China's Huawei Technologies is targeting smart homes, cars, wearables and more with its own operating system, Liteos, intended for the international market.
On Wednesday, Huawei launched the OS to help third-party vendors break into the emerging Internet of Things space. The whole industry is eyeing opportunities to turn household objects and industrial equipment into connect devices, but the development costs still remain high, according to the Chinese company.
Huawei, however, claims its new "lightweight" OS can streamline the whole process. The Liteos software can be as small as 10 kilobytes in size, and is designed to run on minimal power, making it suitable for a wide range of hardware, including microcontrollers and ARM Cortex embedded processors.
Hardware running Liteos can be controlled remotely, or collect data. In addition, the operating system can be installed on devices already running Google's Android OS, and it can connect with other third-party devices.
The software features open APIs, and Huawei plans to make the Liteos source code available for download under the ISC license, which allows copying, modification and distribution of the code for free or for a fee. To attract developers, Huawei is providing chipsets, modules and hardware boards through its Liteos community.
Huawei is better known as a supplier of networking equipment, and its business has been growing with the world's demand for more Internet access. By 2025, it predicts the planet will have over 100 billion connected devices.
Huawei's Liteos could help the industry accelerate its development toward more smart hardware, but there's already growing competition with other providers. Chinese Internet players such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba are also moving into the Internet of Things space with their own software platforms, and Google's Android still remains popular for mobile device development.