Written by Anas Nashif, Zephyr 2.5 Release Manager and Member of the Zephyr Technical Steering Committee
Launched in 2016, the Zephyr Project celebrates its 5 year anniversary in 2021 and we are pleased to announce the release of another milestone. The Zephyr project recently released Zephyr 2.5 with some major features and incremental enhancements.
Below is an overview of the major enhancement since the last release:
We introduced support for demand paging which permits embedded MCUs with some limited RAM space to execute large programs from some non-random access media. The feature will be available on systems with MMU support and the initial architecture implementing demand paging is X86.
We continue to improve support for third party and commercial compilers and added initial support for LLVM on some architecture and paved the way for adding other architectures and support for commercial compilers based on LLVM. This support comes only one release after we added Synopsys Metaware Compiler suite as a supported compiler. More compiler and toolchain enhancements are planned for future releases.
When first launched, Zephyr had support for 3 architectures. Today, Zephyr supports 8 architectures excluding the additional support for the 64bit variants of some of those architectures. The 2.5 release introduces support for Sparc as a new architecture and expands support for ARM CPUs, especially ARM64 (Cortex-A) which started gaining momentum in previous releases and currently on the verge of reaching parity with other CPUs of the same class supported by Zephyr. Major progress has been made to add MMU, Userspace, SMP and other advanced features to this class of CPUs.
On the kernel side of things, support for Thread Local Storage (TLS) was added, we introduced support for thread runtime statistics to help with debugging and optimization of applications and introduced support for a new synchronization mechanism using Condition Variables.
For a detailed overview of changes since the last release, please read the release note.
We continue to make good progress towards releasing the next long term support release (LTS)which will be released later this year (October 2021).
Thank you to everyone that contributed features, documentation, testing, infrastructure, and bug fixes to this release! And a warm welcome to the new contributors and community members that have recently joined the Zephyr Project!
If you are interested in joining the project, you can find our Getting started Guide here. If you are interested in contributing to the Zephyr Project please see our Contributor Guide. Join the conversation or ask questions on our Mailing List.