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Amazon FreeRTOS BLE on ESP32

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Jun 19, 2019

Taking advantage of this functionality, you can create BLE applications that are portable across a:FreeRTOS-qualified devices, including ESP32-DevKitC and ESP-WROVER-KIT.

Yesterday Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced general availability of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support in Amazon FreeRTOS. This support will enable embedded developers to securely connect Amazon FreeRTOS devices using BLE to AWS IoT via Android and iOS devices, and remotely update firmware on the Amazon FreeRTOS devices.

 

The collaboration between Espressif Systems (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and Amazon Web Services (AWS) has gone from strength to strength since AWS re:Invent 2016. Indeed, the runaway success of ESP32, since its launch in September 2016, and subsequently the adoption of the FreeRTOS kernel by AWS have paved the way for a closer collaboration between AWS and Espressif. Espressif has been one of the first companies that supported Amazon FreeRTOS.

 

Since its establishment in 2008, Espressif has quickly grown into a multinational, fabless semiconductor company, with offices in China, India and Europe. As a complete-solution provider, we specialize in inventing highly-integrated, low-power, Wi-Fi-and-Bluetooth SoCs. At Espressif Systems, we have a passionate team of engineers and scientists focused on developing cutting-edge chipsets. We are committed to providing IoT solutions that make wireless technology more power-efficient, robust and secure. Among our most popular IoT solutions are ESP8266 and ESP32.

 

The fact that ESP32 is an AWS-certified product provides further testament to its robust design and the high level of integration that Espressif’s flagship SoC can achieve. ESP32 is powered by advanced calibration circuitries, and can dynamically remove external circuit imperfections, effectively adapting to changes in external conditions. ESP32 is capable of functioning reliably in industrial environments, with an operating temperature ranging from -40°C to +125°C. Additionally, ESP32 is highly-integrated with in-built antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifiers, low-noise receive amplifiers, filters and power management modules. ESP32 can perform as a complete standalone system or as a slave device to a host MCU, reducing communication stack overhead on the main application processor. Engineered for mobile devices, wearable electronics and IoT applications, ESP32 achieves ultra-low power consumption with a combination of several types of proprietary software.

 

What’s more, ESP32 comes with Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), along with Wi-Fi connectivity. No wonder why, then, ESP32 development boards have been instrumental in supporting general availability of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in Amazon FreeRTOS. There are two ESP32-based development boards qualified for Amazon FreeRTOS BLE, ESP32-DevKitC and ESP-WROVER-KIT. The Amazon FreeRTOS integration of BLE can also be used to easily configure the Wi-Fi network credentials. It also facilitates the MQTT-over-ΒLE support, which provides connectivity to the AWS cloud through mobile phones when a Wi-Fi connection is not available.

AWS-certified boards

The ESP32 port of Amazon FreeRTOS ensures that security policies, such as the trusted boot, encrypted flash, verified OTA, TLS1.2 for communication and certificate-based mutual authentication, are adhered to in the design. This safeguards the security of the overall system.

 

Amazon FreeRTOS provides a managed OTA service in the AWS cloud and an agent on the device side, which makes the OTA management a hassle-free experience for users. It facilitates image signing, upgrade monitoring and phased upgrade rollout in the AWS cloud. The ESP32 port ensures that the updates are received and programmed securely, while also facilitating a rollback in case of a consecutively failed boot-up.

 

AWS and Espressif have brought the Amazon FreeRTOS-qualified to the market, based on Espressif’s popular IoT development framework (ESP-IDF). This offers the best of two worlds, AWS and Espressif, as connected devices are now able to easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.