UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Tinkertoy : build your own operating systems for IoT devices Wang, Bingyao


The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) makes it possible for tiny devices with sensing and communication capabilities to be interconnected and interact with the cyber physical world. However, these tiny devices are typically powered by batteries and have limited memory, so they cannot run commodity operating systems that are designed for general-purpose computers, such as Windows and Linux. Embedded operating systems addressed this issue and established a solid foundation for developers to write applications on these tiny devices. IoT devices are deployed everywhere, from smart home appliances to self-driving vehicles, and their applications impose ever-increasing and more heterogeneous demands on software architecture. There are many special-purpose and embedded operating systems built to satisfy these wildly different requirements, from early sensor network operating systems, such as TinyOS and Contiki, to more modern robot and real-time control systems, such as FreeRTOS and Zephyr. However, the rapid evolution and heterogeneity of IoT applications call for a different solution. Specifically, this work introduces Tinkertoy, a set of standard operating system components from which developers can assemble a custom system. Not only does the custom system provide precisely the functionality needed by an application, but it does so in up to four time less memory than other IoT operating systems and still has comparable performance to them.

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