According to U.K. based product development and engineering consultancy, 42 Technology, Rust is a very-high-performance alternative to common systems programming languages such as C and C++ because it avoids the memory safety issues that “plague those languages but without the complexity and overhead of Java”
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that its nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) has been used by U.K. consultancy, 42 Technology, to successfully demonstrate what 42 Technology claims to be the world’s first Rust programming language application for a single-chip IoT device.
“Our aim is to help eliminate the security vulnerabilities that too many people have seen, for example, with low cost home security cameras, smart hubs, and medical equipment such as insulin pumps,” says 42 Technology Senior Consultant, Jonathan Pallant.
“The ability to run Rust in IoT applications could accelerate the development of much more robust and secure low cost, low powered cellular IoT products and systems. And play a critical role in unlocking significant new markets for smart industrial and consumer products where security remains a major concern.”
42 Technology says the Nordic nRF9160 SiP’s ARMv8-M architecture’s TrustZone security features are particularly exciting, allowing applications and associated services to operate securely, protected from hacking, misuse and corruption.
In recent field trials conducted in the U.K, 42 Technology says its Rust application made secure encrypted connections to Amazon cloud services via an early LTE Cat-M network being rolled out by network operator, O2. The application is also said to support NB-IoT which is currently being launched in the U.K. by Vodafone and other operators.
Pallant continues: “Rust is the perfect programming language to run on very small and low-cost hardware, and was specifically designed from the outset with a focus on memory-safety. It gives developers modern, powerful tools to allow them to be highly productive – without incurring significant run-time overhead. And because of the strict type-checking and borrow-checking, the Rust compiler is able to highlight potential security issues early in the development process.”
“Nordic’s nRF9160 SiP offers game-changing energy-efficiency, performance, and security,” says Senior Product Marketing Manager at Nordic, John Leonard. “And we are delighted 42 Technology’s Rust-enabled application will help to demonstrate the wide range of genuinely secure IoT applications that our multi-mode LTE-M/NB-IoT cellular IoT SiP can be used for.”