How to turn a home thermostat into a smart device: easing the connectivity challenge: Page 3 of 7

May 09, 2017 // By Vikram Ramanna
Consumers are developing a taste for smart home devices, thanks in part to the new sophistication of voice-controlled technologies such as Apple’s Siri Remote and the Alexa Voice Service on Amazon Echo, and of systems for the remote control of home devices such as Google’s Nest products.

Unified platform for hardware and software development

The function of WICED is to provide a unified platform for the development of internet-connected devices that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or ZigBee communications. What does unified mean here? The WICED platform includes fully interoperable hardware and software elements, and is comprised of:

  • Cypress RF ICs and modules, some with an on-board MCU, providing connectivity via Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth, Bluetooth + Bluetooth Low Energy, or Bluetooth + ZigBee.
  • A comprehensive software architecture providing for connectivity, security and applications (see Figure 2).
  • Native support for the ThreadX, NuttX and FreeRTOS RTOSs. Developers may also port other RTOSs to the WICED platform. ThreadX is distributed as sharable binaries within WICED with no royalties.
  • Native support for the NetX, NetXDuo and LwIP network stacks. Other TCP/IP stacks may easily be ported to WICED. NetX and NetXDuo are distributed as sharable binaries within WICED with no royalties.
  • A complete Software Development Kit (SDK) built on top of the open-source Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE), enabling developers to use all the features provided in Eclipse for developing and debugging applications based on the Cypress RF products.
  • Arduino-compatible development baseboards to which users can connect sensor shields and other peripheral devices.
  • Reference designs provided by third-party WICED development partners.
  • Application example code demonstrating the implementation of all the commonly used communications, networking and application protocols.
  • Sample applications for communication with cloud-service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure® and IBM’s Bluemix®.
  • A fail-safe process for Over-The-Air (OTA) updates.
  • Full documentation for APIs and the sample applications.

Figure 2: the WICED software architecture.

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