Last week, I had the pleasure of representing Ferrous Systems at Embedded World together with our partners at AdaCore. We shared a space so that we can collectively represent our joint project: Ferrocene. AdaCore additionally presented SPARK Pro, a subset of Ada for formal verification.
We presented a whole software written in Rust, compiled in Ferrocene, our compiler distribution for safety-critical and mission-critical use-cases. The demo was running using Blackberry QNX, using a fresh port of Slint, a fast UI layer completely written in Rust. The hardware is a Renesas R-Car H3e. The code was compiled through Ferrocene’s QNX target with additional support libraries. The design was created by Ura Design. The exact details can be found in a separate blog post.
We had great conversations in and around the booth, particularly around the final qualification phase of Ferrocene, but also about the combination of high-safety technologies such as SPARK Pro and Rust. We were able to present the first set of recommended targets, many of which were presenting their Rust support at their booths. We also had a huge interest in our training programs.
Our engineer Jonathan Pallant was interviewed at the booth about embedded Rust:
We also had a booth party by the end of day two, welcoming everyone from the Rust ecosystem.
“So, what’s your strategy around Rust?” was the question of the event.
As the name implies, embedded world is all about hardware! We had tons of good conversations with producers who have a strong foothold in the Rust ecosystem – and (like last year), arm dominated the conversation. Our demo running on a device by Renesas was an illustration of that. Arm is careful around the members of their ecosystem and we had a lot of good conversations.
This year also saw quite some buzz around other ecosystems. Espressif was present, a company that has been very active last year about Rust support on their devices and co-developed training material with us. Read their Rust book here.
At our evening party, I had a great conversation with Phil Dworsky, Global Head of Strategic Alliances at SiFive, around the progress that SiFive is making with their RISC-V processors in safety-critical environments. On top of that, Infineon announced their early-stage Rust support – so the Rust buzz was there.
Compared to last year had when it seemed like companies were eying Rust from afar – in 2023, Rust was the talk of the event.
The list of operating system vendors that talked about Rust support at embedded world has strongly improved:
- QNX recently collaborated with elektrobit, for Tier 3 support upstream. The demo we wrote is based on that implementation.
- SysGo presented their Rust support for PikeOS at their booth and we had great conversations. PikeOS is a certifiable operating RTOS and Hypervisor.
- eSOL presented their multikernel operating system eMCOS again this year after announcing their support for Rust last year.
- Our partners from Lynx sadly were not present this year, but I guess this is a good moment to mention that you can meet us all at Aerospace Tech Week on April 29th-30th.
A highlight was OxidOS, both presented at the ST Micro area and at their own booth in the startup space. OxidOS is a new operating system targeting the safety-critical market. Based on TockOS, it is completely written in Rust and compiled in Ferrocene.
Walking around, we found Rust at a lot of places. There was Exein, presenting their Pulsar IoT observability framework. Just a couple of booths down was SYS TEC Electronics was casually advertising that they work with Rust - I had a great conversation getting to know them. Rust is becoming more and more a language that companies use as one of their standard tools. Just the other way, Bluewind flew the Rust logo at their booth and we had extended discussions about Rust in safety critical. As last year, KDAB were presenting their QT/Rust glue layer cxx-qt.
The literal winner of the week was Slint - not only was their UI layer presented at a huge number of booths including ours, but they also won the embedded award 2023 for their product. Congratulations from our side! You can see the picture in the demo above!
We’d like to close with the quote from Thomas Fleischmann (CARIAD Head of Application Framework & IoT) has supplied for our booth slides: “Rust has a number of benefits for robust automotive software where focus is on security, connectivity, performance and stability. It is driven by major industry and technology players and finds adoption in the automotive industry in general and as well inside of CARIAD.” We’re looking forward to it!
And if we didn’t get a chance to talk at embedded world, we’re going to keep the conversation going at Aerospace Tech Week from March 29 to March 30 in Munich, Germany, at the Lynx booth (Booth 404). Come say hi!
Did we miss anyone? Please let us know on social media or email!