The Eclipse Foundation, which has been officially based in Europe since the beginning of 2021, has given the go-ahead for a new project in the IoT area: Together with the Chinese OpenAtom Foundation, the Oniro project is to develop a manufacturer-neutral operating system that can be used as an independent alternative to established IoT and Edge Operating systems will be available as open source software.
Oniro aims to ensure the interoperability of future edge and IoT devices and, according to the foundations, is aiming for a global reach. Technically, it is based on the OpenHarmony system of the OpenAtom Foundation. According to the Eclipse Foundation, the organizational and legal framework of the Eclipse working group should guarantee transparent and equal cooperation between manufacturers and companies. Huawei, Linaro and SECO, among others, participate in the working group.
From China to Europe: OpenHarmony implementation Oniro
“Oniro is open source in its purest form, and with this implementation we are bringing the OpenHarmony operating system from China to Europe and the rest of the world,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, about the project heise Developer. According to him, Oniro is a multi-kernel system that can be used as an operating system on a wide range of end devices. The prototypes were initially developed by the European branch of Huawei with its partners, who are now contributing the code to the Eclipse Foundation.
Milinkovich showed up opposite heise Developer delighted that the Eclipse Foundation can take its first operating system under its wing just one year after moving to Europe. It was exactly the kind of project they were hoping to attract. At least nine months of development work have already flowed into the implementation of OpenHarmony for Oniro.
Blueprints for manufacturers of embedded and IoT devices
During the development, Huawei worked closely with SECO, a listed Italian company for industrial IoT and embedded systems, among others. SECO had anchored in the German-speaking area in mid-October System provider for ARM-based embedded technology Garz & Fricke Group taken over, through whose merger a new European market leader for IoT, AI and edge systems has arisen.
According to Milinkovich, Oniro has a particular eye on the device manufacturers for whom the project represents “a real innovation”. The Executive Director is forecasting the first market-ready release for the first quarter of 2022. A series of blueprints for device manufacturers and device classes is planned, similar to the Linux build system. Companies that manufacture IoT devices should find “blueprints” for their special needs in the Oniro project, with which they can then continue working.
According to Milinkovich, it is also unusual that three open source foundations are pulling together for the Oniro project, in addition to Eclipse, Open Atom and Linaro are also on board. The message is that this is about global cooperation. For the cause, they work together across foundation boundaries.
Smart Home and Industrial IoT
The Oniro project focuses on specific applications: B2C and B2B (business to client and business to business) in the field of smart home, industrial automation and interoperability between factory devices from different manufacturers. Compatibility “out of the box” is the project goal, explained Milinkovich. The field of application is broad and affects the next generation of devices in a so-called “machine economy” with 5G, cloud technologies, edge and IoT applications. A machine economy is understood to mean autonomous and semi-autonomous devices that become actors themselves, deliver technical features, but also act economically. A greater independence from the hardware is important here.
When asked, Milinkovich added that the new architectures should take into account privacy aspects better than before. At Oniro, devices should be able to find each other without an intermediary cloud. The problem with today’s architectures is the accumulation of data, which makes systems attractive targets for attackers. According to Milinkovich, projects like Oniro are preparing to promote and support alternatives to the sole focus on the cloud.
If you are interested in details, you can Statements of the working group members Read the press release. The collaboration between Eclipse and OpenAtom has existed since the end of September 2021, and you can also find out more about this further information on the Eclipse Foundation website.