Opinions / experiences requested regarding choosing the right IoT embedded OS

Noëlle Clement

Hi users part of the Zephyr project!

My team is looking into the possibility to transition from a bare-metal application to an OS for our embedded controllers. We develop IoT and wireless sensors solutions, for which we have also developed our own controller and platform. A lot of in-house development and maintenance!

Would some of you be willing to answer some questions about why Zephyr OS would be a good choice for us? (The main comparison right now is between Zephyr Project, RIOT-OS and ThreadX)

To give a summary of the reasons for even looking into a more advanced architecture: there are a few features common in embedded (IoT) OS' that would be very convenient for future development of the controller. Things like hardware abstraction and task scheduling are very welcome. In general we want to make it easier to maintain the code (pre- and post release) and decrease time-to-market for new controller versions (with new/upgraded hardware modules). A common requirement that also applies to us are the resource constraints and the ultra low power features (we need to be able to use the low power modes for the STM32L151CC, but that can be added in the port). Real-time isn’t a priority for us at all, although the priority (pre-emptive)-based scheduling would be very useful.
The controller is part of the in-house developed IoT system, which currently is mostly used for Smart Waste and Smart Silo products (detecting fill rates in both).

A few questions that popped up during my own research on this (mostly about Zephyr vs RIOT):
1) Are there advantages / disadvantages to the different kinds of groups supporting and contributing to Zephyr vs RIOT  (US/Europe, industry/academic, ?/?)
2) Are there advantages / disadvantages I should be aware of for using the OS commercially (compared to RIOT)
3) Are there advantages / disadvantages to the hardware abstraction method Zephyr OS uses (DTS vs HAL?)
4) What is the goal of the development of the OS (use by industry, academic, educational use, hobby projects)?
5) Any technical limitations I should be aware of?
6) Any technical advantages (over RIOT)?

Any help is really appreciated!

All the best,

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