Sustainable solutions for sustainable transport - Bosch & Nyon eBike

Sustainable solutions for sustainable transport

Partnering with Bosch on their Nyon eBike

Bicycle computers have been around for a long time, allowing cyclists to measure their speed and distance among many other metrics. Bosch's Nyon eBike computer family brings new capability to this device class, enabling cyclists to plan and understand their journey through a dedicated, intuitive and modern touchscreen interface.

Using the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) to display web content allows device manufacturers to achieve a faster time-to-market by using web-based apps, as well as reducing the cost of development by allowing rapid iteration and reuse of interfaces developed on desktop platforms. However, this is not without a cost: web browsers are notoriously neither small nor lightweight.

A cross-functional effort between Collabora's graphics, kernel, and web teams helped bring this device to light with targeted performance optimizations and bugfixes. A lightweight and efficient system allows lower-end devices to be used, allowing the device to be affordable, have a long runtime thanks to low power usage, and not be compromised by thermal constraints.

Ensuring a long lifecycle

The Nyon eBike computers run a fully open-source stack: a mainline Linux kernel, Mesa including the etnaviv driver, Wayland, and CEF itself. A key deliverable was a software stack based on mainline upstream solutions. Not only does this ensure a lower cost of maintenance, making updates easy without the need for vendor BSP customizations, but it also enables reuse of the software stack between different devices.

Collabora's engineers assisted in overall system design, as well as optimizations and fixes at every level. From kernel improvements for the NXP i.MX6 hardware, to correctness fixes for the etnaviv Mesa driver, to assistance with the CEF platform itself and Weston as the Wayland server bringing the display together, Collabora's work ensured that the platform not only produced a compelling product, but could be long-lived across different hardware generations and profiles.

From the sky to the road

'Standing on the shoulders of giants' is not just a saying, but a fundamental benefit of open source. Every element of this platform has been influenced by many other uses and contributors. Whilst this project delivered concrete benefits to many other consumers, who get an even better software experience out of the box, it has benefited from decades of improvements from other use cases. The upstream stack in use has been directly improved by its use in in-flight entertainment at 36,000 feet, in-vehicle infotainment sharing the roads, and even marine navigation at sea level.

All of Collabora's projects are undertaken with this mindset: delivering the immediate benefit of the hardware and software platform in use, but leaving lasting benefit for everything that lies ahead of us. This approach allows manufacturers and users to benefit from the true commonality of open-source software.

"Working together with Collabora, Bosch is able to realize all the benefits of Open Source in a compact form-factor, with projects like CEF, Wayland, Weston, and Mesa."Daniel Stone, Graphics Lead, Collabora
Bosch, Mesa, CEF, Wayland

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