduction of the Rust language, and the network subsystem is a pretty relevant target for the new features brought by the language. As a consequence, Rust subsystem maintainers Miguel Ojeda and Wedson Almeida Filho gave an overview of Rust benefits compared to traditional C code, and then showed a step-by-step implementation of a kernel-side TCP server module. While this example is not perfectly representative of classic network-related drivers we usually write, it was a nice showcase of current state of kernel APIs abstractions in Rust.

We also discovered the new use-case that is now driving most of the datacenter networking efforts, which is without surprise AI and Machine Learning. Turns out, if you want your ChatGPT to answer up-to-date replies without having to wait for too long, you need a powerful and well-organized datacenter for the training part, and networking engineering takes a big part in it to keep all those GPUs fed at a relevant pace.

This lead to the devmem TCP effort, which started to feel a bit familiar for us as it uses dma-buf, which we also sometimes use on multimedia pipelines. The ML and AI topic was introduced to us by the wonderful Keynote session given by Manya Ghobadi, who got all the audience captivated by how AI and ML works, what AI workloads requires in terms of network traffic scheduling, datacenter topology and computing hardware that uses optical computing.

On the final day, we even had a visit from Jakub Kicinski (one of the co-maintainers of Linux networking tree), presenting what he had been working on, and gave us an update on the netdev development statistics (and basically, his main point is that we do need to review more patches).

For the first time, there was a talk from Bootlin at netdev, as Maxime presented one of the topics he’s been working on lately : Improving multi-PHY and multi-port interfaces support. Although it was one of the only talks focusing on the low-levels aspects of the Ethernet stack, it triggered some discussions and interest from the community, which will help further improving the ongoing work.

The slides and videos of the event will be published at some point in the future, we will for sure mention this to our readers when it becomes available.

We’ll conclude this short feedback by thanking once again the Netdev Board members, organizers, speakers and the audience for this great event.

We’ll come back 🙂

Bootlin at Capitole du Libre, November 18-19, Toulouse, France

Capitole du LibreCapitole du Libre is THE open-source/free-software event that takes place each year in Toulouse, France. Turns out that half of Bootlin’s team is precisely based in Toulouse, and obviously we are big fan of open-source/free-software, and therefore we have always supported, contributed and participated to Capitole du Libre in one way or another. Bootlin’s CEO Thomas Petazzoni is actually one of the founders of the Capitole du Libre event, back in 2007-2008.

This year, Capitole du Libre will take place on November 18-19, as usual at ENSEEIHT, an engineer school located in the heart of Toulouse.

Bootlin is first financially supporting the event by being one of the Platine sponsors. Thanks to this, we will have a booth at the event, so if you want to meet us, coming to Capitole du Libre is a good idea.

Secondly, Bootlin is also contributed to the event by having 4 of its engineers give talks:

Attending Capitole du Libre is free, so we definitely recommend all free-software/open-source users, developers, contributors to join this great event, and we look forward to meeting the local open-source community at Capitole du Libre!

Yocto Project Summit 2023.11: 2 Bootlin talks

The Yocto Project regularly organizes an-online conference called the Yocto Project Summit. The next edition, Yocto Project Summit 2023.11 will take place on November 28-30, from 12:00 to 18:00 UTC, and at just $40, attending is really affordable.

Yocto Project Summit

Bootlin is not only a big user of the Yocto Project, but also a significant contributor to the project, so we’re happy to announce that our two talk proposals for the Yocto Project Summit 2023.11 have been accepted. Bootlin engineers will therefore deliver the following talks:

If you are a user of the Yocto Project, or intend to become one, we can only recommend you to attend this event. And of course, if you need training on Yocto Project, or engineering/support services, do not hesitate to contact us!

Bootlin at Netdev 0x17, THE Technical Conference on Linux Networking

VancouverBootlin will be at the Netdev 0x17 conference, subtitled THE Technical Conference on Linux Networking. It is indeed one of the major event for developers working on the networking side of the Linux kernel to gather and discuss current and future topics. This year, the conference will take place from Oct 30 to Nov 3 in Vancouver, Canada.

Bootlin is involved in a number of Linux kernel networking developments: development and/or improvement of Linux kernel drivers for Ethernet MACs, Ethernet PHYs, WiFi chips, support for SFP, for Ethernet switches, for PTP offloading, for MACsec offloading, improvements to the 802.15.4 stack, and more. As such, it is very relevant for us to meet the Linux kernel networking community, present our work, and understand where things are heading to in the networking stack.

Our engineers Maxime Chevallier and Alexis Lothoré will both attend the conference. In addition, Maxime will be presenting a talk titled Improving multi-phy and multi-port interfaces:

This talk will describe current use-cases where one MAC is connected to multiple PHYs (chained, or in parallel) and multiple front-facing ports, either through multiple PHYs or through a single multi-port PHY. There exist support for some of these scenarios already, but it is limited by the fact that the PHY device is hidden behind a net_device from userspace’s point of view. We therefore can’t configure an individual PHY when multiple PHYs are present on a link (through SFP transceivers for example), and selecting which front-facing port to use is also limited. This talk will describe ongoing work to support these complex topologies, the challenges faced and expected improvements.

We look forward to attending this event in a few weeks time!