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Intel contest encourages Yocto Project-based device designs

Aug 19, 2013 — by Rick Lehrbaum 3,802 views

Intel kicked off a five month Yocto Project Innovation Challenge today, offering 254 prizes to developers who submit embedded Linux product or project ideas involving Yocto Project software running on Intel processors. Six types of prizes — ranging from $50 gift cards, to Yocto Project hoodies and blimps, to 480GB SSDs — will be awarded to winning contest entries between now and the end of the year, and all the ideas will be shared publicly.

Developers submit product or project ideas via a form on the contest’s website, optionally supplemented by a link to a blog post, video (on YouTube or Vimeo), or image describing their idea. Each submission will be reviewed and then published on the Challenge website, enabling participants to “show off [their] idea or get inspiration from others,” explains the contest page. Winners will be selected by judges supplied by UBM, based on criteria such as ingenuity, creativity, relevance, and clarity, according to the contest’s web page

Yocto Project Innovation Challenge prizes
(click images to enlarge)


The contest is structured into two “challenges,” with differing prizes:


  • Challenge 1 — 50 winners will be selected each month
  • Challenge 2 — one finalist and one semi-finalist will be selected between Aug. 19 and Oct. 13, and another finalist/semi-finalist pair will be selected between Oct. 14 and Dec. 31

The prizes for the two categories are:

  • Challenge 1 — $50 gift cards (Aug.); Leatherman Tool (Sep.); Yocto Project Hoody (Oct.); SLIM JIM, a credit card-sized battery backup device (Nov.); Yocto Project Blimp (Dec.)
  • Challenge 2 — 480GB Intel Solid-State Drive 520 Series drive for both Finalists and Semi-finalists; Finalists also have their embedded project or product ideas turned into a showcased infographic

Developers are permitted to submit multiple entries, according to the Challenge website.

Accelerating trend toward community supported open-SBCs

The contest’s kick-off follows closely on the heels of the Intel-backed project shipping its first production SBCs (pictured on the right). The $199 open-hardware MinnowBoard single board computer (SBC) runs a Yocto-compatible Angstrom Linux build on a 1GHz Intel Atom E640 with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, and provides SATA, gigabit Ethernet, USB, HDMI, and PCI Express interfaces, as well modular expansion via “Lures.”

The MinnowBoard is just one of a string of open-SBC commercial/community collaborations involving processor manufacturers. Shortly after the MinnowBoard SBC began shipping, the competing AMD-backed community countered by releasing an unrestricted schematic for its $189 Gizmo SBC (pictured on the right).

And then there are of course a host of other low cost, open, community-supported SBCs, including the highly popular Raspberry Pi (Broadcom/ARM) and Beaglebone Black (TI/ARM) projects. Also noteworthy, is the recent addition of’s open, Freescale/ARM-based $83-144 sandwich-style Wandboard open SBC to Digi-Key’s online catalog. Most of these offer Linux and Android OSes and many also feature Yocto Project support.

About the Yocto Project

The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration to provide developers with “templates, tools, and methods to help … create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products, regardless of the hardware architecture.” Tools and resources available through the project include a development environment, emulation environments, debuggers, an Application Toolkit Generator, metadata, and documentation. Also included are core system component recipes from the OpenEmbedded project.

The Yocto Project hosts various community-tested system images for the Yocto Project kernel, including build profiles and BSPs (board support packages) spanning multiple CPU architectures including ARM, PPC, MIPS, x86, and x86-64. The project also provides an Eclipse plug-in, as well as a GUI (graphical user interface) to the build system, known as “Hob.”

Yocto Project Development Environment
(click image to enlarge)


Scott Garman, an engineer with Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, created a 30-minute video tutorial that introduces the Yocto Project and explains how to build embedded Linux system images using it. The tutorial includes a couple of demonstrations, and requires no prior Yocto knowledge or experience. You can view Garman’s Yocto Project video tutorial on YouTube, here.

Further information

For more details and to enter the Intel-sponsored Yocto Project Innovation Challenge, visit its contest page here. A brief YouTube video showing a Yocto Blimp flying around can be viewed here, although we’re not certain it’s the same as the contest’s Yocto Blimp prize.

For more information about the Yocto Project, visit the Yocto Project website.

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