BeagleBoard.org is seeking to be accepted as a mentoring organization in the Google Summer of Code for 2010. We will be filing a mentoring organization application by 2PM CST on March 12. If accepted as a mentoring organization, students will be applying March 18-March 29.
For a quick view of how the BeagleBoard relates to the open source development community, take a listen to Mans and Koen's interview with the Linux Outlaws. The BeagleBoard is a popular open-source hardware project utilizing the first broadly available ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Over 10,000 people are experimenting with the BeagleBoard today to bring their ideas for the future of everywhere-computing to life and you can be one of them.
Because the BeagleBoard:
- utilizes a complex SoC with 3 primary processing cores,
- one for general-purpose activities such as running Linux and applications (ARM Cortex-A8),
- one for running real-time signal processing algorithms (C64x+ VLIW fixed-point DSP), and
- one for rendering 3D graphics (Imagination SGX), and
- is specifically designed for low-power (typically running under 2W at full processing load), and
- has a very small foot-print that includes standard peripheral expansion like USB,
there are many opportunities to explore challenges in computer science in areas of
- optimal execution of applications/algorithms on additional instruction set architectures like ARM or C6000,
- splitting tasks appropriately between processing cores to minimize task execution time and power consumption, and
- integrating computation into new form-factors.
Students and mentors
Student proposals can create projects from the following ideas or propose their own project based on their own ideas. From reading about previous Google Summer of Code projects, the key to success is being passionate about your project, so propose something that is extremely interesting to you, even if it not on the list. We will be glad to help students develop ideas into projects on the BeagleBoard IRC or the BeagleBoard mailing list. There are many more ideas of what can be done and we will match projects to students interest and help scope the proposal to something that can be completed in the Summer of Code time-frame.
There are more than 100 exiting projects list at http://beagleboard.org/project. If you are interested in one of those projects, talk with the project members to see if there are any aspects of their projects with which they can help you contribute.
- 1 Welcome!
- 2 General requirements
- 3 Fundamental infrastructure projects
- 4 Projects for heterogeneous multicore processing
- 5 Multimedia and user experience projects
- 6 Hardware + software projects
- 7 To be classified
- 8 Raw ideas that need to be fleshed out
- 9 Other possible mentors
All projects have the following basic requirements:
- The project must be registered on http://beagleboard.org/project.
- All newly generated materials must be released under an open source license.
- Individual students shall retain copyright on their works.
- Source code generated during the project must be released on gitorious.org, github.com, repo.or.cz, sourceforge, code.google.com, gforge.ti.com, or omapzoom.org.
- The registration on http://beagleboard.org/project must include an RSS feed with project announcements and updates at every milestone. Sources for the RSS feed should be blogger.com, wordpress.com, or some other established blog hosting service with known reliability.
- To help you to break your project down into manageable chunks and also help the project's mentors to better support your efforts, weekly project status reports should be e-mailed to the project's mentors and the organization administrator (Jason Kridner). Each status report should outline:
- what was accomplished that week,
- any issues that prevented that week's goals from being completed, and
- your goals for the next week.
Fundamental infrastructure projects
These projects fundamentally improve support of existing open source projects for ARM-based devices in general and the BeagleBoard in specific, bringing the broad body of high-level open source applications into smaller, lower-cost, lower-power systems that can go anywhere.
Implement, configure and document a complete open source based JTAG debugging development chain for ARM Cortex A8 in OMAP3 used on Beagle Board. This includes final port of open source JTAG software OpenOCD for OMAP3 on Beagle, and then configure and document all software (and hardware) components involved. This could look like:
ARM Cortex A8 <-> OMAP3 <-> BeagleBoard <-> Flyswatter (*) <-> OpenOCD <-> GDB <-> Eclipse (CDT)
(*) Note: Flyswatter is used as example JTAG dongle here. All OpenOCD JTAG dongles able to deal with 1.8V and configure EMUx pins correctly can be used.
Goal: Able to single step kernel code using OpenOCD, GDB, and Eclipse
Existing project: OpenOCD
Hardware skills: Able to monitor logic-level digital signals
Software skills: C, ARMv7 assembly
Possible mentors: Dirk Behme, _TBD_
Linux kernel improvements
Several improvements are desired in the Linux kernel to make it more useful for embedded/device applications.
