The Future of FreeRTOS

January 15, 2018


The Future of FreeRTOS

The "acquisition" of FreeRTOS by Amazon is further enhanced through a partnership with Wittenstein in the area of safety and security.

Just over a month ago, it was announced that FreeRTOS is being stewarded by Amazon Web Services (AWS), who have added a host of new features to the FreeRTOS kernel. The result is Amazon FreeRTOS, or a:FreeRTOS. I suggest you check it out, as there are some new features to explore, including libraries that enable local and cloud connectivity, security, and over-the-air (OTA) updates.

The announcement was big news for the embedded community. Created by Richard Barry in 2003, the FreeRTOS kernel is a market leading embedded real-time operating system (RTOS). Under the Amazon umbrella, it remains open source. This announcement will surely help the expansion of IoT, aiding many devices to connect more simply to the Cloud. But what about safety critical devices?

This is one of the advantages of a strategic business alliance between Wittenstein High Integrity Systems (WHIS) and AWS. WHIS have always offered commercial licensing and a safety critical variant of the FreeRTOS kernel. This variant, SafeRTOS, has the same functional model as the FreeRTOS kernel, but has been rebuilt for safety.

The advantage for Amazon FreeRTOS users is that the Task Isolation and Separation feature of SafeRTOS enables safety-critical devices to co-locate safety and non-safety critical code within the same memory space. This is a compelling feature for anyone developing safety-critical devices.

Andrew Longhurst is a Business Manager at Wittenstein High Integrity Systems. A skilled project leader with an extensive background in electrical, electronic, and software engineering, Andrew can deliver an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing embedded engineers within the safety critical sector. Andrew holds a BEng in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and an MSc in Robotics & Automation.