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Canonical collaborates with NVIDIA to unlock advanced capabilities for IoT industry

Canonical

on 23 March 2023

Ubuntu, the open-source OS of choice for developers, now certified for world-leading NVIDIA Orin AIoT platform 

●   Certified Ubuntu to underpin NVIDIA IoT solutions spanning robotics, manufacturing, industrial and medical industries.

●   State-of-the-art security with optional SLA-backed support to accelerate transition to industry 4.0 with the NVIDIA IGX platform and software-defined vehicles with the NVIDIA DRIVE platform.

March 23, 2023, London, UK:  Canonical today announced plans to certify NVIDIA platforms powered by the Orin architecture to run on Ubuntu. Ubuntu will run on the full range of NVIDIA IoT platforms, bringing Ubuntu to the automotive industry with the NVIDIA DRIVE® platform, to industrial applications with the NVIDIA IGX Orin™ platform, as well as to advanced embedded systems with NVIDIA Jetson Orin™  system-on-modules. The optimised kernel and images will combine software features from NVIDIA with unparalleled security, reliability, and support for regulated enterprise deployments.

“We are delighted to optimise and certify Canonical Ubuntu for NVIDIA Orin,  to make secure, reliable and easy-to-use open source AIoT available to everyone, everywhere, on this extraordinary hardware. In this era of generative AI and digital transformation, I am excited to see what innovators will do with such incredible performance at the edge,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO at Canonical. 

With this collaboration, optimised Ubuntu and Ubuntu Core images will be available for commercial-grade IoT deployments for a wide range of popular silicon platforms across a variety of vendors, establishing a de facto standard across enterprise IoT – from software-defined vehicles and industry 4.0 to retail and robotics.

NVIDIA has been upstreaming Orin-specific changes to the Linux kernel to bring greater flexibility to support third-party Linux distributions. With this new announcement, Canonical plans to make Ubuntu images with LTS available and provide direct customer support for NVIDIA IGX and Jetson platforms for the first time.

For developers and enterprises who want commercial support for the NVIDIA AI software stack, NVIDIA plans to certify and support IGX servers with NVIDIA AI Enterprise. NVIDIA-certified IGX servers will provide an option to purchase commercial support for the entire AI software stack from NVIDIA, ensuring AI-powered advancements are reliable and secure.

“Our collaboration with Canonical allows us to provide full platform solutions from the cloud to the edge, and bringing certified Ubuntu to our industrial edge platform will ensure that all new NVIDIA software features are incorporated quickly, accelerating the path to production for innovators,” said Justin Boitano, Vice President of Enterprise and Edge Product Management at NVIDIA. “With Ubuntu on top of NVIDIA IGX, industrial and medical customers get better security, support, and long-term maintenance for their full software stack.”

Accelerating transformation in automotive and industrial use cases

Canonical’s collaboration with NVIDIA provides customers across vertical markets with the latest in AI at the edge on Ubuntu. The Ubuntu kernel for the NVIDIA Orin platforms will be real time through the PREEMPT_RT patch set. These patches provide deterministic response times to meet stringent system deadlines, enabling the development of real-time applications.  

Coupling real-time Ubuntu with the highly popular NVIDIA DRIVE platform will also set the standard for Linux in next-generation software-defined vehicles.

“The value provided through Ubuntu LTS is well known, but this work with NVIDIA will also accelerate availability of real-time features across the entire family of platforms based on the NVIDIA Orin system-on-modules,” said Cindy Goldberg, VP, Silicon Alliances at Canonical[1] . “Customers will also be able to leverage the large Ubuntu community and existing app ecosystem. What’s more, business-critical applications can now benefit from the built-in security offered by Ubuntu Core, with Canonical engineering services for application development accelerating distribution.”

Ubuntu Core offers a fully containerised (strictly confined) Ubuntu variant built specifically for edge and IoT use cases with a security-first approach. Complementing baseline Ubuntu security patching and bug fixing, it offers features such as over-the-air reliable software updates for remote administration and full-disk encryption, including for applications running in sandbox environments.

Production ready for enterprise IoT 

Customers will benefit from end-to-end security offered across the NVIDIA Orin platform – from the Linux kernel to the end application – through Ubuntu LTS and extended security maintenance (ESM), solving a persistent industry pain point. Based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, the images optimised for NVIDIA Orin system-on-modules will benefit from kernel updates, testing, and ongoing bug fixes so that software features are ready on Day 0 and supported throughout the lifecycle by Canonical. At the same time, Canonical’s expertise in security patching, brings additional peace of mind to security leaders. 

Leveraging certified Ubuntu platforms allows innovators to focus on developing value-add, differentiated applications while reducing OpEx for managers. Organisations looking to pilot industry 4.0 solutions can now develop and test solutions with the NVIDIA IGX Orin Developer Kit[2] . For ODMs and channel partners, Canonical’s low-touch ODM certification program provides an ideal solution for derivative production boards for mass deployment.

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