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How to combine MCUs, RTOS and modules to optimize application development, with STM and Microsoft Azure

The ever-growing array of IoT applications and use cases places an enormous range of different requirements on devices which include variables such as processing power, memory, peripherals, sensors and actuators. For most IoT devices, it is also important that power consumption is low and the data they transmit, store and collect is secure. Often, this is impossible to assure from a single vendor because the different technologies come from different suppliers and need to be smoothly integrated in the final product.

Selecting vendors is therefore a demanding and important part of the device design process that should take into account not only which components offer an optimal solution but also how well each component will integrate with other vendors’ products. This is complex, fragmented and leaves room for apportioning blame in multiple directions. To avoid this, well-established partnerships are needed between vendors to bring together MCU, the operating system and the wireless module.

By doing so, customers can be assured that these mission critical components will interoperate well and enable an efficient device to be designed and manufactured. Quectel has been working with STMicroelectronics and Microsoft Azure RTOS to achieve this and has set out the advantages of this approach for accelerating IoT device application development.

ST offers a wide product portfolio of MCUs with different processing power, memories and interfaces suitable for all IoT devices. There are even some low power MCUs specifically for IoT devices and the company has enabled customers to benchmark the power consumption of MCUs easily. In addition to power consumption, ST has demonstrated how to secure your device with SBSFU – Secure Boot Secure Firmware Update, SFI – Secure Firmware Installation, and Active tamper pins. To speed up time to market for your product, ST also offers the STM32Cube Ecosystem for your software development.

The STM32Cube ecosystem is supercharged by collaboration with Microsoft Azure RTOS. This collaboration brings the high performance and safety features of Azure RTOS to IoT applications and together with Quectel wireless modules and the STM32Cube, simplified building of a secure, connected IoT solution, utilizing the Azure Wireless Framework (beta version) to unify wireless device application development.

IoT device design and component selection is complex and heavily dependent on the device being designed and the use case envisioned. However, selecting the MCU, Azure RTOS and wireless module from partners who are familiar with each other and the many different demands of IoT innovators, de-risks much of the process. The benefits of this approach were detailed in a recent Quectel Masterclass that brought together Kwang Meng Koh, the Technical Marketing Manager at STMicroelectronics, Liya Du, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, and Wade Zhang, Product Manager at Quectel.

Together with ecosystem partners, Quectel, Microsoft Azure and STMicroelectronics are helping customers quickly build edge to cloud IoT prototypes, speed up customer mass production and scale up their deployments. Watching the Masterclass will be of great value to developers designing edge to cloud IoT devices with the intent of scaling up to mass production – you can view it here.