Open Industrial Linux Helps Usher In Industry 4.0 Era

NXP Semiconductors N.V. a leader in advanced secure connectivity solutions, has announced an industrial Linux distribution with real-time OS extensions and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) support for factory-automation OEMs. By breaking down the barriers of real-time computing and networking in a standard, community-based distribution, Open Industrial Linux (OpenIL) helps OEMs usher in the Industry 4.0 era.

OpenIL provides industrial grade security, trusted computing, hardened software, cryptographic operations and end to end security.

The OpenIL distribution includes TSN support, per-stream policing, time-aware shaping of network traffic, and 801.1AS time synchronization. TSN Ethernet is integrated in the Layerscape LS1028A industrial applications processor announced by NXP in March 2017.

Senior Industry Analyst Dan Mandell of VDC Research Group, Inc., said, “NXP has taken a leadership role with the OpenIL distro in focusing Linux designers specifically on industrial automation opportunities, while simultaneously leveraging its Layerscape System-on-Chip (SoC) capabilities to enable Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing systems. It should prove a powerful combination.”

Factory managers and industrial-equipment makers are turning to Linux for its operational stability, security, and cost of ownership. For similar reasons, they are turning to Ethernet to replace vendor-specific networking protocols.

“OpenIL combines security, TSN, edge computing, and Industry 4.0 into a single Linux distribution,” said Richard House, software vice president at NXP Semiconductors. “OEMs can focus on their value-added technologies to create the next generation of smart manufacturing solutions while utilizing proven hardware and software platforms.”

Originated by NXP, OpenIL’s baseline capabilities include IT infrastructure software such as networking stacks, web servers (useful for configuration management), scripting tools, and system utilities commonly part of Linux distros.

OpenIL facilitates OEMs adding software from the rich Linux ecosystem using an optional instantiation of the popular Ubuntu user-space filesystem layout. Other notable OpenIL distribution features include:

  • Xenomai real-time extensions to Unix, easing porting from a real-time operating system (RTOS) like VxWorks or pSOS
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) and NETCONF-based network configuration utilities for TSN
  • Generalized precision time protocol (gPTP) with the linuxptp daemon
  • Drivers for the Ethernet Interfaces and the NXP SJA1105T TSN switch
  • Support for edge computing services

For more information on OpenIL visit