Ubuntu Linux firm Canonical has created an ARM 64 developer environment for projects targeting the Internet of Things (IoT), pairing its slimmed-down Ubuntu Core software platform with a DragonBoard single-board computer from Arrow Electronics.
The new developer kit was announced on Canonical's Ubuntu Insights blog, and will be the first ARM-based 64-bit development board and SoC available for Ubuntu Core. It offers an affordable yet powerful and flexible environment for building IoT projects that can scale from ARM-based servers to embedded solutions, the firm said.
Ubuntu Core is a minimum footprint operating system that Canonical developed initially as part of an initiative to develop an Ubuntu smartphone, but which is versatile enough to be used in the cloud as a host for operating containers or in embedded applications such as devices targeting the IoT.
One of the key features of Ubuntu Core is the Snappy mechanism for delivering updates to the operating system and application code. This is transactional, meaning that updates can be applied easily or rolled back if required.
Meanwhile, the hardware side of the equation is the DragonBoard 410c from Arrow Electronics. This is a compact single-board computer about the size of a credit card, like the popular Raspberry Pi devices, and is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with four of ARM's Cortex-A53 64-bit CPU cores.
Canonical explained that the Dragonboard 410c effectively forms a reference platform for Ubuntu Core on the ARM 64-bit architecture. This means that future updates of the OS will be available first for the DragonBoard 410c, ensuring users a stable development environment.
"Adopting the DragonBoard 410c as our ARM 64-bit reference platform is proof of our commitment to the open platform community surrounding the board. Via snappy Ubuntu Core and the DragonBoard 410c, developers will have an affordable, accessible and flexible way to create new IoT solutions," said Jon Melamut, Canonical's vice president for commercial devices operations.
The DragonBoard 410c has 1GB of memory and 8GB of eMMC flash storage, along with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, I/O including two USB ports, SPI and I2C interfaces and a number of general purpose I/O pins for connecting hardware.
Canonical said that the Ubuntu Core image for the Snapdragon 410 will be available for download from the website of the Linaro Linux project's 96Boards programme. The DragonBoard 410c itself is available from Arrow Electronics for £53.
V3's sister site Computing is holding an Internet of Things Business Summit in London on 12 May. Visit the event page to sign up.
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