One of the World's Smallest Open-Source, IPv6-Ready Protocol Stack Enables Cost-Effective Deployment of Sensor- Based 'Smart' ObjectsOctober 15, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif., and BANGALORE, India, October 14, 2008 - Cisco, Atmel and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) today announced the availability of uIPv6, one of the world's smallest open-source, IPv6-ready protocol stack, which could enable every device, no matter how limited by power or memory to have an Internet Protocol address.
This collaborative project builds on Cisco's expertise in IP networking, Atmel's innovative low-power wireless hardware and SICS' knowledge in embedded operating systems design. "uIPv6 has the potential to impact a wide range of market verticals where automation is key, just as voice over IP did in enterprise telephony," said Rob Adams, senior director of Cisco's Corporate Development technology group.
"Smart" objects powered by a wide range of sensors and actuators are poised to enable a wide range of next-generation applications in building automation, industrial monitoring, smart cities and energy management, among many other areas. These applications help transmit information in the physical world about conditions or the environment (for example, temperature, light, motion, health status) to locations where the information can be analyzed, correlated with other data and acted upon.
The proliferation of such applications has however been held back by the large number of proprietary or semi-closed systems, and the cost associated with translating information before it can be effectively shared with other devices and systems. The use of IP as networking technology has long been recognized as the solution to this interoperability issue. Now, thanks to unique lower-layer energy management mechanisms and limited memory capacity, uIPv6 is highly power-efficient and ideal for most constrained devices.
Open-source uIPv6 includes standard IP applications and can be easily 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 outstanding low-power performance.
"Efficient, low-power wireless systems require ultra-low-power embedded microcontrollers paired with excellent radio performance," said Magnus Pedersen, Atmel's director of product marketing, MCU Wireless Solutions. "The fact that Cisco and SICS chose the Atmel AVR Raven picoPower wireless platform as the basis for their uIPv6 and 6LoWPAN implementation confirms Atmel's leading edge in low-power embedded wireless technology."
uIPv6 is released under a permissive open-source license, and as a result can be used for both commercial and noncommercial applications.
"An open-source, standard-compliant, small-footprint IPv6 implementation is essential to enable the next generation of sensor network applications," said Adam Dunkels, senior scientist at SICS and Contiki project leader. Patrick Wetterwald, president of the IP for Smart Objects Alliance (IPSO) said, "By running an IPv6 stack, operating a network of sensors thus becomes as easy as operating a network of PCs, IP phones, or any other IP devices."
The new uIPv6 stack requires only 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.
Cisco, Atmel, SICS, uIPv6, sensor networks, smart objects, IP for Smart Objects Alliance, IPSO, Contiki, 6lowpan, 802.15.4, IPv6, open source
- To download Contiki/uIPv6:
- uIPv6 technical paper:
- Atmel RAVEN evaluation kit:
- 802.15.4 wireless standard specification:
- 6lowpan standard:
- IPv6 ready Logo Program:
- IPSO alliance:
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets.
Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), is a non-profit research organization with approximately 100 researchers. The main office is situated in Kista outside Stockholm with smaller offices in Uppsala, Göteborg, and Västerås. The mission of SICS is to contribute to the competitive strength of industry by conducting advanced research in strategic areas of computer science, and to actively promote the use of new research ideas and results in industry and in society at large. SICS collaborates with both large and small companies - in Sweden and internationally. SICS research activities create value for industry and society in many different ways, including people mobility, research projects, scientific dissemination, and spin-off companies.
About the IPSO Alliance
The IPSO Alliance is a global non-profit organization serving the various communities seeking to establish the Internet Protocol as the basis for connecting smart objects by providing coordinated marketing efforts available to the general public. The Alliance's purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research and creating a better understanding of IP and its role in connecting smart objects. For more information, visit http://www.IPSO-Alliance.org.