The future of AirPrime is multicore

25 Feb. 2013
Author: Thibault Cantegrel

Following the trend in smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, Sierra Wireless has announced a brand new multicore architecture for the next generation of AirPrime embedded modules, moving forward the "M2M system-on-a-chip" strategy, allowing customers to avoid buying and integrating 2 chips (CPU + wireless module) to build and simplify their M2M products and deployments.


Anyone who has programmed an Open AT AirPrime module (even embedded in an AirLink FXT), knows that it is really efficient to use the extra power left by the module processor to run a real embedded application. Although the module processor uses its resources primary for managing the wireless communication, (2G, 3G, ...), it leaves enough resources to run a decent embedded application at the same time.

From here, developers can face with two different challenges that may seriously constrain their embedded applications:

  • 3G and 4G networks management make embedded module use more resources to manage the wireless connectivity, and leave less CPU available for the application,
  • embedded applications tend to get bigger with time, and therefore consume more time and memory.
  • As well, some embedded applications are harder to develop when they have to share the processor resource with the module.

Sierra Wireless' advanced architecture addresses these challenges by adding in the module next to the wireless processor an application processor, dedicated to run embedded applications (yes, with an "s"... stay tuned!). Some versions will even embed more dedicated processors (cores) to enable some M2M specific features like satellite navigation, emergency calls, smart grid, healthcare monitoring, etc.

And of course, even in 2G, even with no hard real time constraints and no special feature requirement like satellite navigation, any development will benefit from this multicore architecture, because it means basically more CPU power (now all dedicated to your application), and more memory embedded in the module.


Also, this new architecture comes equipped with open application framework and ready-to-use building blocks, including a set of M2M libraries and development tools. It will be pre-integrated with Sierra Wireless' AirVantage M2M Cloud (register a free developer trial account)


Stay tuned!

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