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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Amazon and ST launch IoT Node-to-Cloud implementation for FreeRTOS

By Nick Flaherty

STMicroelectronics has developed a complete IoT node-to-cloud implementation for a new version of  FreeRTOS open source real time operating system developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) 

This highlights the increasing connection of embedded software and cloud services, providing everything to easily and securely deploy microcontroller-based connected devices and develop an IoT application without having to worry about the complexity of scaling across millions of devices. Once connected, IoT device applications can take advantage of all of the capabilities of the cloud or continue processing data locally with AWS Greengrass.

ST’s collaboration with AWS speeds designers’ efforts to create easily connectable IoT nodes with the combination of ST’s semiconductor building blocks and Amazon FreeRTOS, which extends the leading free and open-source real-time operating-system kernel for embedded devices (FreeRTOS) with the appropriate libraries for local networking, cloud connectivity, security, and remote software updates.

FreeRTOS kernel v10 includes two major new features: stream buffers and message buffers. These are task (thread)-to-task and interrupt-to-task communication primitives, but, unlike other FreeRTOS communications primitives, they are optimized for single reader/single writer scenarios, such as passing data from an interrupt service routine to a task, or (increasingly important these days) from one microcontroller core to another. Stream buffers pass a continuous stream of bytes, whereas message buffers pass variable-sized but discrete messages. AWS added these new capabilities in direct response to requests I have received from users.

“We believe the addition of Amazon FreeRTOS to our existing suite of IoT services will accelerate the development of new IoT-enabled microcontroller-based devices and provide a straightforward path for device manufacturers to secure and maintain their products,” said Dirk Didascalou, Vice President of IoT, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Amazon FreeRTOS, coupled with industry-leading semiconductor products and tools, like those from STMicroelectronics, further lowers the barriers for innovators eager to get their ideas and products to market.”
For the STM32, one of the industry’s most popular family of 32-bit Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers, ST’s modular and interoperable IoT development platform spans state-of-the-art semiconductor components, ready-to-use development boards, free software tools, and common application examples. 
At the official release of Amazon FreeRTOS 10 today under a new MIT license, a version of the OS and libraries are immediately available to run on the ultra-low-power STM32L4 series of microcontrollers.
The starter kit for Amazon FreeRTOS is ST’s B-L475E-IOT01A Discovery kit for IoT node, a fully integrated development board that exploits low-power communication, multiway sensing, and a raft of features provided by the STM32L4 series microcontroller to enable a wide range of IoT-capable applications. The Discovery kit’s support for Arduino Uno V3 and PMOD connectivity ensures unlimited expansion capabilities with a large choice of add-on boards.

“By collaborating with AWS, ST now provides developers with a manageable, secure, and scalable turnkey solution to build quality IoT nodes on the field-proven STM32 running Amazon FreeRTOS,” said Tony Keirouz, Vice President of IoT Strategy, Ecosystem & Partnerships, STMicroelectronics. ”Together, we’re helping jumpstart any IoT design using the combination of AWS node-to-cloud vertical solution and the broad portfolio of ST’s IoT solutions, including sensors, processing, security, connectivity, and power.”

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