The Zephyr RTOS and Linux microPlatform products enable you to rapidly develop and maintain secure, OTA updatable connected devices.
The microPlatforms are configurable, small footprint, open source software for building connected devices, based on microcontrollers, advanced multi-core SoCs, or both. Whether you're making a remote sensor, smart light, appliance, robot, drone, or self-driving car, the microPlatforms provide a proven, tested platform to build upon.
Open Source Foundries offers a per-product (not per-unit) subscription service to the latest microPlatform updates to enable you to maintain your product with the latest security fixes, updates and new functionality throughout its lifetime. There's no lock-in, and public releases are available, typically once or twice a year.
Linux microPlatform
The Linux microPlatform is a complete software platform for developing an updatable, connected, Linux-based device.
Linux microPlatform block diagram
In the Linux microPlatform, we provide you a recent stable kernel that we test on a variety of SoCs, and a minimal runtime environment you can use to deploy applications and services in Docker containers. Both source code and binary builds are available.
The Linux microPlatform's minimal design is resource efficient, and follows best practices to increase security through reducing attack surfaces. The container-based application environment means you are free to use whatever distribution image, packaging system, libraries, or other software you choose. A typical headless product implementation with networking stack and supporting Docker containers will use less than 200MB of storage.
Linux microPlatform with IoT gateway containers
Open Source Foundries delivers reference Docker containers as part of the Linux microPlatform. These implement support for common device needs such as IP connectivity to Bluetooth devices, CoAP and LwM2M, MQTT, network proxying, and more. In our documentation, we show you how to manage these and your own containers on your devices. Using these in your application, you leverage our team of open source experts to reduce costs and time to market.
Zephyr microPlatform
The Zephyr microPlatform is a complete software platform for developing an updatable, connected microcontroller-based device.
The Zephyr Project is a scalable, cross-architecture RTOS for constrained devices, designed for security and with built-in Internet connectivity. The Open Source Foundries RTOS microPlatform is based on Zephyr because we believe that it is the future “Linux kernel of microcontrollers”. Like the Linux kernel, Zephyr has an open governance model that allows companies and individuals to add features and functionality and evolve the RTOS over time. Zephyr is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.
The Zephyr microPlatform includes the following key features:
  • Secure bootloader
  • OTA updates
  • Zephyr kernel
  • Networking and communications stacks
  • Example sensor and actuator/control applications
Zephyr microPlatform block diagram
Secure Bootloader
The Zephyr microPlatform provides built-in support for MCUBoot, a portable, open source bootloader for microcontrollers which supports firmware image updates and secure boot. The image updater can roll back failed updates, and recovers gracefully from power failures. The secure boot process only runs application binaries you have authorized.
Applications using the Zephyr microPlatform can also be modified to use custom security hardware or software required by the device.
Zephyr Kernel
The Zephyr kernel provides a small footprint, high performance, multi-threaded execution environment for higher level stacks, libraries and applications. A minimal Zephyr-based application uses less than 8KB of ROM. Complex applications including Bluetooth support, Internet connectivity, environment sensors, and logging can be implemented in less than 200KB. Zephyr is highly configurable, allowing you to tune resource usage and omit unnecessary features from your applications.
Networking and Communications Stacks
Zephyr supports a variety of network protocols out of the box, including IPv4 and IPv6, TCP (with optional TLS), UDP (with optional DTLS), DNS (with optional mDNS), DHCP, and application-layer protocols including LwM2M, MQTT, and HTTP. For compatibility with existing network-based applications, Zephyr includes a BSD-like sockets API.
Zephyr also provides built-in support for a variety of connectivity solutions, including Bluetooth (and Bluetooth Mesh) and IEEE 802.15.4. Support for WiFi and new low power and 5G standards including LoRa, NB-IoT and LTE-M is underway. Network interfaces can be configured to interoperate with Zephyr's protocol stacks according to your specific hardware requirements.
The Zephyr microPlatform is continuously tested with multiple BLE and BLE Mesh device configurations, and both the LwM2M and MQTT protocols. Open Source Foundries will integrate, test, and deliver additional wireless support in the continuous Zephyr microPlatform updates as they become available.
Application Development
Zephyr applications can be developed on Linux, Mac and Windows. Open Source Foundries provides an out of the box installation so you can focus on your application and not on setting up tools and configuring your environment. The microPlatform installation provides additional applications for gathering device sensor data, controlling devices connected to the MCU, and performing firmware over the air updates.
The Zephyr microPlatform is designed to enable simple development of secure devices, with a secure boot architecture, signed update process and encrypted data transfers. Using the microPlatform, you can provision your own keys for checking firmware updates into the MCU during the manufacturing process. A suitable source of entropy for secure network communication is also required. You can also take advantage of any additional security functions available on your hardware. Documentation is available to help you ensure that your product takes full advantage of the provided infrastructure.
