Alibaba Cloud Opens Up IoT Technology Development Platform

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Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, announced it has opened the source code of Yun on Chip (YoC), its proprietary full-stack technology development platform for IoT devices. This initiative follows the company open-sourcing the XuanTie IP core series – the custom-built processors based on RISC-V instruction-set architecture – in October this year.

“This announcement is further proof of our continuoussupport for the RISC-V software ecosystem and our commitment to the open-source community,” said Dr. Jing Yang, Senior Director of Ecosystem Development at Alibaba Group. “Opening up our technology development platform, along with the IP cores of our in-house IoT processors, demonstrates that we are dedicated to assisting global developers and helping them build their own RISC-V-based IoT systems in an efficient and cost-effective way.”  

YoC adopts the design concept of minimalist development to enable developers to achieve efficient full-stack development from edge to cloud. In a market with fragmented IOT applications, YoC offers an open software platform that is scalable and can be easily adopted to support various IoT chips and cover different applications ranging from BlueTooth, WiFi, audio and multimedia. It also contains a domain-specific software stack and an Integrated Design Environment (IDE) to help developers build their desired operating systems for specific functions – such as AI acceleration, audio processing, mesh networking, and motor control – in an efficient time-to-market manner. 

The platform is composed of four layers including a hardware specification layer, a core service layer, an application component layer, and a business framework layer. It provides software frameworks in a variety of application domains to further reduce the development difficulty of application solutions. Currently, the YoC platform provides connectivity,  BLE/MESH, intelligent voice, visual AI, security and GUI frameworks.

It also features deep optimization and rich software components. The critical software in YoC is highly optimized for higher code density and more robust performance, supporting RISC-V acceleration SIMD instructions. The platform’s diverse software components include the Real-Time Operating System, network protocol stack, audio and video stream processing, generic file system, device management, and low power consumption management. It also boasts comprehensive security features, providing both system-level and chip-level security protection. 

Earlier this year, Alibaba Cloud announced opening up its XuanTie IP core series, among other upcoming cores. Developers can now access the source code of the XuanTie series IP cores on Github and Open Chip Community to build prototype chips of their own, which can be customized for IoT applications such as networking, gateway, and edge servers. In addition, XuanTie-related software stacks, which support multiple operating systems, including Linux, Android, RTOS, and Alibaba’s own AliOS, have also been opened.

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