MicroEJ kit boosts Android portability in the IoT

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

French software developer MicroEJ has launched an Android Compatibility Kit for its VEE virtualisation software, connecting global electronic equipment makers to the Android Studio ecosystem.

This enables the same software to run on either MicroEJ or Android execution environment using its container virtualization for IoT and embedded devices. This allows manufacturers of embedded equipment can easily switch from a powerful processor to a smaller one, for example from ARM Cortex-A processors to ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers, to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

This will become even more important with the roll out of devices using the Matter IoT protocol.

MicroEJ VEE shares the same technology principles as Android and the kit also supports the development of applications with Android Studio and integrates with the Gradle build system. MicroEJ enables development on virtual devices to parallelize hardware and software development and speed up specification validation. Android Studio can launch MicroEJ Virtual Devices just as Android Virtual Devices.

The Android Compatibility Kit also enables two processors to coexist and distribute same tasks between a very powerful processor powered by Android and a low-power processor powered by MicroEJ to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

By using standard software containers, application code built with MicroEJ is portable on the best hardware, independently from RTOS/OS combinations. It accelerates hardware evaluations and fosters the development of derivative products thanks to software API reuse.

The large ecosystem of Java/Kotlin developers can now use popular tools such as IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio and Gradle to build MicroEJ applications, leveraging low-power features embedded at the heart of MicroEJ VEE for highly optimized resources usage.

MicroEJ VEE also eases the use of Graphic Processing Units (GPU), enabling a similar look and feel as smartphone apps. MicroVG provides support for Android Vector Drawables and SVG formats for impeccable UI/UX on any type of screen and leverages any vector GPU when necessary.

The MicroEJ Android Compatibility Kit is especially valuable in battery-operated industries such as smartwatches and thermostats, allowing the development of cost-optimized and energy-efficient products.  MicroEJ is a lightweight option that enables to expand product lines with the same user experience from low-end to premium devices.

“With this new offering from MicroEJ, developers can utilize processor capabilities while minimizing software development costs. This is of great value to our customers, particularly for those who build multiple product families using the breadth of our advanced portfolio of secure and energy efficient embedded processors from MCUs, to crossover i.MX RT and i.MX applications processors. For example, our recent collaboration with MicroEJ to enable the i.MX RT500 crossover MCU has been highly successful in simplifying access to its unique architecture of low-power and graphics. It’s a win-win for our customers,” said Joe Yu, Vice President and General Manager, IoT Edge Processing Line, NXP Semiconductors.

“We are proud to release Android Compatibility Kit to enable the vast community of Android developers to design Android compatible applications for microcontrollers and small, low-power microprocessors. With this new release, MicroEJ is reinforcing its leading position on the smart things market for its global, easy-to-use and secure MicroEJ VEE application container, which provides a modern development process for any kind of software-enabled electronic project,” said Dr. Fred Rivard, CEO of MicroEJ.

The company is also developing an ultra-optimized electronic version of the container calld a VPC Virtual Processor Core, for launch in 2023.

The Android Compatibility Kit is currently successfully used with lead customers for the production of mass-market electronic products.

The Android Compatibility Kit page

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