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AWS takes ‘stewardship’ of FreeRTOS

FreeRTOS founder Richard Barry has joined AWS as principal engineer

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Amazon FreeRTOS. Based on the popular FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS is aimed at IoT applications. The move also sees AWS take 'stewardship' of FreeRTOS.

Launched by Richard Barry, pictured, in 2003, FreeRTOS has also been available as OpenRTOS and SafeRTOS via Wittenstein high integrity systems (WHIS). Under a deal with AWS, WHIS will support Amazon FreeRTOS with OpenRTOS and SafeRTOS.

Based on the FreeRTOS kernel, Amazon FreeRTOS includes software libraries for common IoT capabilities, including configuring devices to a local network using common connectivity options like Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It also comes with libraries to help secure device data and connections, including support for data encryption and key management. A code signing feature is scheduled for deployment in the near future.

Meanwhile, Barry has joined AWS as principal engineer and will lead the engineering of Amazon FreeRTOS and the FreeRTOS kernel. “I’ve enjoyed a long-standing collaboration with Wittenstein and am excited to continue that relationship now I am with AWS”, said Barry.

“We were finding it harder and harder to keep up with demand for support and new features,” he continued. “While we had been in conversations with a number of suitors that offered to help FreeRTOS scale, Amazon was the first that fully aligned with our values. Importantly, AWS’ vision for the project allowed us to continue to … keep FreeRTOS both cross-platform and free for commercial use.”

The move coincides with the launch of version 10 of the FreeRTOS kernel. This is said to include two new features – stream buffers and message buffers. These task-to-task and interrupt-to-task communication primitives are optimised for such operations as passing data from an interrupt service routine to a task or from one MCU core to another.

FreeRTOS is now available under the MIT license, instead of its previous modified GPLv2 license, a move said to simplify the licensing process.

“We have a long and successful history of working with Barry and the FreeRTOS project,” said Dr David Cowling, WHIS’ managing director. “The AWS announcement will allow Amazon FreeRTOS to develop faster and to focus on innovative IoT edge of cloud solutions. We will continue to provide Amazon FreeRTOS users with the option of commercial licensing and, for those developing safety critical systems, the ability to upgrade to SafeRTOS.”

Graham Pitcher

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