Existing project: linux-omap
Software skills: C, ARMv7 assembly (desired), Linux kernel driver development
Possible mentors: Kevin Hilman, Tony Lindgren, Khasim Syed Mohammed, Russell King
More detailed kernel improvement ideas
USB device audio support
The Linux USB gadget infrastructure doesn't have audio device class support (but Linux does have USB host audio support. There is some work on a gadget MIDI audio driver. Some work has been done over at Blackfin, but is reported as not working very well. Getting USB isochronous endpoint, gadget audio driver connected to audio on BeagleBoard would be beneficial to all OMAP3 isochronous USB needs, better isochronous gadget support in Linux (there are no standard gadgets test for isochronous endpoints), and a prove out a real gadget driver that requires isochronous endpoints. Anyone wanting to learn about communication protocols, a well designed layered communication implementation, and a chance to work at the driver level will enjoy this project.
Possible mentors: Swami
SYS/Link support in the mainline kernel
Possible mentors: Mugdha Kamoolkar
Improve bootloader support
There are many bootloaders available for the BeagleBoard and other ARM embedded devices, but all can be given improvements for ease-of-use for new users. Places where many bootloaders fall down is in reliance on a limited set of user inputs (such as only the serial port) or not connecting to every boot device (such as a USB flash drive). They also might rely on commands that are difficult to understand or not familiar to the user.
Goal: Create a bootloader, or a set of bootloaders, that:
- is open source without requiring giving away rights over the operating system or applications,
- can be built using open source tools,
- can be loaded from NAND, SD, USB, or serial port directly by the ROM code and executed,
- provides a user interface to Windows and Linux PCs over both the USB OTG and serial ports,
- provides a user interface to the user via keyboard, mouse, and monitor,
- loads quickly from the ROM and can load an operating system quickly, and
- can load operating systems from and format new SD cards and USB flash drives with bootable copies of itself.
Existing projects: Tianocore, U-boot, u-boot utilities, X-load bootloader-loader, Barebox and Qi
Additional references: PuppyBits
Hardware skills: Configure hardware at boot
Software skills: C, ARMv7 assembly
More detailed bootloader improvement ideas
This is the bootloader shipped with the BeagleBoard today. We like it, but we don't love it. Because the development is moving to GPLv3, many commercial developers are likely to be frightened away from it at some point. Still, it would be nice to improve some of its fundamental short-comings on the BeagleBoard, such as:
- Add support for the USB host port (to connect a hub, keyboard, and mouse).
- Add USB Ethernet adapter support.
- Add USB OTG port (to connect to a PC to download code). This works on a branch, but isn't in good shape for getting accepted upstream.
- Add DVI-D display.
- Add USB mass-storage class host support (for flash drives).
- Add a boot configuration header to eliminate the need for x-loader.
Possible mentors: Jason Kridner, Khasim Syed Mohammed, Steve Sakoman, Dirk Behme
It is unlikely that any has more standards momentum and flexibility than the TianoCore implementation of the UEFI boot specification. EFI bootloaders are further interesting in their ability to run EFI byte code (EBC) applications. There is already basic support of the BeagleBoard in TianoCore, but the functionality is a bit limited and the build instructions currently rely on non-free tools. At least the following improvements are required:
- Add support for the USB host port (to connect a hub, keyboard, and mouse).
- Add USB Ethernet adapter support.
- Add USB OTG port (to connect to a PC to download code).
- Add DVI-D display.
- Add USB mass-storage class host support for flash drives.
- Add USB device serial adapter emulation.
- Build with GCC.
- Performance optimizations.
All of the desired functionality is already demonstrated in Linux, one of the other boot-loaders, or in one of the additional references above.
It has already been shown that the Barebox bootloader can be scaled very reasonably down to something that can fit into the on-chip memory of the OMAP3, without using the DRAM. Maintaining this sort of scalability can be critical to providing the fastest possible boot times.
Possible mentors: Nishanth Menon
x86 instruction emulation
Development or tuning the an emulator like qemu to emulate the x86 instruction set at a reasonable speed to run legacy x86 apps developed for another non Linux OS. Possibilities include Windows 9x, 2000, etc. An alternative approach to use qemu to emulate an x86 Linux system and run Wine up top of that. Yet another approach might be to add an emulation engine inside wine. The goals is to be able to run x86 applications. The OS is optional. Task could possibly be split between the ARM and DSP.
