The boot speed of an operating system is a major feature in today's market, either for commercial operating systems or free distributions. What if there is a possibility to improve the boot up speed of a Linux OS to under a second?
Before jumping out of your seats and say that's impossible, we have to explain that the technology is in its infancy and has been applied only on SoM.
Computers on a Module (CoM) or System on a Module (SoM) are basically a single-board computer, with all the functions of a normal computer, but without all the ports (not to mention smaller and weaker hardware).
Logic PD is a company that builds such systems (DM3730 and AM3703) and they use Linux for them. They have developed a boot technology called Zip, which is capable of reducing the boot time of an SoM to under a second.
In an interview with electronicdesign.com, Kurt Larson, director of product management at Logic PD, explained how the Zip technology works.
“We do a number of things. This includes optimization of the bootloader and linux kernel. We prioritize mission-critical drivers so they are loaded first. We also deploy the application GUI as soon as possible,” said Larson.
“In the process, we delay all non-essential tasks until after the target application is fully running. This allows the system to respond within a second with less critical operations available later in the sequence,” he further explained.
This may not sound like much, but Logic PD thinks that there is a future for Zip technology, outside of the SoM platform.
There are a lot of other embedded platforms out there, including Android. What if users could be able to boot up a phone in just a second or two? Users could close the phone completely and boot it up in a flash. This has major implication on battery consumption alone.
What if this kind of technology will be implemented, on full-size personal computers or laptops in the future? For more information about Zip, check out the official website.