Phoenix-RTOS 3 – microkernel-based real-time operating system for low-power software defined IoT appliances

Project purpose and information about the project

The aim of this project is to develop the 3rd version of Phoenix-RTOS operating system, which is dedicated for devices with low power consumption as well as the development of, compliant with version 3, communication software stacks (G3-PLC, 802.15.4, 802.15.4g, Wireless M-Bus), popular in IoT. The new version of the system will have microkernel architecture and feature high implementation efficiency (20KLoC kernel size and 100KB of code). Phoenix-RTOS system is developed for more than 18 years, initially as a master's thesis at Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology (Phoenix OS), then at Phoenix Systems company (Phoenix-RTOS 2). Version 2 has been widely implemented (Data Concentrators at Energa-Operator, smart meters in Kazakhstan, smart gas meters). The second version of the system is recognized on the market as a real-time system for Smart Grid and software-defined solutions. One of the modules of this system is Phoenix-PRIME - the world's first software-defined implementation of PRIME 1.3.6 PLC standard. The system's big advantage is UN*X application interface, which allows a wide range use of open-source applications. Many Internet of Things devices (e.g. electricity meters) vendors understand the need the operating system being the basis for effective software implementation. The main restriction of the second system version (which causes its restricted scalability, modularity, possibility of testing and increasing hardware requirements) is monolithic, large kernel that implements most of the system functionalities. Easy usage of the system is not possible in devices based on microcontrollers and which are requiring low power consumption. Understanding the market needs, trends of microcontrollers development and popularization of software-define approach for device development and having many partners that already use the system in their devices it was decided to develop a new version of the system.

Project results and implementation in economic activities

Phoenix-RTOS 3 will be implemented in Apator Metrix smart gas meters and in Saiman smart energy meters (Kazakhstan). Additionally Phoenix-RTOS 3 will be implemented in the future Data Concentrator Units manufactured by Energa-Operator for next smart meter deployments. The revenue stream will be generated based on current agreements and sale channels. New products will benefit from the results of the submitted project (lower costs, lower power consumption, low computing power requirement) to gain competitive advantage on the market.As part of the multiyear agreement signed between Apator Metrix and Phoenix Systems in 2016, Phoenix Systems developed the core part of the smart gas meter software based on STM32 low power architecture and running under control of the Phoenix-RTOS operating system. After certification completed in 2017, it will be used in the current generation of the smart gas meters to be offered in Poland and other European countries, first in Italy and then in Great Britain and other countries. The current generation still uses separate hardware communication modem (GSM, ZigBee SEP 1.2, Wirless M-Bus). The results of the submitted project will be implemented in the next generation smart gas meter in the Apator Metrix product portfolio. The communication modem (except GSM) in the form of a separate hardware component will be replaced by software implementations of wireless communication protocols ZigBee and Wireless MBus (depending on the requirements of specific target market as mentioned above). The existing smart gas meter software will be ported to run under control of the new operating system Phoenix-RTOS 3. As part of the joint project with Atende Software and Phoenix Systems (agreement signed also in 2016), Saiman company will implement new microkernel based Phoenix-RTOS 3 operating system in their line of smart energy meters based on current license agreement. The new version gives Saiman possibility to implement new type of meters and the market and export products to neighbor countries like Uzbekistan where large scale smart meter deployments are planned.

Project value: 3 507 184, 83 PLN

Co-funding: 2 106 110,27 PLN