Monday, February 28, 2022 - 05:00
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Eclipse zenoh and Eclipse Cyclone DDS are very well-known in the global IoT and edge ecosystem and are widely adopted. Now, an Eclipse Foundation member behind these projects is set to accelerate the technology advances in both with a new company being spun out of ADLINK.

To gain insight into the new company and what it means for zenoh and Cyclone DDS, we talked to Angelo Corsaro, the former ADLINK CTO, who is leading the new company. 

Q. So Angelo, what has happened within ADLINK?

We’ve taken what was the Advanced Technology Office (ATO) within ADLINK and spun it out into a separate company called ZettaScale Technology. Zetta means 1021. It’s beyond petascale, and even exascale. If you look at edge computing and the increasing intelligence on the periphery of the system with technologies such as robotics and autonomous vehicles, we need to get to that scale. So, we called the company ZettaScale Technology.

We’re starting with about 50 people who were in the ADLINK ATO and we will be expanding aggressively. It’s very much a group of experts. Well over half of the overall ZettaScale R&D team has a Ph.D., and in our France location, more than 90 percent of the engineers have Ph.D.s.

Q. What is ZettaScale focused on?

ZettaScale will be expanding and building on the work we’ve been doing in the ADLINK ATO and continuing to advance Eclipse zenoh and Eclipse Cyclone DDS as open-source projects.

Our mission is to bring every connected human and machine the unconstrained freedom to communicate, compute, and store anywhere, at any scale, efficiently, and securely.

In a way, we’re trying to remove the constraints of the cloud. We’re not against cloud, but computation occurs from the cloud all the way down to the microcontroller on the device. It’s a continuum and we believe you should be able to store data, compute, and communicate along this continuum, where it makes the most sense. 

Q. Why is this such an important area to focus on?

Today, we’re surrounded by more and more devices that provide communications, compute, and storage capabilities. This creates new opportunities for us to store and compute all of that data closer to us.

Imagine you’re trying to program your home thermostat with your phone. Those communications have to go from your phone through a cloud service, then back to the thermostat which is right in front of you. It’s a waste of time and energy because most of the energy is consumed by the communications. Then if your fiber is accidentally cut, like mine was the other day, you can no longer communicate with your thermostat at all, which is very frustrating when it’s right there on the wall. 

We’ve been working to provide a unified infrastructure that allows developers to store data, compute, and communicate in the most effective way. When devices are close together, they can communicate directly. When devices are far from each other, they can mediate their communications through our infrastructure.

Q. Why was it important to create a separate company to advance the efforts already being made within ADLINK?

We wanted to create a brand that is dedicated to the software needed to achieve our goals. This will help to increase awareness of what we’re doing, accelerate adoption of our technologies, and further build our market success. We think there’s a huge market opportunity. 

With ZettaScale, everyone can clearly see there’s a new player in the edge computing world, and we’re one of the first with a truly edge native platform because our technology, which is largely built on Eclipse open-source projects, was built from the ground up to address the challenges in edge computing. 

We already have several high-profile customers that use our products, and we believe that will only increase as we push forward with ZettaScale. Because our products are based on zenoh and Cyclone DDS, our success in the marketplace will also help bring visibility and credibility to these projects.

Q. What does the creation of ZettaScale mean for the future of zenoh and Cyclone DDS?

We’ll be able to grow our team more aggressively to advance the technologies faster. We also plan to offer commercial support and some level of industrialization around the technologies. We really want Cyclone to be the best DDS implementation on the market.

We’re also working on some key technology advances, including a dataflow computing framework. Until now, dataflow computing has been fragmented into two separate worlds: the cloud world of internet companies and the robotics world of industrial companies. We’re bringing those worlds together. We have a new framework that runs on top of zenoh and allows you to declaratively compose dataflow programs that span from the cloud to the microcontroller. We have an alpha version now, and we’re expecting to have the first release in June.

I encourage everyone to stay tuned because we have some big announcements coming up. The next several months will be very interesting, and you can expect some great news from us.

Q. How do you see ZettaScale working in the broader Eclipse Foundation community?

We’re already part of the Eclipse IoT and Edge Native Working Groups, and I see many opportunities for us to get more involved. I want to make sure we are synergistic with the IoT community, and never competitive with them. For example, an MQTT plug-in for zenoh routers would be able to bring zenoh’s advantage to many existing MQTT developments that want to better leverage the edge. Over time, I’d also like to have closer coordination with the OpenADx Working Group, and I think Oniro is a very interesting initiative where we have something to contribute.

Learn More and Get Involved

In past newsletters, we’ve featured articles that highlight the goals and successes of Eclipse zenoh and Eclipse Cyclone DDS. For more insight, check out:

To learn about the latest project advances and get involved:

About the Author

Angelo Corsaro

Angelo Corsaro

Angelo Corsaro is the CEO and CTO of ZettaScale, a project lead for Eclipse zenoh, and a committer on Eclipse Cyclone DDS.