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Friday, May 23, 2014

Apps move into IoT design

English: Comparison of an Overo COM and a coin
English: Comparison of an Overo COM and a coin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Imagination Technologies is placing apps at the heart of its push to get the MIPS architecture adopted for the Internet of Things.

By Nick Flaherty

It is making its innovative FlowCloud technology available via an Android and iOS app to developers, including the maker community, hobbyists and students, to speed application development for the IoT. FlowCloud support will be available on several low-cost development boards with MIPS CPUs across
a range of operating systems, starting with a Microchip-based chipKIT WiFire board from Digilent.
The chipKIT WiFire board is a development platform that uses Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32MZ microcontroller with a MIPS microAptiv CPU. Imagination and partners will deploy FlowCloud support for other MIPS-based Android/Linux development boards in the near future.
The board is accessed and configured via the FlowCloud Getting Started app through an intuitive user interface that is intended to make embedded IoT development easier. A user’s FlowCloud account is free-of-charge and allows up to five connected devices.
FlowCloud provides an application-independent underlying platform that enables rapid construction and management of machine-to-machine and man-to-machine connected services through a set of modular infrastructure capabilities and underlying services that provide building blocks to accelerate deployment of cloud based applications. The infrastructure also provides secure asynchronous messaging and end-to-end connection establishment. The baseline FlowCloud service includes registration, authentication, association, security, notifications, updates and remote control. Optional plug-ins to accelerate time to market include FlowTalk (VoIP), FlowFunds (payments), and others. 
This allows users to build a wide range of applications, including security, personal and professional health monitoring, energy management, and cloud-based systems for content delivery as FlowCloud technology minimizes the resources required to make a product fully connected, bringing together people, devices and services in a platform for easily building connected applications and businesses.
“Imagination provides complete IP solutions and comprehensive platforms that speed development time for our customers, their customers and developers,” said Tony King-Smith, EVP marketing at Imagination. “FlowCloud is a unique and powerful offering for developers and the industry, and is proven and mature, having already deployed in volume. The new work we are doing with low-cost MIPS-based development boards extends the FlowCloud ecosystem and makes the platform far more accessible to developers.”
Most chipKIT platforms are hardware compatible with many existing Arduino shields, and existing code examples and reference materials are easily migrated. This gives the user a large base of options they can
utilize in the development process. The chipKIT WiFire is only available through Digilent and builds on the previous chipKIT development boards with a significant processor performance increase over the previous generation.
“Every day, more and more embedded systems are adding Internet connectivity, and the new chipKIT WiFire with our latest high-performance PIC32MZ MCU, which uses the microAptiv core, provides an ideal platform for IoT development,” said Rod Drake, director of Microchip’s MCU32 Division. “The
PIC32MZ and MPLAB Harmony software framework were designed for high-end, next-generation embedded applications that require high levels of performance, memory and advanced-peripheral integration. The addition of FlowCloud provides even more value for IoT and cloud applications.”

Users can get started with FlowCloud for the chipKIT WiFire at The chipKIT WiFire is priced at $79 (U.S.), and can be ordered today from Digilent at

From EETimes Europe
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