Creating an App is Easy
When someone has a great idea for an app, it’s easy to get started on it. The integrated development environments for the phone OS have everything app developers need: tools for designing the GUI, frameworks and compilers to support coding, built-in libraries for accessing phone features, and simulators or emulators to test it all. All you need is a designer to make it look good, and a coder who’s familiar with building apps.
Creating an IoT Device Is Not
When someone has a great idea for an IoT device, it’s a whole different process. First developers usually choose a chip or a device. Then they need to decide on an operating system. And then they can start figuring out which development tools they’ll use. Each environment is uniquely put together, and there’s no one supporting the entire platform. Until the environment is designed, developers don’t know what capabilities and features will be available to them. Once that’s settled, they still can’t just start writing application code; they need to build the supporting functionality first.
There are some IoT development platforms out there, but a recent study did a gap analysis and found the platforms lacked support for application developers, a full ecosystem for IoT development, and an IoT marketplace, among other shortcomings. The new Renesas Synergy platform takes big steps towards filling in those gaps.
A Fully Integrated Development Environment
Renesas Synergy is a new platform that provides a truly integrated environment for IoT development. It’s built around a new family of micro-controllers, so developers can choose a chip that meets their product’s performance and power needs, but the bigger advantage is that developers can start their work far above the chip level—developers can start coding right at the API level.
The reason for this is that the platform not only includes the chip, it includes then ThreadX real-time operating system, support for communication protocols, file system access, and graphics. Starter kits, development kits, product example kits, and application example kits help developers leverage the software package by providing sample applications to use as models. Beyond the delivered platform, the Synergy Gallery serves as a kind of app store, offering additional Synergy tools and third-party add-ons. These components will be certified to work in the environment.
The platform’s development environment is based on Eclipse, one of the most popular IDEs. The environment provides standard functionality such as context-aware help. Debugging is easier, too: Developers are able to trace through ThreadX source, not machine code. There’s also support for IoT-specific functionality such as pin reconfiguration to target signals properly.
Get Started More Quickly and Get Help from a Single Source
Having all this functionality put together in one usable platform means projects can start in on the meaty development work right at the beginning, rather than spending time getting the development environment working. Developers don’t have to define and implement their own standards for handling common low-level functions; Renesas Synergy builds in real-time event management, connectivity, power management, and other core functionality.
Another advantage is that the bundled software has been optimized to work on Renesas. Plus, Renesas stands behind the package and fully supports it. If there are problems, there’s only one vendor who’s responsible for working with the client to find a resolution.
Management often focuses on the most visible cost in IoT development: the cost of the microcontroller. The costs of software, training, upgrades, and maintenance aren’t as visible, but can be even larger. The structure of the Renasas Synergy platform bundles these costs into the MCU purchase. Taken together, the features and pricing model mean Renesas Synergy provides a cost-effective, cohesive, and well-supported environment where IoT developers can focus on rapid development of innovative products.
That’s the power of Renesas Synergy and IoT.