Cisco, Atmel and SICS Collaborate to Support the Internet of Things

14 October, 2008 - 16:20

One of the World's Smallest Open-Source,
IPv6-Ready Protocol Stack Enables Cost-Effective Deployment of
Sensor-Based ‘Smart' Objects

SAN JOSE, Calif., and BANGALORE, India, Oct. 14, 2008
- Cisco, Atmel and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS)
today announced the availability of uIPv6, one of the world's smallest
open-source, IPv6-ready protocol stack, which could enable every
device, no matter how limited by power or memory to have an Internet
Protocol address.

This collaborative project builds on Cisco's expertise in IP
networking, Atmel's innovative low-power wireless hardware and SICS'
knowledge in embedded operating systems design. "uIPv6 has the
potential to impact a wide range of market verticals where automation
is key, just as voice over IP did in enterprise telephony," said Rob
Adams, senior director of Cisco's Corporate Development technology

"Smart" objects powered by a wide range of sensors and actuators are
poised to enable a wide range of next-generation applications in
building automation, industrial monitoring, smart cities and energy
management, among many other areas. These applications help transmit
information in the physical world about conditions or the environment
(for example, temperature, light, motion, health status) to locations
where the information can be analyzed, correlated with other data and
acted upon.

The proliferation of such applications has however been held back by
the large number of proprietary or semi-closed systems, and the cost
associated with translating information before it can be effectively
shared with other devices and systems. The use of IP as networking
technology has long been recognized as the solution to this
interoperability issue. Now, thanks to unique lower-layer energy
management mechanisms and limited memory capacity, uIPv6 is highly
power-efficient and ideal for most constrained devices.

Open-source uIPv6 includes standard IP applications and can be
easily customized for specific requirements. It is integrated in the
Contiki operating system developed by SICS, which provides all the
necessary functionalities for networked smart objects. In addition,
uIPv6's small footprint and memory usage allows it to run on the most
constrained platforms. In particular, it was tested on Atmel's Raven
wireless platform, chosen for its outstanding low-power performance.

"Efficient, low-power wireless systems require ultra-low-power
embedded microcontrollers paired with excellent radio performance,"
said Magnus Pedersen, Atmel's director of product marketing, MCU
Wireless Solutions. "The fact that Cisco and SICS chose the Atmel AVR
Raven picoPower wireless platform as the basis for their uIPv6 and
6LoWPAN implementation confirms Atmel's leading edge in low-power
embedded wireless technology."

uIPv6 is released under a permissive open-source license, and as a
result can be used for both commercial and noncommercial applications.

"An open-source, standard-compliant, small-footprint IPv6
implementation is essential to enable the next generation of sensor
network applications," said Adam Dunkels, senior scientist at SICS and
Contiki project leader.

Patrick Wetterwald, president of the IP for Smart Objects Alliance
(IPSO) said, "By running an IPv6 stack, operating a network of sensors
thus becomes as easy as operating a network of PCs, IP phones, or any
other IP devices."

The new uIPv6 stack requires only 0.5 KB of SRAM for data
structures, a minimum of 1.3 KB of SRAM for buffering, and 11 KB of
flash for the code. The Raven platform embeds a microcontroller and a
wireless chip using the 802.15.4 standard, designed specifically to
accommodate smart objects' requirements. uIPv6 includes an
implementation of the 6LoWPAN standard, the adaptation layer between
802.15.4 and IPv6.


Cisco, Atmel, SICS, uIPv6, sensor networks, smart objects,
IP for Smart Objects Alliance, IPSO, Contiki, 6lowpan, 802.15.4, IPv6,
open source

Additional Information

To download Contiki/uIPv6: uIPv6 technical paper: Atmel RAVEN evaluation kit: 802.15.4 wireless standard specification: 6lowpan standard: IPv6 ready Logo Program: IPSO alliance:

About Atmel

Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of
microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and
radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's
broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is
able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions
focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing
and automotive markets.

About SICS

Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), is a non-profit
research organization with approximately 100 researchers. The main
office is situated in Kista outside Stockholm with smaller offices in
Uppsala, Göteborg, and Västerås. The mission of SICS is to contribute
to the competitive strength of industry by conducting advanced research
in strategic areas of computer science, and to actively promote the use
of new research ideas and results in industry and in society at large.
SICS collaborates with both large and small companies - in Sweden and
internationally. SICS research activities create value for industry and
society in many different ways, including people mobility, research
projects, scientific dissemination, and spin-off companies.

About the IPSO Alliance

The IPSO Alliance is a global non-profit organization serving the
various communities seeking to establish the Internet Protocol as the
basis for connecting smart objects by providing coordinated marketing
efforts available to the general public. The Alliance's purpose is to
provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger
relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the
industry, generating research and creating a better understanding of IP
and its role in connecting smart objects. For more information, visit

About Cisco

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that
transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information
about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go

ContactAdam Dunkels, SICSadam [at] sics.se08-633 16 14