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Introducing Three Featured FreeRTOS IoT Integrations for More Secure IoT Applications

We are excited to announce three Featured FreeRTOS IoT Integrations developed in collaboration with our partners Espressif, NXP and STMicroelectronics. Each project demonstrates the use of the latest FreeRTOS and AWS Embedded C SDK Long Term Support (LTS) libraries, and the latest microcontroller architecture capabilities to raise the bar for the security and modularity of IoT applications. All three projects are designed to offer the developer not just an example of a more secure cloud connected device, but one that can be easily customized into a complete, production-worthy, IoT product.

These reference integration projects demonstrate the use of different microcontroller architectures and different approaches to securely storing secrets. They all establish a more secure cloud connection via mutual TLS authentication with the AWS IoT Core service and support Over the Air (OTA) updates to help keep the application safe over the life of the product. OTA updates are performed seamlessly side by side with the application (MQTT) telemetry and command/control tasks, thanks to the implementation of the new MQTT-Agent library.

In detail, you will find that:

  • The Espressif ESP32-C3 integration is designed to leverage its latest generation RISC-V (32-bit) core and takes advantage of the on-board Digital Signature Peripheral (an on-chip secure enclave) to manage secrets more securely and accelerate all crypto-graphical operations. Thanks to the Bluetooth (BLE5) capabilities of the ESP32-C3 system in a chip, the ESP32-C3 DevKitM-1 evaluation kit provides an inexpensive yet complete IoT device development platform.
  • The NXP i.MX RT1060 integration is based on the i.MX RT1060 Evaluation Kit (MIMXRT1060-EVK) combined with the EdgeLock┬« SE050 Development Kit (OM-SE050) for hardware-based security. Building on the work done previously to achieve the first FreeRTOS SESIP security certification, this new project provides a useful example of combining the AWS IoT Embedded C SDK libraries with a pre-provisioned (Plug & Trust) secure element to establish the IoT device identity and enable more secure communication with AWS IoT Core.
  • The STMicro STM32U5 integration is based on the STM32U5 series Arm 32-bit Cortex-M33 core (featuring ARM v8-M architecture) which incorporates Arm TrustZone technology with on-chip hardware Root of Trust (RoT) to support secure boot, and secure data storage. In this project the OTA client makes use of Arm's PSA API. Private keys and other secrets required for local executable image and remote IoT cloud authentication are stored entirely within the TF-M and are not accessible from the non-secure side.

Make sure to read each of these new Featured FreeRTOS IoT integrations pages to dive deeper and learn how FreeRTOS and its Core libraries allow you to quickly and easily develop more secure and robust IoT applications.

FreeRTOS is an MIT licensed, open source, real-time operating system for microcontrollers that makes small, low-power edge devices easy to program, deploy, secure, connect, and manage. Follow these links to get started with FreeRTOS, and its many libraries and demo projects. Download the source code from FreeRTOS.org or GitHub.

About the author

Lucio is a Product Manager at Amazon Web Services. He has held various technical and marketing roles in the semiconductor industry for the past 20 years. As an opinionated and prolific author he has published numerous articles and technical books on programming for embedded control applications. Following his passion for flying, he has achieved both FAA and EASA private pilot licenses.
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