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Friday, August 10, 2018

Zephyr adds SiFive for RISC-V support in the Internet of Things

By Nick Flaherty

The Zephyr open source project to build a real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT) has signed up six new members to add to its group of over 100 developers.

Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the Zephyr Project aims to establish a neutral community where silicon vendors, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Original Design Manufacturer (ODMs) and Independent Software Vendor (ISVs) can contribute technology to reduce the cost and accelerate time to market for developing the billions of IoT devices.

The ecosystem has seen a significant expansion in board support as well as attracting more new developers each month. Zephyr now supports more than 100 boards comprising of different architectures: ARM, x86, ARC, NIOS II, Cadence XTENSA, and RISC-V processor families, all of which we cover on the Embedded blog.
The new members include Antmicro, DeviceTone, SiFive, the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, The Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS) and Northeastern University. These join Intel, Linaro, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP, Oticon, Synopsys, and others.

"RISC-V is about creating open source platforms for the entire world to collaborate on, but hardware doesn't exist without software," said Jack Kang, VP of Product at SiFive. "Given SiFive's leadership role in the RISC-V ecosystem, joining the Zephyr Project is a natural step, as the vision of a well-supported, robust open-source RTOS is important to the RISC-V revolution."

"Developers have many choices when it comes to platforms. Zephyr offers the smallest memory footprint and a secure and flexible RTOS that extends functionality of IoT devices," said Anas Nashif, Chair of the Zephyr Project Technical Steering Committee and a Software Engineer at Intel's Open Source Technology Centre. "We are excited to welcome these member companies into our IoT ecosystem and look forward to collaborating with them to create and support a customizable, embedded open source platform."

In addition to these new members, the Zephyr technical community recently welcomed Thea Aldrich, a longtime open source participant, as a Project Evangelist and Developer Advocate. She will be an active contributor to the technical roadmap, teaching Zephyr to new developers raising awareness of the project and coordinating communities.

"A few years ago, I used Zephyr OS to solve many of the technical issues I was encountering with a wearables solution I created," said Aldrich. "Zephyr's ease of use and scalability helped me with my solution and I was welcomed into this highly passionate open source community."

"The I-SENSE Group of ICCS research addresses the evolving connectivity needs of embedded devices including mobility communication services, intelligent transport systems, environmental monitoring, applications for next generation emergency services and infrastructure monitoring for foundation of future smart cities," said Dr. Angelos Amditis, Research Director, I-SENSE Group of ICCS. "We believe the Zephyr Project is an accelerator of hyper-connectivity among embedded devices, network components and the cloud. As such, we're excited to be part of the project and working with members who are interconnected across various smart domains of a greater IoT ecosystem."
A complete list of boards is at

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