On the first day of the Embedded Linux Conference, the Linux Foundation announced a new software project called the Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP).
CIP is an open source framework that will support the development of software needed to run critical services that create the backbone of any modern society, including electric power, oil and gas, water, health care, communications, and transportation.
With CIP, the foundation is not only addressing issues related to duplication of work and interoperability that come from using proprietary software, but is also putting open source at the center of this massive market. According to a 2014 PWC report, the global capital project and infrastructure market was worth $4 trillion in 2012 and is expected to climb to nearly $9 trillion by 2025, with 'the majority of the growth' coming from emerging economies.
“Linux and open source software can accelerate innovation, enable interoperability and transform technology and business economics for an industry. The Civil Infrastructure Platform is a great example of this opportunity,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “Through collaboration and open source development, developers will be able to build the common framework that will support some of society’s most important functions for decades to come.”
CIP will work with upstream projects like the Linux kernel to create a “base layer” of industrial-grade software. According to the Linux Foundation, this base layer will enable the use of software building blocks that meet safety, security, reliability and other requirements that are critical to industrial and civil infrastructure projects. This will also address interoperability by using established standards to support plug and play based system designs.
CIP will enable engineers use to shared resources so they won’t have to invest time in building foundational elements. That will speed up the time to develop and deploy services, a problem that currently plagues civil infrastructure projects. It will also reduce costs because it will be shared among participating partners.
One of the most important aspects of CIP is sustainability. The foundation said in a statement that the initial focus of CIP will be to help establish a long-term maintenance infrastructure for select open source components, accounting for product life cycles of 10-60 years. To achieve this, CIP members will collaborate on agreed-upon areas required to meet civil infrastructure systems’ requirements.
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