Continuous Updates
The Zephyr Project is evolving rapidly, with new functionality added on a regular basis. The Zephyr microPlatform tames these changes, providing a stable, integrated and tested product development platform.
Our end to end testing and continuous microPlatform update process means that you can focus on your application, leaving our open source experts to ensure that the microPlatform remains stable and functional over time. With each update, we provide detailed information on changes and new functionality so that you are easily able to keep your product software updated, even between Zephyr releases.
End to end, Tested Reference System
Open Source Foundries integrates the microPlatform software itself, reference hardware, and additional tools to provide an end to end, open source reference system that you can use while developing your product. Using this software, which is provided with the microPlatforms and continuously tested by Open Source Foundries, you can securely publish sensor data from devices to the fog or cloud, receive commands or data back, and perform over the air updates to your devices and applications. Both public and private clouds are supported.
End to end reference system
Lifetime Support
Open Source Foundries continuously develops, integrates, tests, and delivers microPlatform and end to end system updates to subscribers for use in their own products. These continuous updates enable you to rapidly deliver new features, bug fixes, and critical security updates to your customers, at a fraction of the challenge and cost of managing upstream development changes yourself.
Traditionally, connected device development uses long-term support infrastructure, such as LTS operating system kernels, to manage and pass on updates to customers. However, this does not address the entire software stack, from bootloader to application. It is also slow and error-prone to back-port security and bug-fix patches onto software that may be many years old.
Deploying updatable products allows you to deliver bug fixes and new features to your customers throughout your product's lifetime, and provides both lower maintenance costs and protection against software vulnerabilities and other security threats.
By subscribing to the microPlatforms, you gain access to the latest fully integrated and tested updates from Open Source Foundries. As a subscriber, you are free to use these updates in your products. We will never “lock you in” -- you can cancel your subscription at any time.
The microPlatforms are hardware and architecture independent. Open Source Foundries use a small number of reference hardware platforms to create CI test labs to enable automated end to end testing across volumes of devices. Our goals for reference devices include:
  • Functionality
  • Strong upstream support
  • Global availability of devices and low cost development boards
Documentation is provided on how to use the microPlatforms on any hardware supported in the relevant upstream projects (i.e. the Zephyr Project and the Linux kernel).
We provide builds for several popular hardware platforms as examples, and are also working with SoC and MCU manufacturers to create a “microPlatform Certified” program.
Linux microPlatform
Zephyr microPlatform
Reference HW
  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Compulab IoT-GATE-iMX7
  • Red Bear BLE Nano 2 (Nordic nRF52832)
  • Also tested
  • Beaglebone Black Wireless
  • DragonBoard 410C
  • DragonBoard 820C
  • HiKey board
  • Intel NUC (Core i3 / Intel Celeron J3455)
  • MinnowBoard Turbot QUAD Core Board
  • Raspberry Pi Zero (wifi)
  • SiFive HiFive Unleashed (RISC-V) *
  • Solidrun HummingBoard Gate
  • Toradex Colibri iMX7 (Aster Carrier Board)
  • 96Boards Nitrogen
  • Nordic nRF52840dk
  • Other
    Upstream supported hardware
    * The SiFive Unleashed is currently an
    experimental platform running a minimized
    version of the Linux microPlatform
    We provide free access to the last public release of the Zephyr and Linux microPlatforms. This enables you to evaluate our product and use the open source software at no cost. We make public releases available typically once or twice a year.
    You may then subscribe to get our latest builds of the Zephyr and/or Linux microPlatfoms. You can try out our service for 30 days at no cost and then pay $1,000/month (Zephyr) or $2,500/month (Linux) for continued access to the latest updates, security patches and new features to help you develop your new product. You need a subscription for each end product that you build and maintain, and there are no per unit royalties or charges.
    $ 0 /MO
    Zephyr microPlatform
    $ 0 /MO
    Linux microPlatform
    Prepared and released 1-2 times per year
    Open Source
    Complete end-to-end software
    Partner Subscriptions
    $ 10,000 /YR
    Zephyr microPlatform Partner
    $ 25,000 /YR
    Linux microPlatform Partner
    Access to continuous releases
    Open Source
    Complete end-to-end software
    Protected by comprehensive continuous integration
    Smaller merges for highly dynamic projects
    Expert help and support
    Product Subscriptions
    $ 1,000 /MO
    $ 10,000 /YR
    Zephyr microPlatform
    $ 2,500 /MO
    $ 25,000 /YR
    Linux microPlatform
    Access to continuous releases
    Open Source
    Complete end-to-end software
    Protected by comprehensive continuous integration
    Smaller merges for highly dynamic projects
    Expert help and support
    Per product unlimited redistribution