RIOT OS – An Open-Source Operating System for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is a rapidly evolving concept, and is already pretty mainstream in engineering and maker environments. Thanks to open-source communities more and more software tools and resources are available, making the development of IoT applications more and more streamlined. Making no exception RIOT OS is a fully fledged open-source operating system designed primarily for powering embedded devices, offering features and capabilities that will get your project up and running in no time.

RIOT OS for the Internet of Things

RIOT is based on a microkernel architecture, which means it is optimized for very low resource demands, and it supports real-time and multi-thread processing. It is compatible with 16/32-bit MCU architectures and there is also a native port available for running it as a process under Linux or MacOS, thus enabling usage of standard development tools such as the GNU Compiler Collection, GNU Debugger, Valgrind or Wireshark.

The RIOT OS has numerous features integrated, it supports C/C++ languages natively and offers features such as shell, cryptographic libraries, various data structures. The OS has integrated support for network stacks such as IPv6 or 6LoWPAN, and UDP, TCP, RPL and CoAP network protocols. The OS also has drivers for various hardware such as sensors, radio transceivers and MCUs.

Configuration sets for platforms are available meaning that RIOT supports ARM Cortex-M0, M3, M4 and ARM7 architectures, thus supporting various development boards such as Arduino Due, boards based on the Atmel ATmega2560 MCU (e.g. Arduino Mega 2560), or Bluetooth enabled devices such as the Nordic nRF51822 SoC.

The roots of RIOT can be traced back in 2008, with FeuerWare OS being a direct predecessor. This OS was created for making it easy for firefighters to monitor wireless sensors networks, as a joint effort between Free University of Berlin and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW) from Germany, and the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA).

Source code and releases for RIOT are freely available on GitHub and you can learn more by accessing the resources below.