Hardware skills: n/a
Software skills: C, x86 assembly, ARMv7 assembly
Possible mentors: _TBD_
Projects for heterogeneous multicore processing
Vala bindings for Codec Engine algorithms
Existing project: dispTEC
Software skills: C, Vala, _TBD_
Possible mentors: Todd Fischer, Diego Dompe, _TBD_
Erlang for ARM and C6000 in heterogeneous compute environments
Erlang is a concurrent programming language that can theoretically be used to spread tasks across the processing cores on a BeagleBoard or across BeagleBoards on a network. There is a project advancing on putting Erlang on the BeagleBoard and I'm sure there will be some additional tasks that could be suitable for GSoC students.
Goal: Distribute tasks across multiple BeagleBoards and between the ARM and DSP processors on a BeagleBoard using Erlang.
Software skills: Erlang, _TBD_
Possible mentors: Marcus Taylor, _TBD_
Simple SDK for building ANSI C code for heterogeneous slave processors under Linux
Existing project: DSPEasy
Mentors: Jason Kridner, Daniel Allred
Add DSP support to GNU radio
Existing project: GNURadio
Software skills: C++
Mentors: Philip Balister
Multimedia and user experience projects
Existing project: http://beagleboard.org/project/tiesr
Possible mentors: Lorin Netsch, Sourabh Ravindran
Android running as a windowed application
Modify Android to work within an embedded system as a windowed application.
Hardware skills: n/a
Software skills: Java, C, shell scripting
Possible mentors: Jason Kridner, Katie Roberts-Hoffman, _TBD_
XBMC Media Center to Beagle Board
XBMC is an open-source, cross platform media center that would allow you to display high definition video on your TV that is streamed from your local network or the internet. XBMC on Beagle Board would would be a very low cost, low power platform that would allow the media center to literally be embedded in the TV. XBMC could run on an Ubuntu distribution of Linux and would requiring the development of OpenGL ES complaint DirectFBGL drivers.
Hardware + software projects
These are "Make"-style projects that advance general knowledge for creating and improving end products for consumers.
Multiple prototype hardware systems should be made to complete these projects. The process should be documented and be something that the mentor reproduces and that anyone else can reproduce at a reasonable expense with only some minimal hardware skills (soldering, using a volt meter, etc.).
Intelligent thermostat that utilizes weather forecasts
Improve the thermostatic control of a domestic heating system by more intelligent control based on the analysis of forecast weather. Enable remote control of the system through IP Internet access.
To be classified
Easy MP3 player based on Beagle Board. This could involve porting Rockbox (www.rockbox.org) - an open source firmware for mp3 players to Beagle Board. Additional effort would involve creating Rockbox plugins to port the audio decoders and encoders to the DSP side. MTP device class support need to be added on USB as well.
Easy Video Chat Client on Beagle Board. Porting Ekiga (www.ekiga.org) - an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. The client should be able to talk to ekiga software running on PC as well as another beagle board. Optimizations would involve porting audio and video codecs on Ekiga to DSP plus supporting video streaming over USB for webcam support.
Fast Linux boot
Beagle variant of "from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds" make a beagle that starts in < 5 seconds
Modify Beagle boot loader and OS to boot in < 5 seconds. While for desktop systems boot time might not be critical, for an embedded system like Beagle Board it often is. For an embedded system there often are external requirements which need fast boot to react properly to external events. For example external sensor signals, user input or even wake up signals in extremely deep sleep which needs re-start of operating system.
Review, select, and apply some of the known technologies for BeagleBoard.
Ideally, should come up to a GUI prompt, such as with Android, Angstrom, or Ubuntu.
Ogg Theora integration into Firefox and performance improvements
Medium Codec Engine (C64x+) implementation of Ogg Theora
There was a Neuros GSoC project to port Ogg Theora to the C64x+ last year, but it was never finished. See the Neuros project page to understand the status.
