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Enabling M2M devices with zero configuration networking

Anil Khanna

Anil Khanna

Posted Apr 29, 2013

The concept of machine-to-machine communication (M2M) is the foundation of the Internet of Things (IoT). Of the few core technologies that help facilitate this, zero configuration networking (zeroconf) is key.

Zero configuration networking is what allows your personal, portable wireless devices to talk to other similar devices – without any additional setup required from the user. In the pre-zeroconf days, users were required to perform admin tasks such as configuring DHCP and DNS server services. Obviously, the barrier to setup and configure wired/wireless networking was quite high.

Zero configuration networking gets around these limitations by relying on newer advanced methods. Two key methods, IP Multicast DNS (mDNS) and DNS-SD, for example, allow name-to-address resolution and automatic service discovery.

Although zeroconf has been around for a while, its importance has taken a whole new dimension given the rapid growth of internet enabled devices. Wi-Fi connectivity is ubiquitous in consumer devices, be it cell phones, tablets, Blu-ray players, TVs, cameras and more. Even non-traditional everyday use products such as refrigerators (streaming Pandora!) and cars are beginning to be proliferated with this interface.

By allowing devices to “talk” to each other, a seemingly limitless list of applications is enabled. Needless to say, when designing embedded devices for M2M applications (smart energy, medical, logistics etc.) it is important that the hardware and software chosen support the necessary interfaces and protocols. Nucleus RTOS has been customer proven for M2M applications and supports a wide range of connectivity and networking options including TCP/IP, IPv4/v6 and zero configuration networking.

Click here to request a trial of Nucleus ReadyStart to see how Nucleus can help with the design of your IoT device.

M2M, mDNS, smart energy, zeroconf, Networking, RTOS

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About Anil Khanna Follow on Twitter

Anil KhannaI am part of the marketing organization in the Embedded Software Division here at Mentor. Before this I spent 10 years marketing Mentor's hardware design products, specifically in the RTL and high-level synthesis domains. Moving from addressing the requirements of hardware designers to those of software designers has been quite the change. Throw in open-source and you have a heady mix - which keeps me on my toes! Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading a good book or the occasional round of golf (in the few hours of sunshine we get in Portland!). I hope you find my thoughts interesting and look forward to your comments. Visit Embedded Blog

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