How you can select suitable firmware architecture for your IoT device

The chosen operating environment for IoT device is a significant duty that will definitely impact your firmware development approach and your whole project's success. I will give you an overview of several operating environments that you can consider in making your choice and recommendation in terms of examples.

As IoT (Internet of things) takes off, forming an appropriate selection is considered crucial. Following are some of the operating environments,

·         Bare metal, including event-driven and super loop.

·         Full-featured and embedded.

·         Abstract and virtual.

Bare Metal

This sort of operating system implies that firmware is operating directly on the hardware of processors, without the advantage of the previous OS of a certain category. Moreover, there are various architectures similar to bare metal, including event-driven and super loop.

Super Loop

The super loop architecture performs several tasks in the applications, where the tasks’ order can be defined dynamically or statically selected at runtime. This sort of style is considered cooperative.


The architecture of event-driven style for the bare metal environment is opposite to super loop. Everything is performed directly to hardware interrupts, with very little or no code in the main loop.

Embedded and Full-featured OS

Embedded OS

Several embedded OS are available nowadays, both open-source and commercial. Few embedded OS allows guaranteed response time to events. However, several are designed to operate on small processors, involving 8-bit architecture with little memory. Others are designed to operate on large processors. No matter the complexity or size of the embedded OS or processor, there are advantages to have the task scheduler and other basic services. You can implement it if your required functionality is to promote maintenance and ease of development.

Full-featured OS

On a bigger IoT scale, full-featured OS such as Linux can be utilized. Suppose your required functionality requires processing the power and memory footprints of modern application processors. In that case, you can operate a full-feature OS and get the benefits of great services.

 Virtual or Abstracted Environment

It is worth noting that you may reach a higher-level that facilitates (and limits) your efforts of development.This happens when you select an important core hardware component with a firmware-based processor that gives you a completely abstract environment that allows you to develop software through advanced features and services.

This can be in the form of a virtual machine (such as Java virtual machines) or an interpreter (Python). I have seen many services in the market, such as cellular radio modules

It can also be like a domain-specific virtual environment. Embedded One has shaped various virtual environment for embedded devices, each with its custom programming, virtual machines, and support tools.

In certain areas, such as audio and video products, each example has given developers an easier and faster time to market.


You made it to the end, great! I hope you got the answers to your queries. Choosing a suitable operating environment for metal/firmware solutions can influence your time to get your product to market quickly will help you get successful.

At  Embedded One, they have been assisting clients do that for several years. You can contact Embedded One to chat about your project.

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