With more than 25 billion Internet connected things predicted to hit the market by 2020, the “Internet of Things” is evolving from a promise to an everyday reality. Whether it’s how we control our energy usage or secure our homes, smart devices are changing the world we live in and how we live.
IoT, like any disruptive technology shift, brings opportunities as well as challenges. Open source presents an opportunity for IoT to overcome interoperability barriers and innovate at an unprecedented rate. It provides a neutral forum for collaboration at scale and allows developers to contribute and advance software so that IoT products can get to market faster.
One key challenge is choice, and developers have a lot of it. For IoT to deliver on the promise of seamless connectivity, devices need a highly modular platform that can easily integrate with embedded devices. While Linux has proven itself time and again as the de facto operating system choice for embedded development, some IoT devices require a real-time operating system (RTOS) that addresses the very smallest of memory footprints.
To provide an open source solution that complements real-time Linux but keeps critical concerns like security and modularity top-of-mind, we created the Zephyr Project. Zephyr Project is a small, scalable, RTOS designed specifically for small-footprint IoT devices. It is also embedded with development tools and has a modular design so that developers can customize its capabilities and create IoT solutions that meet the needs of any device, regardless of architecture. This enables easier connectivity to the cloud as well as other IoT devices.
Recently the Zephyr Project announced Linaro as its newest member, joining the likes of Intel, NXP Semiconductors and Synopsys. As a global leader in open source development for the ARM ecosystem, Linaro will help drive Zephyr specifications and initiatives, and help the project realize its vision of becoming the premier multi-architecture open source RTOS for IoT.
The Zephyr Project comes at a critical time for the IoT small device development community. As an open source project, Zephyr unites the community to help make small, embedded devices “smarter,” while ensuring ubiquitous connectivity and security in small device infrastructure. It’s an exciting time for IoT, and we encourage anyone interested to join the effort.