Monday, October 13, 2008

Atmel, Cisco and Swedish Institute Develop Open Source IPv6 Stack

Atmel , Cisco and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) released an open-source, IPv6-ready protocol stack that could be used to enable a wide array of network-connected devices, including those with severe power or memory constraints. For instance, the IPv6 stack could be used in "Smart" objects powered by sensors and actuators in building automation, industrial monitoring, smart cities and energy management.

The open-source "uIPv6" stack includes standard IP applications and can be customized for specific requirements. It is integrated in the Contiki operating system developed by SICS, which provides all the necessary functionalities for networked smart objects. In addition, uIPv6's small footprint and memory usage allows it to run on the most constrained platforms. In particular, it was tested on Atmel's Raven wireless platform, chosen for its low-power performance.

The new uIPv6 stack requires 0.5 KB of SRAM for data structures, a minimum of 1.3 KB of SRAM for buffering, and 11 KB of Flash for the code. The Raven platform embeds a microcontroller and a wireless chip using the 802.15.4 standard, designed specifically to accommodate smart objects' requirements. uIPv6 includes an implementation of the 6LoWPAN standard, the adaptation layer between 802.15.4 and IPv6.

uIPv6 is released under a permissive open-source license, and as a result can be used for both commercial and noncommercial applications.

The collaborative project leveraged Cisco's expertise in IP networking, Atmel's low-power wireless hardware and SICS' knowledge in embedded operating systems design.