Java Programmable Wireless Microcontroller released as Open Source
Digital Six Laboratories announced the release of a new open source hardware and software project that brings Java programmability to embedded wireless devices. JwiK™, which stands for Java programmable Wireless Kontroller platform, is a technology platform consisting of a Java VM capable of running on an 8-bit microcontroller, a hardware reference design combining a microcontroller and high performance ISM band transceiver, and a toolset for creating, downloading, and debugging Java applications on a wireless target.
The Java virtual machine is written in ANSI-C and includes a class loader optimized for microcontrollers with limited resources. It is complimented by a native method interface that allows all hardware and software drivers to be written in C yet accessed natively in the Java application. The native library includes drivers for all hardware plus the open source OpenRF™ wireless networking protocol stack being developed by Digital Six Laboratories.
The JwiK™ BriK™ is an open source hardware reference design based on the MRF-900-TCMP module from Digital Six Laboratories, LLC. It is a DIP style module that will carry modular FCC certification, support ultra-low current battery operation, transmit over distances in excess of a mile LOS, and operate from 2.7 to 16V DC.
A development board, also open source, is also available. It is compatible with the Arduino Uno footprint and pin-out and provides a USB port for easy interface between the BriK™ and a PC for programming and experimentation. The development board, called the Jduino™, is compatible with a wide range of existing expansion shields, allowing hobbyists and professionals alike to use off-the-shelf hardware to create complex networks of embedded wireless devices in a matter of hours, not days or weeks.
“JwiK™ represents an entirely new way to build wireless devices,” says Steve Montgomery, developer of JwiK™ and General Manager of Digital Six Laboratories, LLC. “It provides an all-inclusive toolkit for rapid prototyping of embedded wireless devices which is completely open source and free to use for commercial purposes.”
The JwiK™ IDE is a single windows application that is used to create, configure, download, and debug Java applications on any JwiK™ target using its internal UART. The IDE is a WinForms application written in C#; all source code is available as open source under the MIT license. It requires the Java JDK to be installed to support compilation.
“We are revolutionizing the embedded wireless technology business in a number of ways,” says Mr. Montgomery. “From our 1 for 1K pricing to our open source initiatives, we are leading the way for maximizing value for our customers. JwiK™ is the next step and with it, we are using yet another novel approach. The JwiK™ project belongs to the community and as such we are giving the community a chance to participate by putting the project on KickStarter.”
By incorporating KickStarter, the community can become active supporters of the project by pledging support. An innovative reward structure provides preview access to completed hardware and direct influence over the project’s future.
For more information about Digital Six Laboratories, the MRF-900-TCMP module, or any of our open source initiatives, please visit www.d6labs.com.
August 1, 2012