TI and Amazon Web Services collaborate to create end-to-end cloud connection for smart automation

TI and Amazon collaborate to create end-to-end cloud connection for smart automation

There's a lot riding on the next generation of industrial infrastructure. Creating stable and trustworthy devices for the Internet of Things (IoT) takes more than just having a wireless network connection. The smart devices that guide and drive everything from road sensors to power turbines need to be cloud-enabled, flexible, remotely managed and extremely secure. Gartner estimates more than 8.4 billion "things" are on the internet today, up more than 30 percent from just one year ago.

This requires highly capable, low-power microcontrollers (MCUs) running a feature-rich real-time operating system (RTOS) that easily connects to the cloud. To meet those demands, our company has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring Amazon FreeRTOS to the TI SimpleLink™ MCU platform, which enables customers to  focus on their application development and connect quickly to the cloud while leveraging advanced security features.

Microcontrollers frequently run operating systems that do not have built-in functionality to connect to local networks or the cloud, making IoT applications a challenge. Amazon FreeRTOS helps solve this problem by providing both the core operating system (to run the edge device) as well as integrated software libraries, from the SimpleLink SDK in this case, that make it easy to more securely connect to the cloud – or other edge devices – so you can collect data from them for IoT applications and take action.

“The combination of Amazon FreeRTOS, the AWS services and the TI SimpleLink CC3220SF wireless MCU provides a complete solution for building more secure IoT devices that deliver on the promise of smart products,” said Mattias Lange, general manager of our company’s Embedded connectivity solutions group. “The CC3220SF is the most feature-complete wireless MCU on the market, providing a cost-effective single-chip solution for both Wi-Fi and MCU applications.”

Cloud acceleration

Few RTOSs today provide solutions with integrated networking and connections to cloud services. The cloud is a critical piece to the growth of IoT because access to cloud storage and processing enables IoT devices – from autonomous mining drills to self-driving vehicles – to function in small and low-power applications.

Combining Amazon FreeRTOS and the TI SimpleLink CC3220SF wireless MCU is a great way to accelerate development of IoT applications in the market, thanks to careful integration. They combine comprehensive, modern security capabilities that include secure storage and protected bootloaders, which prevent tampering. Trusted authentication and configuration of authorized new devices make it easier to add new devices over time. And protected over-the-air updates of device firmware let customers keep devices up-to-date, patched and configured for changing application requirements needs.

Our CC3220SF wireless MCU is uniquely well-suited to meet all these demands because of its dedicated network processor and cryptographic engine. Memory and processing power is always a scarce resource in any MCU device. Offloading these key networking and security operations to integrated hardware frees up more processor power and memory for core tasks instead of tying them up in the operating system layer.

The next big thing

The introduction of Amazon FreeRTOS and the launch-day certification of our company's MCUs on the new platform are significant developments for an already-strong RTOS platform. While there are many real-time operating systems in the market, the FreeRTOS kernel has been one of the consistent market leaders.

Building the new wave of IoT innovation

It's easy to get started with Amazon FreeRTOS and SimpleLink MCUs. The software has been built integrating the SimpleLink SDK core features and is an open-source solution with no additional license or user fees available directly from AWS. The TI SimpleLink SDK, also available online under an open source license, adds additional examples and drivers for further application development. That means no unpleasant surprises when an inspiring new idea turns into a prototype IoT application, and that prototype gets ready for prime time.

The AWS cloud is primed to amplify a new wave of IoT devices. AWS provides a configuration console to make it easy to get started developing IoT solutions with the new software and our company’s SimpleLink LaunchPad™ development kit. The only thing missing? Your ideas.

Read more about the possibilities for IoT development on TI devices.