Building Robust IoT Networks with AliOS Things

The network is a critical part of every IoT device. This article will help you explore several important features of the IoT network. It will also look at how AliOS Things aims to provide some new and innovative solutions to problems.

IP Network

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  1. IPv6 can provide enough address space.
  2. A large number of software developers are familiar with Socket.

UDP Network

There are two main transport layer protocols over IP: TCP and UDP. So far, TCP is crushing UDP. Practically everyone has heard of TCP/IP while only a minority of people know about UDP/IP.

Co-Existing Communication Technologies in IoT

Different communication technologies have different speeds, coverage, reliability, power consumption, deployment, and cost; no single technology can cure all problems. 3G/4G networks outperform WiFi in coverage but are not as fast, use more power, and cost more than WiFi. With regards to speed, WiFi kills BLE. But with regards to power consumption, BLE is the way to go.

Co-Existing Network Topology in IoT

The following figure is a common network topology:

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AliOS Things Features

Regarding the above characteristics, AliOS Things provides relevant components from multiple latitudes to better support the network needs of IoT devices. In addition to the highly optimized protocol stack based on LwIP2.0, the following rich components are also available:

CoAP-based Full Link Optimization

AliOS Things supports CoAP-based cloud access (such as Alibaba Cloud IoT Suite) while supporting CoAP-based FOTA, making it possible to build an all-UDP system.

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SAL Network Adaptation Layer

On IoT devices, MCU plug-in communication modules are very common. The communication methods between the MCU and the communication module are also varied. To reduce complexity, the communication module often runs the complete TCP/IP protocol stack and controls MCU through AT or a private protocol. In response to this situation, AliOS Things uses SAL components to offer a standard socket interface to the upper layer, while lower layers can use a private protocol based on the SAL device. For the common AT module, AT Parser further reduces the complexity of docking.

uMesh

uMesh is a self-organizing network protocol stack, independent of wireless protocol, beneath IP and above MAC. uMesh is a Routing Mesh that supports both tree and mesh topologies. Structured address routing is used in tree topologies, greatly reducing the size of the routing table. uMesh can seamlessly interface with the TCPIP protocol stack, making it easy for various types of wireless devices with limited resources to access the IP network. AliOS Things designed uMesh technology for complex networks to solve communication’s last mile problems.

Conclusion

This article explores some unique features of IoT networks and related features of AliOS Things. Visit AliOS Things Github at https://github.com/alibaba/AliOS-Things , and join us in working together to build a better IoT-oriented operating system.

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