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Google reveals Pigweed is not an operating system (Update)

Google just unveiled its Pigweed project, revealing a new set of developer tools for embedded devices.

Published onMarch 20, 2020

google logo G at ces 20201

Update, March 20, 2020 (01:30 PM ET): A little over a month ago, a Google trademark surfaced online for something called Pigweed. At first glance, it looked like a new open-source operating system. Google officially unveiled the project yesterday, revealing that is not the case. Instead, Pigweed is a unique collection of embedded platform developer tools.

The tools consist of open-source libraries Google is calling modules. These modules should help developers create and run their own software on embedded devices. Google designed each module to help solve particular problems developers face when working with various 32-bit microcontrollers.

Interestingly, Google even has a reason for the quirky name. Pigweed is a rapidly growing weed that also happens to be quite nutritious. Google chose to name the project after this weed to reflect its ambitions for a rapidly growing and genuinely useful set of developer tools.

At this point, Pigweed is still in the early stages. Google says it’s continuing to evolve the platform and add new modules, and it’s encouraging developer feedback along the way.

Original article, February 6, 2020 (1:17 AM ET): Google is currently working on an operating system dubbed Fuchsia, but the plot may have thickened after the company filed a trademark for an operating platform dubbed Pigweed.

The Pigweed name was first spotted on the USPTO website by a redditor, and the filing describes it as being related to “computer operating software.”

9to5Google also spotted it in the Chromium code repository and in a proposed code change for the Fuchsia operating system. In the case of the latter, the name subsequently changed from “pigweed” to “fuchsia.”

Google pigweed screenshot via 9to5Google.

A screenshot from the name change (seen above) suggests that the developer responsible for using the “pigweed” name simply made a mistake. So this isn’t quite hard evidence that “pigweed” is tied to Fuchsia then.

Could it be a new name for Fuchsia? Is it related to Chromebooks? What about IoT devices? Unfortunately, we don’t know anything else about Google’s Pigweed for now aside from this name and these entries.

What do you think Pigweed could be? Give us your guesses in the comments section!

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