News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Industrial distro aims to streamline embedded Linux

Mar 9, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

MPC Data has launched a wizard-driven, Eclipse-based Linux distribution and toolkit aimed at industrial applications. Available initially in an open source version for Super-H, with commercial versions and wider architecture support to follow, “Little Blue Linux” includes a wizard-driven Eclipse IDE and 2.6.2x BSPs.

(Click for larger view of Little Blue Linux's Igloo IDE)

Targeting embedded Linux based OEM products, the Debian-based Little Blue Linux (LBL) supports industrial control and automation, motor control, HVAC, smart appliances, and consumer electronics devices, says MPC Data. Aimed at developers with limited experience in embedded Linux — or those wishing to save time, MPC says — LBL offers built-in wizards and an integrated “Igloo” IDE based on Eclipse.

Little Blue Linux host/target architecture
(Click to enlarge)

According to MPC Data Software Engineer Andrew Murray, in an email, “The IDE allows users that have little experience with Linux to cross-compile applications, create custom BSP images, and deploy and debug them with their target development boards without having to touch the command line.”

LBL aims to offer interactive, GDB-based target debugging, and “production quality” Linux board support packages (BSPs) with Linux 2.6.2x kernel source code. Initially, the kit is available with a BSP for the Renesas RSK+7203 board (details below). Two years ago, MPC Data and Renesas partnered on a uCLinux SDK for the same board.

The commercially licensed “Professional” version of Little Blue Linux, when it arrives next quarter, will include additional build tools and custom BSP wizards to automate the task of generating target flash images, MPC says. Customers will also receive training and support.

A Little Blue Linux wizard
(Click to enlarge)

Most of the tools are covered under the GPL, wrote Murray. “We're having a big push to get involved with the open source community much more, and as a result you will see a lot of patches are being submitted to the Linux kernel, uclibc, u-boot, etc., representing much of the development work we've performed.”

The Little Blue Linux SDKs offers the following features, says MPC Data:

  • Little Blue Linux Host
  • Eclipse based Igloo IDE
  • Integrated GDB target debugging
  • Latest stable 2.6.2x kernel
  • Target uCLinux BSP
  • Royalty-free uCLinux runtime
  • GNU compiler toolchain
  • Target application and BSP wizards
  • NFS root filesystem
  • U-Boot bootloader with LCD
  • Splash screen support
  • Nano-X graphical framework
  • Device Drivers:
    • LCD frame-buffer
    • CAN
    • USB Host & Gadget
    • Serial
    • Ethernet
    • User buttons
    • GPIO
    • LED

Renesas RSK+7203

First stop for LBL is the Renesas RSK+7203 development board. The board incorporates a 200MHz SH7203 SoC, which is part of its SH-2A microcontroller family. Renesas describes the SH7203 as a “high performance” microcontroller based on its SH-2 processor core. The chip incorporates a floating-point unit, USB 2.0 Host and Function interfaces, and a display controller. Other on-chip features are said to include a two-channel CAN fieldbus controller.

Renesas RSK+7203

The RSK+7203 board is said to offer the following features:

  • SH7203 @ 200MHz
  • 32MB SDRAM
  • 4MB flash
  • 2-line LCD Display
  • Serial ports
  • 10/100 SMSC Ethernet
  • High-speed USB 2.0 Host or Function
  • 2-channel CAN interface
  • E10A JTAG headers

MPC Data plans ports to other processor platforms from Renesas and other manufacturers, wrote Murray, “We're considering which boards to support next; we've considered things like the SH7263, SH4, TI, etc.,” he wrote. Meanwhile, “We seem close to providing shared library support and XIP for the SH7203,” he added.

Stated Dave Greenall, Systems Applications Group Manager at Renesas Technology Europe, “We are delighted to offer our silicon customers additional leading-edge embedded Linux OS support options through these production-ready SDK's.”


The open source evaluation version of the Little Blue Linux SDK for the Renesas RSK+7203 is available now, says MPC Data. The professional version is due in early Q2. More information may be found at the new Little Blue Linux site, here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.