Twilio Launches New IoT Platform for Developers on Mobile Networks

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Out of all the innovations, there’s very little that tops the Internet of Things (IoT). More connected devices have opened up new opportunities for both consumers and organizations alike. For example, interconnected equipment has made manufacturing plants more efficient. Moreover, the IoT has also become an integral part of our push for smarter homes.

However, if there’s one roadblock in IoT’s growth, it’s the complex architecture of cellular networks.

Cellular networks and the IoT

To build a network of IoT devices on cellular waves, you need to have expert knowledge on embedded software. This is because IoT devices have low-powered chips called “microcontrollers.” PCB or printed circuit boards use it to send device signals to other microcontrollers. The PCB design process starts with an in-depth knowledge on schematics, circuit layouts, and GND net rules. It will also require basic knowledge of 3D layouts and connection points. Cellular networks add to the complication by having a very niche chip build, software architecture, and protocols list.

Product designers aren’t used to this kind of technical knowledge.

“We quickly learned that customers were still wrestling with the other foundational aspects of embedded software that are unique to IoT,” said Evan Cummack, the general manager of leading cloud communications platform Twilio, in a press release. As such, IoT designers often requested support from microcontroller professionals to complete their projects. That is, until the eventual release of Microvisor.

Connecting IoT devices on a cellular network

Microvisor is an IoT platform that offers developers a way to connect IoT devices in a cellular network without going through the fuss of low-level coding the devices’ microprocessors. Microvisor conceived this idea after ARM announced that it would be offering its hardware isolation technology in its microprocessors. This was earlier this year. Through this technology, Microvisor will handle all the intricate cellular coding. This way, the developers can focus on the chips’ actual programming. Developers can also code in whatever language they want instead of adhering to an embedded operating system’s programming nuances. This will allow them to deliver IoT solutions more efficiently.

Plus, once connected to Microvisor, the devices will receive remote support for as long as the developer has access to the platform. This means that they can remotely mass debug products and perform wide updates at any time.

Microvisor will release a beta version of the platform once the hardware that supports it, the ARM microprocessors, gets the isolation update later this year or early in 2021. For a one-time fee, developers will be able to use the platform for ten years. You can sign up for Twilio’s November webinar on their website (twilio.com) if you want more information on Microvisor.

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