The Zephyr Project is a compact, real-time operating system (RTOS). Because it's an open-source project, the source code is available for all to use. It works with multiple hardware platforms including Arm and RISC-V. Zephyr has a native IPv4/IPv6 network stack and supports the latest wireless hardware with protocols like Bluetooth 5. It can handle chip-level security for features like secure boot and will fit in as little as 8 kB of code space.
Some of the major enhancements include the ability to work with NVMe storage devices, SMBus-based peripherals, and more uniform interfaces to real-time clock hardware (see figure). Retained memory is RAM-based storage that's maintained across reboots versus flash memory that has higher overhead.
Zephyr uses a testing framework called Twister. It's designed to support unit tests and now works with third-party test frameworks like pyTest, GoogleTest, and the Robot Framework. Zephyr's compact size makes it well-suited for many robotic projects.
On June 16, 2023, Zephyr 3.4 was released. The video (above) delves into the new features including:
- 00:08 - Introduction
- 01:21 - Some of the new supported boards
- 06:15 - New Peripherals
- 07:47 - Auxiliary displays
- 13:09 - NVMe
- 14:41 - Retained memory
- 17:48 - SMBus
- 18:53 - Real-time clocks
- 24:49 - Input subsystem
- 32:07 - Twister framework improvements
- 37:31 - Snippets
- 40:08 - Notable changes to Zephyr SDK
- 42:24 - Bluetooth updates
- 45:26 - Wrap-up