AWS Announces Bevvy of New Additions to FreeRTOS, Greengrass, and Analytics IoT Portfolio at re:Invent 2018

by Roy Murdock | 12/05/2018


AWS Announces Bevvy of New Additions to FreeRTOS, Greengrass, and Analytics IoT Portfolio at re:Invent 2018

Amazon Web Services (AWS) showed no signs of slowing down during its annual re:Invent conference and analyst summit, held at the Venetian in Las Vegas this past week. The company presented a “condensed” list of over 55 new services during the re:Invent analyst summit, narrowing down the announcements due to feedback that the 70+ services announced last year were tough to digest.

AWS’ strength is also apparent in its financials with the business unit reporting net sales of $6.7B in Q3 2018, up 45.7% from its reported $4.6B in Q3 2017 net sales. AWS has generated $18.2B in net sales for parent company year-to-date in 2018 with an impressive operating margin of $5.1B or 28.1% of net sales through the nine months ended September 30th. AWS’ operating margin is especially impressive when compared to’s overall consolidated net income of $7.0B or just 4.4% of net sales over the same time period.

Many of the announcements at the re:Invent analyst summit centered around server networking, storage, compute, and machine learning. New A1 instances powered by custom AWS Arm Graviton processors, an on-premise server-as-a-service called AWS Outposts, and satellite base-stations-as-a-service were some of the more interesting additions

Focusing on IoT announcements – AWS added a few new IoT services to its portfolio:

  • AWS IoT SiteWise (preview) – gateway managed service that securely collects industrial (manufacturing, food and beverage, energy & utilities) data and sends it to the AWS cloud for analysis

  • AWS IoT Events (preview) – triggered messages managed service that can help identify issues from certain patterns of data.

  • AWS IoT Things Graph – drag and drop interface for connecting IoT devices.

  • AWS IoT Greengrass Connectors - adds further functionality, security, and support for third-party applications to Greengrass.

  • AWS IoT Device Tester – test automation application for AWS IoT Greengrass and Amazon FreeRTOS.

  • AWS IoT Service Delivery Designations – certification process added for AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT Analytics, and IoT Greengrass to designate competent partners.

  • AWS Partner Device Catalog – allows hardware partners to self-qualify their devices and list them in the partner device catalog.

  • AWS IoT Greengrass ML Inference Update - further integration of SageMaker ML capabilities into IoT Greengrass for machine learning at the edge.

  • Bluetooth Low Energy Support in Amazon FreeRTOS (beta) – support for Bluetooth BLE in Amazon FreeRTOS.

  • Publicly announced AWS IoT customers included Bayer, Intel, LogicSupply, Onica, Reply, and Uptake.

These new additions add to and augment Amazon’s current IoT portfolio, which centers around the foundational Amazon FreeRTOS, IoT Greengrass, IoT Core, and IoT Analytics offerings. AWS now has strong offerings at the MCU device, gateway, and cloud levels as it continues to round out its portfolio by adding additional horizontal analytics and connectivity components to its war chest.

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High Level AWS IoT Architecture

So where to next for AWS? This latest batch of services points towards a slightly more vertical strategy for AWS IoT, which will be necessary for the company to win further market share in many of the deeply embedded industries with functional safety, domain-specific, and/or legacy requirements.

AWS has been largely content to leave the vertical application-building business to partners such as Bsquare and Siemens, which build applications on top of AWS infrastructure for transportation and industrial customers. But AWS is moving one step closer to these customers with AWS IoT SiteWise for example, which is directly aimed at industrial environments.

We expect to see AWS IoT rolling out further vertical-focused analytics and machine learning services as the company learns what its partners need to get up and running quickly with ML for various scenarios such as factory automation and autonomous driving, among others.

The key takeaway from re:Invent though is simply the sheer speed of iteration and innovation occurring within AWS, an asset that is clearly built into the company’s DNA and reflected in every interaction with AWS’ sharp and forward-thinking employees. AWS is moving at lightning speed and bringing its partners along for the ride. Next stop, machine learning at the edge.

View the 2018 IoT & Embedded Technology Research Outline to learn more.

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