Raw ideas that need to be fleshed out
- VNC client on Beagle board: Done/Easy
Enable Virtual Network Computing on Beagle board to allow remote access to desktops. TightVNC (http://www.tightvnc.com/index.html) derived from VNC can be ported to a Embedded Linux distribution.
- Ubuntu Mobile on Beagle MID: Done/Easy
Porting ubuntu mobile version on Beagle board (http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardUbuntu) and enable support for standard applications used in standard internet tablets/MIDs - media player, browser.
- NEON Support for FFTW: Medium
FFTW is a library for calculating the Fast Fourier Transform. The current implementation of FFTW contains SIMD optimizations for several instructions sets. It should be possible to add optimizations for the NEON SIMD co-processor in the Beagle Board. FFTW is widely used in the open source sommunity and this project would make FFTW far more useful on processors with NEON instructions. The mentor is particularly interested in improving GNU Radio on the OMAP3 and improving FFTW performance would be very useful.
- Voice recognition integrated into Ubiquity: Medium
Integrate Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Ubiquity, and voice recognition on the BeagleBoard with a microphone. Use of a Wiimote could provide additional interactive capabilities.
- Audio-based translator: Medium
Utilizing voice recognition on the BeagleBoard with a microphone, submit text to Google Translator, then perform text-to-speech.
- Spectrum analyzer using the DSP: Medium
Write a program that uses the DSP to take an alsa input and to all the math and a GUI on the arm that display the realtime spectrum. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time.
- Android integrated into embedded distributions: Medium
Utilize Open Embedded to build Android including Android kernel patches and integration of accelerated multimedia. Add the 'repo' tool to Open Embedded to pull the Android open source code, apply kernel patches, and patch Android to utilize OpenGLES and GStreamer with the GStreamer-TI plugins. Android file system would co-exist with Angstrom file system.
- Cairo support for OpenVG: Medium
Cairo has an experimental openvg backend (found at http://lists.cairographics.org/archives/cairo/2008-January/012833.html). And there is some work that shows noticeable performance improvements on top level applications like webkit (http://www.atoker.com/blog/2008/01/28/accelerating-webkit-with-openvg/).
- Port MPlayer or GStreamer with DSP codec support: Medium
GStreamer is a multimedia package that handles streaming and file playback for a variety of multimedia files. The port was done for DaVinci, it would be cool to have a simiilar port done for Beagleboard. http://focus.ti.com/dsp/docs/dspsplash.tsp?contentId=3100
- USB Webcam: Medium
Implement a USB Webcam (video input) driver for the BeagleBoard.
- Ogg Vorbis audio xDM encode and decode codecs: Medium
- Implement NTFS and/or Mac OSX file systems: Medium
Read/write for SD cards and such
- Develop a ‘simple’ DSP loader Linux application that will allow user to load DSP image from ARM side: Medium
- Porting open-source codec to DSP (MadPlay, VLC, some of the mplayer codecs …: Medium
- USB sniffer: Hard
Come up with a USB sniffer solution. Idea is that the device to be sniffed is connected to the USB host port of the beagle and the beagle itself to the original host. The beagle will pass-trhu all usb data while logging that data. This could be a great help diagnosing USB problems or reengineering USB communication to a device (by logging the behaviour of a device when connected to a PC (software solutions for that exist too (usbsnoop), but a hardware solution could also support replay etc.
- Touchscreen and LCD open hardware design: Hard
BeagleBoard rev C has a new connector for attaching an LCD. The Touchscreen and LCD open hardware design project would consist of a schematic, PCB layout, and bill of materials that can be purchased easily over the Internet. On online PCB fab could make the PCBs cheaply. Only a soldering iron should be needed to populate the PCB. Once built, the user could connect the PCB to their BeagleBoard had have an LCD with touchscreen support. This project is targeted toward those interested in hardware and shouldn't require any complex software if a well supported touch screen controller chip is selected.
- OpenCV DSP acceleration: Hard
Research and implement hardware acceleration for OpenCV using the DSP on beagleboard. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time.
- Power Aware Computing APIs: Hard
Power consumption is a major problem in mobile devices. While there are many HW level power management features in processors such as the OMAP35x, SW lacks the ability to manipulate and control those features. Research those power features and implement kernel APIs to allow applications to manage their power more efficiently.
