R&D Project / Ability

Linux distribution in the automotive industry



Linux distribution in the automotive industry


Status: Completed

Period of reference: 12 July 2013 – 31 May 2015

Funder: POR FESR Sardegna 2007 – 2013. Asse IV – Competitività. Linea di Attività 6.2.1.b “Sostegno alla Creazione e allo Sviluppo di Nuove Imprese Creative”

Abinsula Role: Project coordinator and only participant.

Reference Personnel: Andrea Sanna

An embedded system is generally designed to execute specific functionalities, defined during the design time. The embedded systems can integrate different kinds of processors. In complex embedded systems it is possible to rely on Operating Systems (OS) that has to be designed to be flexible, resource-efficient, reliable, multi-thread and multi-processor. The OS has to be complemented with native libraries to support mass memory, graphic, complex communication protocols… This guarantees the portability of the (sub-)system over different target platforms. 


Ability was a company project  funded under the POR FESR Sardegna 2007 – 2013 programme. Ability is a meta-distribution based on YOCTO project, one of the most popular META distributions in the world and is distributed under the General Public License to the open-source community. On top of the layers inherited from the open-source community, Ability has the specific layers developed by Abinsula that make Ability strongly suitable for the Automotive, but it is suitable for other application fields as Domotic and Medical. The distribution developed by Abinsula contains tools and services that allow the porting and configuration of open source technologies for embedded devices It supports over 200 development and 3 production boards with more than 5000 processes between libraries and applications.

Ability Application Fields


The automotive industry is one of the main fields of application. Ability is compliant to GENIVI®, a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) open-source development platform. The alliance aims at aligning requirements, delivering reference implementations, offering certification programs and fostering a vibrant open-source IVI community. Ability has been acknowledged by GENIVI® and it is now used in many software development scenarios. Ability already integrates:

  • All embedded protocols: CAN, MOST, SPI, I2C, OBD, Custom
  • Smartphone and tablet protocols (Android-ADK, Apple-MFi)
  • All connectivity services (web services) to allow communication between internal car systems, mobile and remote devices.


Ability is highly suitable to be used in domotic systems. Ability can be used as a multi-sensor gateway, acting as orchestration actor in a network composed of heterogeneous custom elements. It is a flexible and extensible component that can be interfaced with components that use user-specific interfaces and user-defined communication protocols. In particular, it interacts with a widely known variety of commercial protocols such as IIC, SPI, RS232, CAN POWERTRAIN, ECELON, ETH as well as other customized solutions, wired and wireless.  When used as a gateway, Ability comes together with a user-friendly dashboard, to allow the user to easily check the components in the network and interact with them.


The electromedical sector in recent years went through significant innovations by integrating user interfaces and changing the user experience. Ability can be used to refurbish existing tools or to design new ones and connect them. In this context Ability has been used for the management of touch and multi-touch user interfaces as well as for the interaction with external tablets, always ensuring the correct interaction with both low-level standard and custom protocols used in this specific sector.

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Abinsula at a glance

Abinsula is one of the main Italian players in embedded, web and mobile solutions. It stands out for its ability to create custom software and hardware based on customer needs, for outstanding data management systems connected to an excellent use of telemetry, a technology used in several sectors, from automotive to energy, for data transmission and monitoring.

Custom HW & SW Solution


Data Management


Telemetry Monitoring

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