Friday, September 27, 2013

JavaScript for Embedded - Does it make sense?

Espruino - or JavaScript for Things, as they call it - just got its kickstarter funding collected. It's a JavaScript interpreter for MCUs, to be released as an open source SW/HW. First demonstrator already exists and now they are finalizing design and documentation, and to manufacture the board in volumes.

JavaScript interpreter for Embedded is what I have been waiting for. Don't have hands-on experiences with it yet, but it sounds pretty promising. For the Espruino HW board, STM32F103 Cortex-M3 MCU with 256k Flash and 48k RAM was selected. That's way below the bare minimum requirements of Java ME Embedded, that I discussed about in my previous posting.

Now we have three competing approaches for MCU systems:

  1. Native compiled C/C++, like mbed for example
  2. Java ME Embedded
  3. JavaScript for Things, Espruino or similar
Interesting research question is comparisong of the different programming technology approaches from following perspectives (including, but not limited to):
  • Overall performance and resource consumption
  • Real-time behavior
  • Energy efficiency
  • Connectivity w/Internet and Cloud
  • Reliability and security issues 
  • Quality, including testing testing solutions, etc. 
  • Productivity of software engineering 
  • Ecosystem support
It's really fascinating to see that there is plenty of activity going on around embedded and MCU field. It's definitely not a dead zone.

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