Microchip Joins The Linux Foundation and Automotive Grade Linux

CHANDLER, AZ — Microchip Technology Inc. announces that it has joined The Linux Foundation and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a common, Linux-based software stack for the connected car. Additionally, Microchip has begun enabling designers to use the Linux operating system with its portfolio of MOST® network interface controllers.

IHS projects that by 2020, Linux will lead the estimated 130 million unit in-vehicle-infotainment (IVI) market with a 41.3 percent share, taking 53.7 million units. Linux adoption is growing because it provides automotive designers with an open-source platform that allows them to maximize the reuse of existing work, while making their own incremental improvements. Additionally, AGL was built on top of a well-tested and stable Linux stack that is already being used in embedded and mobile devices. The combination of MOST technology and Linux provides a solution for the increasing complexity of IVI and advanced-driver-assistance systems (ADAS), accelerating development via open-source software and the automotive-industry-proven MOST networking technology.

The MOST network technology is a time-division-multiplexing (TDM) network that transports different data types on separate channels at low latency and high quality-of-service. Microchip's MOST network interface controllers offer separate hardware interfaces for different data types. In addition to the straight streaming of audio or video data via dedicated hardware interfaces, Microchip's new Linux driver enables easy and harmonized access to all data types. Besides IP-based communication over the standard Linux Networking Stack, all MOST network data types are accessible via the regular device nodes of the Linux Virtual File System (VFS). Additionally, high-quality and multi-channel synchronous audio data can be seamlessly delivered by the Advanced Linux Sound System Architecture (ALSA) subsystem.

"A fast and reliable network infrastructure is necessary for us to achieve the promise of the connected car," said Dan Cauchy, general manager of automotive, The Linux Foundation. "To integrate this into the architecture for an open, common automotive platform will benefit the global car market. We're excited for Microchip to bring this expertise to AGL so we can think holistically about how the car and all its components can work seamlessly together."

"Microchip is excited to contribute to AGL's success, by sharing our long-term and in-depth MOST networking experience," said Dan Termer, vice president of Microchip's Automotive Information Systems Division. "Our new MOST technology Linux driver enables developers to utilize the proven, automotive-standard MOST network technology in a Linux environment, which will further accelerate innovation for ADAS and infotainment systems."


Support is available for beta customers today, via a beta version of Microchip's modular Linux driver, and the full version is expected for broad release in October. For additional information, visit http://www.microchip.com/MOST-Controllers-010615a

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