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IoT providing boost for RTOS market, says ABI

Steve Rogerson
March 9, 2017
 
More than 20 billion IoT devices will ship with an embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) by 2022, according to ABI Research.
 
The IoT faces new computing challenges, notably with deployment and scaling, and its future will rely in part on using an embedded RTOS that supports many IoT application features, such as small size, constrained processing resources, low power consumption, limited maintenance and real-time computing. ABI forecasts 21 billion IoT devices will ship with an embedded RTOS by 2022.
 
"The tremendous expansion of the IoT revived the embedded RTOS market, with open source platforms springing up rapidly to jostle long-established proprietary players," said Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research. "While industrial demand for RTOS has a decade-long history, the development of new IoT applications in other segments, such as consumer, digital home, connected car and smart cities, jolted demand for embedded RTOS."
 
Supported by greater MCU capabilities and lowering price points, the embedded RTOS market is expanding rapidly. Some of the most high-profile and innovative RTOSes currently on the market include µC/OS, Free RTOS, Integrity, Mbed OS, Meos, MQX, Nucleus, PikeOs, QNX, Riot OS, Thread X, VxWorks and Zephyr. Many open source operating systems popular with the IoT are increasingly adding real-time capabilities to compete in this market. Currently, the embedded RTOS market is highly fragmented, with hundreds of different platforms available.
 
"RTOS shows immense promise in terms of flexibility and application for all kinds of new IoT markets," said Menting, "although developers will need to tackle issues of interoperability and standardisation to realise its full potential."