Mbed OS Switches to Partner-Driven Collaborative Governance Model

Aims to offer increased flexibility with the introduction of a Working Group populated with Mbed Silicon Partner program members.

Arm has announced that its open source Mbed OS platform is switching to a partner-driven governance model that will see companies including Analog Devices, Cypress, Maxim Integrated, Nuvoton, NXP, Renesas, Realtek, Samsung, Silicon Labs, and u-blox collaborating on the future of the operating system — and any member of the Mbed Silicon Partner program is free to join.

The Mbed OS has been in flux of late: Arm announced it was shifting development focus from feature addition to feature refinement late last month, and a few days later adopted a new release process which shifted from a patch release every fortnight and a feature release every quarter to monthly releases which may be patch, feature, or major releases depending on how much development work has been carried out and whether there are any functionality or breaking changes.

Now, Arm is looking to bring its silicon partners into the development process, announcing a collaborative governance model which it claims will give its customers increased input into the platform's roadmap.

"While Mbed OS has always been an open-source IoT operating system, we are shifting its governance so that our silicon partners can directly influence future development and enhance our efforts in building out new capabilities, features and functionality, which are critical in scaling to a trillion connected devices," explains Arm's Chris Porthouse of the shift. "One new mechanism for enabling this is the establishment of monthly Product Working Group meetings where, together with our silicon partners, we will prioritize and vote on which new capabilities will be added to Mbed OS. Any Mbed Silicon Partner Program member is welcome to join at no cost."

"As the world’s leading open-sourced hardware and software solution providers for IoT, we have a long-standing relationship working with Arm to integrate our development boards with Mbed OS and their Pelion IoT platform," says Arduino chief executive Fabio Violante in support of the company's new model. "This shift in Mbed governance will be critical in continuing to enable the silicon providers to differentiate their microcontrollers that are used throughout our Arduino boards."

Arm has named Analog Devices, Cypress, Maxim Integrated, Nuvoton, NXP, Renesas, Realtek, Samsung, Silicon Labs, and u-blox as initial members of the Mbed OS Working Group, and indicated that all Mbed Silicon Partner program members will be eligible to join; it has not, however, announced any plans to allow those outside the program to participate in the Working Group.

More information is available on the Mbed OS blog.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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