- OpenGL DSP acceleration: Hard
Research and implement OpenGL ES using the DSP on beagleboard. The DSP side needs to use xdais so other DSP programs can run at the same time. Can take a look at Vincent OpenGL ES open source implementation and add DSP to it
- Adding Sense to Beagle: Hard
Sensory aware applications are becoming more mainstream with the release of the Apple iPhone. This project would combine both HW and SW to add sensory awareness to beagle. First, additional modules such as GPS, 3-axis accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Temperature Sensors, Humidity Sensors, Pressure Sensors, etc, would be added to beagle to compliment the microphone input in order to allow sensing of the real world environment. Then SW APIs would need to be layered on top to allow easy access to the sensory data for use by applications.
- Smart Energy Monitoring Console: Hard
The ZigBee Smart Energy profile is a wireless standard for utility companies and consumers to securely monitor and manage home energy consumption by communicating directly with smart appliances that report their power usage. By interfacing the Beagle Board to an MCU and RF transceiver monitoring the energy consumption of a home and it's appliances, the Beagle Board could act as a dedicated terminal to track and control energy usage of power hungry devices.
- Wiigle Board (low cost video game platform): Hard
Develop an open source platform for video game development by generating the drivers to standard interfaces such as wireless accelerometers or game controllers. Off the self microcontrollers can be leverages to handle the I/O and RF interfaces, and the Beagle Board would handle all processing and display. By generating a clean, open standard, the community could port existing games or use this as their preferred platform for video game development. The concept could be extended by porting known console emulators (NES, Genesis, SNES, etc) to run classic games on a unified, low cost platform.
- MUSB enhancements: Hard
The MUSB block on the Beagle has a lot of potential but the driver is currently rather buggy. This project will be to fix the driver so the MUSB implementation as paired with the PHY used on the Beagle board can work reliably as a USB OTG device. This means it should be able to at least reliably go back and forth between host and device mode without a reboot by just changing from a A to a B cable AND be able to force host or device mode in software. See the Nokia N8x0 devices for a sample behavior of how software can force this. An initial estimate is code needs to be implemented to force the PHY into host or device mode as requested by SysFS.
- Real-time audio room analyzer/equalizer: Hard
Implement a real-time audio room analyzer/equalizer. Using techniques such as PN sequence “noise” correlation, analyze the acoustic characteristics of a room and adjust the multiband filter responses for the high fidelity music output, all in real-time. If the room acoustics change, even with something as transient as a person walking into the room, the filters adjust in real time to maintain the same frequency response for the specified region of the room.
- Adjustable sweet spot for a high-end sound system: Hard
Create an adjustable sweet spot for a high-end sound system. Use a sensor (thermal, webcam, whatever) to determine the placement of humans in the audience of a home theater or small concert hall. Using appropriate timing delays in all pass filters and perhaps adjusting the frequency response, provide an optimized “sweet spot” for a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 sound system. The program will be able to “move, ” “grow,” or “shrink” the sweet spot area to provide the best acoustic experience for the greatest number of audience members, or as determined by some other user selectable criteria.
- Inexpensive teleprompter that adapts to the speaker: Hard
Design a small inexpensive teleprompter that adapts to the speaker. Using an image sensor and appropriate algorithms to determine the speaker’s location and direction of gaze, use a picoprojector to project the teleprompter output on a variety of predetermined surfaces. The surfaces could be special glass as with current teleprompters or simply a convenient wall of the room! As the speaker moves their head or even moves around the stage or room, the teleprompter provides the projected output where needed.
- Protect the ears of concert-goers: Hard
Protect the ears of concert-goers. Design a wideband real-time beamformer that would direct less sound energy to the front rows of a concert hall or stadium and more to the back rows, to equalize the relative volume. Since beamforming algorithms are frequency (wavelength) dependent, the BeagleBoard would need to analyze the music content and adjust the beamforming parameters as needed in real-time.
- GPS: Hard
GPS application that works with USB GPS receiver (e.g. http://www.amazon.com/USB-12-Channel-NMEA-0183-Receiver-UT-41/dp/B000G6TYC8) or http://www.electronics-lab.com/projects/robotics/003/index.html
- Jogger’s Friend: Hard
Gather heart-rate data and GPS position information Use it to analyse the value of exercise and to suggest different exercise patterns to optimise the benefit to each individual.
