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picoTCP

Having a TCP/IP stack is just the beginning in transforming your product into an Internet of Things-ready product.

Content

As all communication towards, or from, Internet of Things nodes will be using the TCP/IP network protocol, we've designed our own very small TCP/IP stack at Altran, called picoTCP. That is a big effort, but we had multiple reasons for doing so;

  • We want to have complete control over the communication stack, starting with the lowest levels of the TCP/IP communication.  This allows us on one hand to put all our embedded software expertise into our own product, and give our customers the peace of mind that they can partner with ALTRAN to connect their devices in the knowledge we have complete control.  We know our code like the back of our hand. Co-creation friendly.
  • Based on experiences during the past years, we didn't come across a TCP/IP stack that lives up to our standards and expectations of what we think a good TCP/IP stack should be.
  • At Altran we have some of the best TCP/IP experts in house, making us confident that from their passion we are able to deliver a best in class solution. Quality assured.

Benefits

Due to our modular and scalable design picoTCP's key features can be easily summarized as;

Architecture Independent

Supporting 8, 16 and 32 bit systems, big or little endian

Easy integration with any embedded OS, or hooked to existing BSD sockets API

A minimal configuration footprint in flash of as 10KB,

A full host-mode configuration footprint of 20KB,

Required amount of RAM  < 16 K 

 

 

Source code

 

PicoTCP was built with quality in mind. No overload of unused functionality, but focusing on stability and reliability. To enforce that, we used tooling like Tiobe Tics, for monitoring the quality of our code base and Robot framework to perform the functional tests. 

To convince you we have nothing to hide about what we promise, we have open sourced picoTCP on Github. Also our issue tracking system is open to anyone. We want to give you peace of mind that you are working with the right TCP/IP stack.

 

Licensing

 

Interested in having a look? Our dual licensing model gives you that opportunity. PicoTCP has both a GPL v2 and a commercial license. 

Actually that is not where it ends; having a TCP/IP stack is just the beginning in transforming your product into an Internet of Things-ready product.

Sure, picoTCP is a good start, but what happens after you are able to "ping" your device?Have you ever thought about the data protocol you were going to use? Take the next step and improve your quality of life with ZeroMQ.

Case Reference

Objective:

One of our customers, a Tier-1 supplier to a major HVAC appliance manufacturer,was in the running for a low-cost hardware project requiring robust operation & connectivity. Altran was contacted to support them in providing the connectivity for this platform. Our customer was aware of the existence of open source solutions that could be a match for the set requirements, yet were not comfortable with the fact one can’tassess the robustness nor quality of such a solution. Previous unsuccessful experiences with closed source proprietary solutions as well pushed our customer into looking to better alternatives

 

Result:

With picoTCP, a TCP/IP stack for small footprint embedded devices, using an opensource license model we had the ideal product in house. Leverage our expertise knowledge on connectivity to guide our customer to makethe right decisions. Building on the highly portable architecture of our stack to ensure an extremely short Time To Market.  Guaranteed production grade quality of the stack, already for the Proof Of Concept phase.