“Let’s first take a look at an industry background in which the IoT operating system is located. Three years ago, the entire wireless SoC and MCU chip supply was basically monopolized by foreign manufacturers, such as Qualcomm, ST, NXP, etc.; but in the future, domestic chip manufacturers such as Espressif and GD will gradually increase and rise rapidly , becoming a major player in the Chinese market.Secondly, there is a consensus in the industry that China will lead the development of the global IoT industry, not only in terms of scale and quantity, but also in terms of R&D, production, business model innovation, etc. Because China has strong manufacturing and supply chain advantages, China has Very good innovation ability, China has the largest scale
Let’s first take a look at an industry background in which the IoT operating system is located. Three years ago, the entire wireless SoC and MCU chip supply was basically monopolized by foreign manufacturers, such as Qualcomm, ST, NXP, etc.; but in the future, domestic chip manufacturers such as Espressif and GD will gradually increase and rise rapidly , becoming a major player in the Chinese market. Secondly, there is a consensus in the industry that China will lead the development of the global IoT industry, not only in terms of scale and quantity, but also in terms of R&D, production, business model innovation, etc. Because China has strong manufacturing and supply chain advantages, China has Very good innovation ability, China has the largest potential market. The Internet of Things has entered a stage of rapid development. However, a high-quality IoT operating system with a good ecological foundation has never appeared, which hinders the development of the Internet of Things to a certain extent. Pure real-time operating system kernels such as FreeRTOS and uc/OS are mostly used on the market, and enterprises develop their own upper-layer software components. Of course, in recent years, the industry has seen the entry value of IoT operating systems and has launched platform-level IoT OSs one after another. Our RT-Thread has a relatively good ecological foundation and advantages in products and technologies, but we really emphasize the concept of IoT OS, attach importance to it from a strategic point of view, and fully implement our strategy, which only started half a year ago.
RT-Thread was born in 2006. Xiong Puxiang, the founder of Ruiside, stemmed from his extreme love for real-time operating systems and his talent, and began to write the kernel and the above software components line by line, including virtual File system, GUI graphics library and console debugging tools, etc. For example, we completed the porting and optimization of LwIP in 2009. Bit by bit, over time, we have the highly reliable RT-Thread 3.0 IoT OS we have today. In the past eleven years, we have accumulated a fairly good software ecosystem: RT-Thread supports all mainstream compilation tools on the market, such as IAR, GCC, Keil, etc.; in terms of cross-platform, we almost commercially support all mainstream MCU chips and CPU architectures , and even include many single-chip series of ARM9, ARM11, and A7. In industry applications, RT-Thread is widely used in automotive, medical, new energy, Beidou navigation, consumer electronics and many other industries because of its ease of use and high reliability.
Figure: RT-Thread History Review
How does Ruiside/RT-Thread position itself? First of all, RT-Thread is completely independently developed by Chinese people, from the kernel to the above intermediate components. This ensures its security and can be used in fields with high security requirements such as military, finance, and industry; at the same time, we emphasize neutrality. RT-Thread is a truly neutral system, and we will adhere to this path in the future. We are neutral to CPU architecture, neutral to chips, neutral to equipment manufacturers, and neutral to different IoT platforms. We will not strategically favor a certain manufacturer and provide him with exclusive support, optimization or binding. We just hope to simply do one thing well, that is to do a good job in RT-Thread, and optimize the software of IoT terminals; in addition, we have an excellent local technical team, in Zhangjiang, Shanghai, there are currently not many people. There are less than 20 people, but next year we will expand to a team of nearly 40 people, all of whom have very rich experience and skills in embedded operating systems, and can provide local partners with efficient and timely localized technical support services.
Through exchanges with a number of mainstream chip, equipment and IoT cloud manufacturers, we have personally felt that the market is looking forward to a high-quality IoT operating system, which will really bring benefits to the industry and directly promote the IoT industry. The development of IoT, we summarize, mainly in the following aspects: 1) Reduce the development cycle of products, including reference design of chips, equipment solutions, product development, etc.; 2) Improve the quality of IoT terminal software, such as higher System stability, better API design, lower memory resource usage, etc. 3) Speed up the connection between devices and clouds. If there is a scientifically designed and relatively unified IoT OS platform, the connection between IoT cloud and different terminals will be much easier. Personally, I believe that the operating systems on IoT terminals will gradually converge in the future, and there will be no more than two mainstream OSs. 4) It is convenient for the deployment of applications and services, which is also related to the unity of the platform. At present, it is rare to load applications from the cloud, like installing an application on a mobile phone. I think this is also a trend in the future. With the maturity of the Internet of Things industry, future application services should be able to be loaded later, a relatively unified A platform is undoubtedly a must.
