Working with 2lemetry, Clarinox, and IS2T, RTOS vendor Micrium has released its Spectrum connectivity platform that bridges the gap between the Internet of Things and the Web of Things that ties devices to web services in the cloud.
Micrium Spectrum is available now with a variety of licensing options and will be on display at the Micrium booth (#801) at ARM Techcon at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif. for more information.
According to Christian Légaré, EVP and CTO of Micrium, there is currently a chasm in software engineering at the Cloud barrier. “Most embedded developers program in C, and understand hardware interfaces and meeting real-time scheduling constraints,” he said. “At the same time, most Cloud-based developers operate in HTML, Java, C++, Ruby, etc. Historically, there hasn’t been much overlap of these worlds, but the Internet of Things is changing the landscape, as at the most basic level, IoT devices are those with connectivity.
This is the space Micrium is filling with its new Micrium Spectrum (Figure below) offering he said, is a pre-integrated end-to-end portfolio of embedded software, protocol stacks, cloud services to facilitate development of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Micrium Spectrum is also silicon vendor agnostic, which allows designers to develop proprietary and differentiated solutions, he said.
“For the IoT to truly take off, devices need to be interconnected so information can be exchanged between systems – machine to machine – or connected to the cloud,” said Christian Légaré, CTO and executive vice president of Micrium. “Fundamentally, IoT devices are embedded systems with connectivity, so it is important to approach the IoT from the embedded systems level. Micrium Spectrum makes sense of the IoT, making it easy to design reliable, high-performance devices and maximize their potential.”
This is where Micrium comes in, he said, through partnerships with 2lemetry, Clarinox Technologies and IS2T to integrate a complete solution.
2lemetry, said Legare, offers the web services package that acts as the main gateway between the cloud and the devices running Micrium's RTOS. In discussions with users of its RTOS, he said, that for device developers it is not quite that simple due to the quantity and type of data that is being used.
A typical cloud application, such as a tablet or smart phone, he said, has relatively few end points per communication channel and is easy to manage. “For example an average home probably has less than 10 of these devices connected to the Internet. So when you connect these devices, they typically send a high volume of information, such as videos, web browsing and e-mails.
“But when you move to the embedded world, however, the number of sensors goes up exponentially. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of devices on a single channel, however the amount of information being transferred is quite low and includes data messages that convey temperature or on/off command data.In a Spectrum enabled IoT application, he said, 2lemetry acts as a “bridge” between thousands of low data-rate embedded devices and traditional Enterprise applications, which are expecting fewer, larger transactions, to enable seamless communications.
The role of ClarinoxBlue and ClarinoxWiFi in the Spectrum package is to offer simple-to-use software protocol stacks for the development of embedded WiFi applications. “Traditionally, embedded devices are connected to an Ethernet cable,” “But as we begin to put sensors in appliances, wearables, etc., cables are not possible and wireless becomes crucial. “
WiFi is the standard for most businesses and houses and will be used to connect appliances, industrial applications, automotive, etc. Bluetooth technology has a limitation on distance of about 20-30 feet, so it is best suited for human wearable devices. Here, he said, Clarinox provides the necessary wireless protocols for a connected world.
The IS2T contribution to the Spectrum offering is a Java environment on an embedded device running Micrium's uC/OS-II or uC/OS-III). “The biggest advantage to Java is that the cloud developers understand how to work with it, and there are a plethora of applications already available,” said Legare. ” It is a very powerful tool for graphical user interfaces and is the basis for applications on Android, iOS, etc.
The Micrium Embedded Java (EJM) solution that is part of the Spectrum offering runs on a single core, simplifying the system level architecture and saving hardware costs, thereby enabling Java to run in an embedded environment. The EJM sits on top of uC/OS-II and uC/OS-III and the entire solution fits in less than 40K of code.
This is very much different from the typical Web of Things implementations, where embedded developers who want access to the rich number of applications available for Android or Linux have to use two processor cores (one running the RTOS, the other running Android/Linux), said Legare.