Fresh Perspective: Galileo IoT

Fresh Perspective: Galileo IoT

Recently (less than 2 weeks) my management asked me to evaluate the Galileo platform for an embedded project.  To be honest, we are not interested in Galileo other than as a reference design.  We have absolutely no interest in Arduino.  At a high level we are interested in the Quark and Intel's IoT messaging (because it aligns with our objectives).

The following is a list of questions and observations:

  • When will the IoT developer platform be released (I am under the impression the current environment is a "sneak peak"... maybe a Beta)?

I was befuddled when I learned the development environment is a complete Operating System and not just development tools.  There must be reasons... I'd appreciate an articulation of that logic. {I'm not opposed... just confused}

You must be kidding? {That was my reaction to the 3.5 mm stereo jack for RS232 coms}... It would have been less expensive and easier for end-users if you would have just used a 3 pin header. (Although I did notice that Galileo brings the RTS and CTS to the MAX3232 but does not bring these signals out of the board... a few more pins on that header). I hacked my Galileo and removed the stereo jack and replaced with header pins.

The instructions in "Intel-DevKit-Tutorial-Guide.pdf" are illuminating (that is the first time I understood the development environment was Debian Linux... and I had watched the intro video a couple of times... maybe I'm not too bright).  The instructions for setting up a VM are overly complex (and unnecessary).  By reading through this forum, searching some blogs and running experiments (trial and error) I was able to configure a VM dev environment. (Recommendation: Review the docs and update)

  • Is there a way to update the Galileo firmware from the IoT dev. environment? (or just the Arduino IDE?)
  • Is there an expectation that the IoT dev env is not stand alone (some operations are expected to be completed in the Arduino IDE?)

I'm not real clear on the purpose for the "iot-devkit-mmcblkp0.bz2" download file:

  • Is the Linux Image I should use to boot Galileo from when using the IoT dev environment?
  • It feels like there is a top level document missing that would greatly ease a new user's entrance into Intel's IoT world: Technical Overview
  • Stuff like: The IoT dev environment is an Operating System, that Operating System may be run stand alone on your computer or may be run as a virtual machine.  Here are the files and this is what they are used for.  Here are the list of things you should purchase before you begin development (uSD Card, RS232 cables... ).  The intro video is a little misleading.. it looks like there is a bunch of equipment in the off the shelf box that were not in my Galileo box off the shelf (Mouser purchase)

I have no doubts (concerns) about the Quark; I am concerned that the IoT developer platform is not ready for production work. I'd like some opinions on this topic:

  • We are planning on releasing our product this year (summer would be good). Are we too early with the IoT developer platform for production use?

Setting up a dev environment for an embedded platform should take the time to download + 1 hour (max). It took me three days... and maybe I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I am experienced (old). 99% of the issues would have been resolved by better documentation. (Really do appreciate the info in this forum... but I should only need to come here for advanced topics IMHO)

  • Noticed that both the GNU and Intel ICC compilers are included in the IoT dev platform. When to use which?

That cute USB B mini jack for the USB host needs an adapter... I think Amazon calls them OTG adapters. {Those folks are sending deliveries daily as I discover these little necessities}

I don't understand the relationship between Yocto Projects and Wind River (I know Wind River contributed to Yocto) but we need a commercial solution and I would assume that implies we need to purchase something from Wind River? While Intel marketing have done an excellent job getting the word out & re-energizing the Internet of Things discussion it would be good to know which products we should be planning on purchasing.

I realize it might sound like I am complaining... not my intention; trying to help. My management is in a hurry (nothing new) and I thought others would have similar questions but I don't have time to perfect my feedback.

 

 

 

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Hi Colorado,

thanks for your valuable feedback!

Some answers right away:

@ VM image: feel free to Yocto build on your host (http://git.yoctoproject.org/cgit/cgit.cgi/meta-intel-iot-devkit/) and work with your favorite IDE / tools - the VM image is meant for your convenience & ease of use. It contains Eclipse environment, Intel System Studio, ... which allows to directly build for your Galileo target w/o setting up a cross-compilation environment yourself

 

@ updating firmware: can be done in EFI via serial

@ standalone: devkit can run fully Arduino unaware

@ iot-devkit-mmcblkp0.bz2: that's the bzipped Yocto raw image you can dd on the sd card. Devkit is using this image to run Galileo

@ technical overview: overview of what? Quark? Galileo? Devkit contents?

@ video: video was referring to IoT devkit boxes which were used at MWC hackathon event. Sorry for the confusion

@product: do you plan a custom design?

@Windriver vs Yocto - which relation are your referring to? I think you can run e.g. VxWorks on Galileo rather than the Yocto from devkit. Is it that you are referring to?

Thanks!

@ technical overview => The answers you supplied form a basis for a good overview.  It never occurred to me that the developer platform was optional (I do appreciate that I don't need to setup a cross compilation tool chain). It's not that the information isn't available.. its just not available in one place :) I like to have the big picture before I dive in... with IoT I find that by diving in I am able to build the big picture (kind of backwards).

@product => Yes, we have a custom h/w & s/w design in progress. H/w design is expected to be complete in May and s/w a couple months later. Then we will run some field trials and hope to release by the end of the year.

@Wind River / Yocto => I don't know enough to make recommendations to my org on what to expect (purchases). I'd like to know what the options are and where to go for pricing & acquisition.

@Wind River Linux vs Yocto.  In many ways the relationship is similar to Redhat and Fedora. One is pay to play/stable/commercially supported and the other is bleeding edge/changes often/community supported. That being said there is no launched product from Wind River Linux that supports the Quark, at this time.

For more info the generic sales@windriver.com will be able to help or the http://www.windriver.com/company/contact/ page has local office locations and phone numbers.  

@updating firmware.  While you can do it via EFI and Serial, you already found the problem with the serial.. I would recommend the Arduino IDE as the download includes the firmware capsule, and we recently updated 100 boards without a problem.  Finding the command line syntax for the EFI update may take you longer than downloading the Arduino IDE.  One thing to be aware of is that the SD card image for IoT does not support the Arduino IDE, so remove the SD card to connect via USB.

 

 

 

Stewart,

Very helpful info!!

@firmware => I really do appreciate the inside scoop which will save tons of time and frustration.

Could anyone elaborate on Released status.. ready for production? (I saw a video where an air conditioning company built a production product... at least that is the impression that was left with my management).

You all are amazing... a "real time" IoT community.  Much appreciated!

Quote:

Colorado wrote:

@ technical overview => The answers you supplied form a basis for a good overview.  It never occurred to me that the developer platform was optional (I do appreciate that I don't need to setup a cross compilation tool chain). It's not that the information isn't available.. its just not available in one place :) I like to have the big picture before I dive in... with IoT I find that by diving in I am able to build the big picture (kind of backwards).

You can generate a typical toolchain 'installer' with yocto although we don't explicitely distribute it you should be able to generate it quite quickly from sstate after a large download. See this thread : http://software.intel.com/en-us/forums/topic/506642 . There will be documentation uploaded soon that should clear this up!

Quote:

Colorado wrote:

@Wind River / Yocto => I don't know enough to make recommendations to my org on what to expect (purchases). I'd like to know what the options are and where to go for pricing & acquisition.

There are some cute videos from the yocto project that explain some of the advantages of yocto and what wind river linux is. http://vimeo.com/24743626 . Note that when we mention Wind River as part of this project we are talking about VxWorks (which is not shipping in this 'sneak preview'). Whilst I expect Wind River Linux will have quark support if it doesn't already, we do not provide it as part of the devkit. You'd have to talk to them directly to get more details.

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