Below is the software architecture of our latest RT-Thread 3.0 IoT OS, which is a cross-platform architecture that supports all mainstream CPU architectures, including ARM, MIPS, C-Sky, Xtensa, Andes, RISC-V, and more. The software components of the middle layer are very complete, more than 70% of which are independently developed by the team of Ruiside, with complete independent intellectual property rights.
Our GUI graphics library is called Persimmon UI, which can achieve Android-like smooth effects on real-time small systems, performing operations such as hovering, rotating, and sliding. In the fields of home appliances and industry, in order to improve user experience and enhance interactivity, the demand for graphical interaction is increasing day by day. We are cooperating with a number of chip manufacturers to integrate Persimmon UI, and will soon form an overall solution and bring it to the market.
Low-power management component, which is also a feature of ours, it supports various sleep power-saving modes, and can dynamically adjust the operating frequency and voltage. This can be done. The upper-layer application does not need to care about the underlying power consumption, and the system automatically sleeps. FOTA upgrade, which is also an integral part of the Internet of Things. The most important thing about our FOTA is security. It can bind the firmware to each device. If you change the device, you will not be able to upgrade. In addition, good security protection has been done in terms of secure encryption, signature, and authentication. For the network connection component, we emphasize full connection, support for various network protocols, including IPv6, MQTT, CoAP, LWM2M, etc., and we have done a lot of optimization for our system, and strive to occupy the least resources. We also support the Cellular cellular network very well, from 2G, 4G to NB-IoT and lora.
The support of the POSIX standard is also a major feature of ours. RT-Thread should be one of the best OS supported in the industry. Version 3.0 has better compatibility with Linux applications, including full compatibility with PSE52 and network-related PSE53. IP Camera is an application field that has a strong demand for POSIX compatibility. Traditionally, IP camera systems are based on Linux, but we see a clear trend, that is, consumer IPC, the function is relatively simple, does not need Linux at all, embedded operating system can bring faster startup time, less Mainstream IPC SoC manufacturers such as Fullhan Microelectronics and Guoke Microelectronics have chosen RT-Thread, and the good compatibility with Linux applications is one of the reasons.
High scalability is what we have been emphasizing with our partners, and it is also a feature that RT-Thread has done well. The scientific modularity and loosely coupled design ensure the highly scalable characteristics of RT-Thread. With RT-Thread, manufacturers can easily achieve differentiated functional customization, and easily deploy low-to-high, serialized product solutions. At all levels, RT-Thread has a competitive advantage in terms of memory resource usage. Take our latest release, Nano, the smallest version, which completes 80% of the functions of the RTOS kernel and only requires 2.5KB of ROM. And 1.5KB of RAM, it was enthusiastically sought after by developers as soon as it was launched. In version 3.0, our newly added ENV tools and package management tools allow developers to easily configure functions and load third-party software packages.
Figure: Highly scalable
At the beginning of its design, RT-Thread has always attached great importance to its simplicity and ease of use. Developers who have “played” with RT-Thread are full of praise for its ease of use. It is embodied in its elegant code style, modular design, console Shell debugging tool, comprehensive compilation tool support, concise and complete API and many other aspects.
After talking about technology and products, let’s take a look at the new strategic layout of RT-Thread. Half a year ago, we launched a brand-new IOT OS strategy. In just half a year, we can be said to be reborn and achieve leapfrog development. In addition to the substantial increase in popularity and influence, our “two-wheel” drive strategy has also yielded fruitful results. In terms of partners, we have launched a cooperation strategy for the entire industry chain. From IP manufacturers, chip manufacturers, to IoT cloud manufacturers, we all take the initiative to promote cooperation. So far, we have signed contracts with more than 13 domestic mainstream chip manufacturers, all of which will adopt RT-Thread as a native operating system and bring it to the market together with the chip. The developer community, as the living soil of RT-Thread, has been with us for 11 years. However, due to various reasons, we did not pay enough attention to the operation of the community. I would like to apologize to the fans of RT-Thread. But in the past six months, we have done a lot of work to promote the rapid development and growth of the community.
Developers are distributed in various fields, from makers, students to all aspects of the entire industry. We will quickly promote the influence of RT-Thread among makers and students by cooperating with heavyweight partners, such as Punctual Atom, government agencies, etc., to make up for the previous deficiencies in development boards, tutorials, learning materials, etc. We have held a RT-Thread 3.0 conference, a developer conference and several offline salons, all of which have achieved good results and are highly praised by the industry. Our community registered users and WeChat Official Account fans are growing rapidly.