- HiFi Companion: Hard
Develop analysis algorithms to characterise the acoustic properties of a room, then present suggestions to optimise those characteristics to get best results from audio systems
- Voice Scrambler: Hard
Develop algorithms for real-time scrambling of voice conversations for transmission across unsedcured connections.
- Brain Mouse: Hard
Interpret brain signals so that a PC cursor can be controlled by thoughts to point and click on the screen.
- Open Source PLC: Hard
Imagine Beagle opening and closing curtains, rendering audio when someone enters a room, turning on a fan as the temperature rises in a trombe wall - but only if the room temperature is cool, or a million other control applications. There are several automation standards, including [IEC 61131] and [AutomationML]. However, there is no open source software available that implements any of these standards (puffin/MatPLC seems to have fizzled)! Create an Open Source PLC project supporting a freely accessible standard.
- One-laptop-per-child (http://laptop.org/en/ ) with Beagle: Hard
- Move Firefox to Cairo on OpenVG and minimize memory footprint
- Implement OpenVG with the C64x and DMAs
- more codecs on the dsp (e.g. mp3 encoder/decoder, mpeg2 decoder, codecs for IP telephony (with video), ...)
- port LXDE (see www.lxde.org)
- beagle as upnp renderer
- good text to speech support, xDM-based algorithm
- Clean MythTV, Boxee, XBMC, or Miro builds
- facial recognition with depth analysis using pico projector and webcam
- Port face-recognition and/or fingerprint recognition user app running on top of Android OS thru USB webcam
- high-speed 3d scanning with pico projector and webcam
- implementing a single pixel camera with beagleboard, pico projector and webcam; accelerate processing using DSP
- USB class converters (MTP to mass-storage, audio to midi, ...) or invasive sniffer
- Wiimote + Pico Projector + 3D art tool
- Extend Android with extra sensory operations (GPIO/PWM controls, temperature sensors, barometers, etc.)
- DSP libraries for Android (both portable C and optimized implementations with C64x+ and/or NEON)
- Gesture-controlled web browser
- Power monitoring (http://www.google.org/powermeter/smarterpower.html)
- Off-line Google App host on an SD card
- Commodore 64 emulator via S-Video and Bluetooth keyboard
- Printer and Scanner Drivers for Beagle
- JPEG2000 codec running on BeagleBoard
- Video extender – take in video via usb webcam, compress it using video encoder, stream it over ethernet (could be like a security camera)
- DVD player – hook up USB dvdrom drive and playback video and audio
- Receive and/or transmit IR signals (like from a remote control. Since I don’t think Beagle has an IR receiver, you’d probably need something like http://www.usbuirt.com/ (there are many others out there, too
- Recording/logging data coming from instrumentation (e.g. Fluke multi-meter) … even better, combine with some DSP algorithm to “crunch” the data.
- Telescope interface that let a telescope track items in the sky (important if you’re trying to photograph things). Something along these lines for Beagle might be neat.
- USB midi keyboard interfacing
- Beagle-based Linux Fileserver
- Beagle-based Skype phone (VOIP application that connects microphone & speaker to ethernet). Could use either USB or Audio headset/mic-speaker
- Solar cell powered beagle-board (hardware/software). For potential laptop/computer applications
- Incorporate accelerometer (SPI or I2C interface) to lay the foundation for neat motion detection apps (hardware/software)
- Youtube on Linux (Angstrom) on Beagleboard:
- ekiga Wi Fi Video Softphone:
(existing open source video conferencing code )that works on Linux (Angstrom) on Beagleboard Ekiga is already compiled for the arm-7 on Angstrom (http://www.angstrom-distribution.org/repo/?pkgname=ekiga). So The project would be to optimize it for the Beagle (and probably some debugging as Ekiga on beagle apparently is not that stable).
- Cellular Wireless card plug into USB on Beagleboard:
- Windows CE 6.0R2 running on Beagleboard using armv7 (Cortex A8) instruction set
- 2D Graphics acceleration using Cortex A8 Neon Coprocessor on Beagleboard
- SWFDEC using Cortex A8 / Neon coprocessor for acceleration
Other possible mentors
- Hunyue Yau