At 3Play Networks, our focus is on OEM's who manufacture embedded network devices. These devices typically exhibit a number of distinct characteristics, among them:
High degree of complexity
Communications as a central part of their mission
Demanding standard of integrity, meaning
Intolerant of security compromise
Fully interoperable and standards-compliant
These characteristics drive the requirement for a set of features which are typically implemented either entirely in software or a combination of software and hardware on an embedded operating system. This technology feature set includes:
For a great majority of embedded devices, communications is a central part of what they need to do. But getting communications protocols right, especially in demanding switching and routing applications, can be extremely difficult. Not only are communication standards evolving quickly, but the protocols themselves can be very complex, especially as the sophistication level of embedded devices increases. To assist with performance and functionality, chip companies are introducing new products like network processors, but these devices are also very complex and require careful integration with embedded software.
For most embedded development projects, 3Play Networks recommends licensing third party Communication Protocol solutions and focusing internal resources on developing applications and other differentiating features. An appropriate solution involves a modular approach in which functional blocks can be included or excluded depending on the features of the embedded device. These modules should include switching, routing, management, multicast, and Quality of Service (QoS). For management purposes, a complete set of SNMP MIBs should be included for each module. Of course, the protocols themselves should be high performance, portable to multiple platforms, and should include support for the leading network processors.