ARM showed expanded support and reach of its Mbed operating system while some customers and competitors debated its impact on the Internet of Things at the company’s annual event here.
ARM displayed a wall of 78 devices using Mbed from companies including Atmel, Freescale, Nordic, NXP, Renesas, Silicon Labs and STMicroelectronics. Alcatel-Lucent, IBM, Maxim and Qualcomm were among other partners using the code or providing services for it.
The new version 3.0 supports a hardware security architecture for microcontrollers launched at the event and promises to build in support for new IoT standards such as Thread.
“We see a huge hole in the ecosystem of working with all the IoT standards and security…[and while the] competition focuses on a few chips and boards, we want to scale to all of them,” said Krisztian Flautner, head of ARM’s IoT group in a press Q&A session.
In the year since it was announced, Silicon Labs has seen some customer demand for Mbed but “I don’t believe it’s disruptive,” said Skip Ashton, vice president of software engineering for the MCU maker.
“To say the OS market is fragmented would be kind: the most popular choice is no OS, followed by FreeRTOS with a 13% market share,” said Ashton. “The industry hasn’t said we must have an OS or that it will standardize on one,” he said.
He puts demand for Mbed about on par with FreeRTOS. Customers have a wide spectrum of opinions on the need for security, and some customers want security without an OS, he added.
“A lot of people ask about Mbed, but we haven’t lost a single customer, said Mike Kaskowitz, head of sales and marketing for Micrium, maker of the most popular commercial RTOS according to an annual EE Times study.