Fuchsia to Power Brillo and Weave as Google’s Operating System for IoT ?
Android Police reported that there is a new project called Fuchsia that appeared on GitHub recently. The GitHub description is mysterious :
Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System).
The real question is new Operating System (OS) for what? Google has pushed Android OS across a wide spectrum of devices such as such as smartphones and tablets. Android is an Open OS that is available on devices made by a variety of manufacturers and offers flexibility in customizing the OS for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) usage. But is Android suitable for trillions of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices? There are cheap embedded boards such as Raspberry Pi that are enabling new IoT devices. Argument can be made both for and against Android usage for reliable and high performance edge IoT computing. The introduction of a new OS project in an IoT era could indicate that Fuchsia is Google’s new Operating System for IoT.
In 2015, Google introduced Brillo as a major IoT initiative to bring simplicity and speed of software development to hardware for IoT with an embedded OS, core services, developer kit, and developer console. Brillo offers a suite of IoT services built on an embedded OS based on Android, a developer kit, and a developer console. This is to allow developers and OEMs to choose from a variety of hardware capabilities and customization options, quickly move from prototype to production, and manage at scale with updates, metrics, and crash reporting. Brillo is supported across ARM, Intel x86, and MIPS-based hardware.
Google also announced Weave project that would work with Brillo as a communications platform for IoT devices that enables device setup, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. As per Google :
Weave provides a foundation of easy communication for reaching your devices from web or mobile, and standardized schemas that define device interoperability regardless of brand or manufacturer so you can focus on what really matters: creating an intelligent user experience across devices.
Is Google going to replace Android in Brillo/Weave with Fuchsia? It is possible if Google wants to move away from Linux for IoT devices. Android uses the Linux kernel under the hood and Linux gives Android developers a rock-solid operating system kernel to start with so they don’t have to write their own kernel. However, Google’s Magenta kernel has been developed for hyper scale of smartphone and IoT devices and may be better suited for Brillo and Weave. As the Fuchsia project evolves, it will be interesting to see whether it gains ground as a widely adopted IoT Operating System.
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