European tech drives Amazon's operating system for the IoT

November 30, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
European technology is at the heart of Amazon Web Services' bid to create an operating system that scales across billions of devices in the Internet of Things

Amazon has launched its own version of the popular open source real time operating system FreeRTOS developed in Bristol, UK. This is supported by tools from IAR Systems in Sweden, an end to end implementation from STMicroelectronics on the ARM-based STM32 microcontrollers and high reliability versions from Wittenstein High Integrity Systems (WHIS), also in Bristol.

FreeRTOS was created in 2003 by Richard Barry who last year joined Amazon and as a result the FreeRTOS kernel version 10 is now under the MIT license (instead of its previous modified GPLv2 license). Amazon FreeRTOS adds support for AWS and IoT use cases, such as software libraries that make it easy to securely connect devices to the cloud and on a local network.

“Amazon FreeRTOS and the FreeRTOS kernel are part of a bigger initiative at AWS to speed innovation and improve business and operational efficiencies, not only in the cloud, but all the way out to IoT endpoints," said Barry. "In addition to continuing to develop and maintain the FreeRTOS kernel, at AWS we are extending it to offer a cloud-native IoT operating system, Amazon FreeRTOS, which helps overcome common difficulties faced by microcontroller developers, such as security, connectivity, and making it easy to manage devices through their lifecycle.”

The tools from IAR allow developers can choose to build their embedded and IoT application on a variety of qualified microcontrollers from companies collaborating with AWS and IAR Systems, including Microchip, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments.

“FreeRTOS is widely used among our customers and the new capabilities added by AWS will enable them to take their development of connected applications to the next level,” says Lotta Frimanson, Product Manager, IAR Systems. “AWS and IAR Systems solutions provide easy access to high-performance and integrated tools that can enable developers to focus on the innovative and differentiating parts of their application.”

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