Understanding Amazon FreeRTOS: Benefits and Ownership

FreeRTOS is a popular real-time operating system that is designed to run on microcontrollers and small embedded devices. It is based on FreeRTOS, an open-source operating system that has been widely used for IoT projects for many years. The popularity of FreeRTOS is due to its efficiency, portability, and ease of use in embedded systems development.

amazon freertos

However, Amazon FreeRTOS takes FreeRTOS to the next level by providing additional features and services that simplify the development and deployment of IoT devices. Amazon FreeRTOS includes features such as AWS IoT device SDK integration, over-the-air updates, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) integration.

Does Amazon own FreeRTOS?

FreeRTOS was initially developed by Richard Barry in 2003 as a lightweight operating system for microcontrollers. It quickly gained popularity among embedded systems developers due to its tiny footprint, portability, and open-source nature. FreeRTOS has been used in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics.

In 2017, Amazon acquired FreeRTOS and rebranded it as Amazon FreeRTOS. The acquisition was made as part of Amazon’s efforts to expand its IoT capabilities and provide more services for developers. Since the acquisition, Amazon has continued to develop and enhance Amazon FreeRTOS with new features and integrations with other AWS services.

Despite the acquisition, FreeRTOS remains an open-source project, and the source code is still available for free on GitHub. However, Amazon now provides additional services, such as OTA updates, AWS IoT Device SDK integration, and cloud integration, that are not available in the open-source version of FreeRTOS.

In terms of ownership, FreeRTOS is still an open-source project, but Amazon has a significant influence on its development and direction. Amazon is a member of the FreeRTOS Advisory Board, which provides guidance and support to the FreeRTOS project. Additionally, Amazon has made significant contributions to the FreeRTOS project and continues to work on enhancing and improving it.

While Amazon does not technically own FreeRTOS, it has a significant influence on its development and direction through its contributions, membership on the Advisory Board, and continued enhancement of Amazon FreeRTOS.

What kind of project is Amazon FreeRTOS?

Amazon FreeRTOS includes many features that make it suitable for IoT projects. These features include:

  1. AWS IoT Device SDK integration: Amazon FreeRTOS is fully integrated with the AWS IoT Device SDK, which provides a secure and scalable way to connect IoT devices to the cloud. This integration allows developers to quickly build applications that use AWS services, such as AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, and Amazon S3.
  2. Over-the-air updates: Amazon FreeRTOS supports over-the-air updates, which enables developers to update device firmware and software without physical access to the device. This feature simplifies the maintenance and management of IoT devices, reducing the need for manual updates.
  3. Security: Amazon FreeRTOS includes various security features, such as secure boot, secure key storage, and secure communication protocols. These features help protect IoT devices from attacks and ensure that data transmitted between the device and the cloud is secure.
  4. Portability: Amazon FreeRTOS is designed to be portable across a wide range of microcontrollers and embedded devices, making it easy to use and deploy in various environments.

Amazon FreeRTOS can be used in many IoT projects, including industrial automation, smart homes, wearables, and medical devices. For example, an innovative home application that controls lighting, heating, and security systems could be built using Amazon FreeRTOS. Similarly, a medical device that collects patient data and sends it securely to the cloud could also be built using Amazon FreeRTOS.

What are the dangers of using FreeRTOS after Amazon acquired FreeRTOS?

It’s important to note that there are no inherent dangers of using FreeRTOS after Amazon acquired it. In fact, the acquisition has led to several improvements and new features being added to the FreeRTOS project.

However, there are some concerns that have been raised by members of the open-source community regarding the ownership and control of FreeRTOS by Amazon. Some developers worry that Amazon may use its control of FreeRTOS to steer the project in a direction that is more aligned with its business interests. There are also concerns that Amazon could make changes to the project that would make it more difficult for open-source developers to contribute to the project.

To address these concerns, Amazon has taken steps to ensure that FreeRTOS remains an open-source project that is accessible to all developers. For example, the code for FreeRTOS is available on GitHub, and Amazon has made a commitment to continue contributing to the open-source community.

Overall, while there may be concerns about the ownership and control of FreeRTOS by Amazon, there are no inherent dangers in using the project. As with any open-source project, it’s vital for developers to carefully review the code and make sure that it meets their needs and requirements.


It’s essential to understand the benefits and differences between AWS FreeRTOS and the open-source version of FreeRTOS when building IoT projects. While the open-source version of FreeRTOS is a popular choice for embedded systems, AWS FreeRTOS provides several advantages for IoT projects, including integration with AWS services, OTA updates, simplified cloud integration, and advanced security features.

By leveraging these benefits, developers can build and deploy IoT devices more quickly, securely, and efficiently, freeing up time to focus on application development rather than infrastructure management.

Consider using Amazon FreeRTOS for your IoT projects. With its advanced features and ease of use, it offers a comprehensive and scalable solution for building and managing IoT devices that can meet the needs of a wide range of applications.

By using Amazon FreeRTOS, you can focus on creating innovative and valuable solutions that can help drive your business forward in the higher level of connected devices and the Internet of Things.

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