When you think of IoT devices, chances are you are thinking about a connected camera or sensor. Most of those devices have very basic CPUs and run Linux or a similar operating system. Not every IoT device actually features a real CPU, though. Instead, they are powered by basic microcontrollers. Those devices (think smoke detectors, etc.) are often old and can’t directly connect to the cloud. They tend to run some version of the FreeRTOS operating system and kernel.
As AWS CEO Andy Jassy announced at the company’s re:Invent conference today, the company thought about this issue and decided to build its own operating system in the form of Amazon FreeRTOS. This is a microcontroller operating system that AWS says is meant to simplify the development and security of these very basic IoT devices. It’s meant to run on a low-power connected device that can connect to the cloud — either directly or through AWS Greengrass.
Amazon FreeRTOS is, as the name implies, essentially an extension of the FreeRTOS operating system that adds libraries for local and cloud connectivity. Over time, Amazon will also add support for over-the-air updates.