Contiki OS

Contiki is an open source operating system for the Internet of Things. Contiki connects tiny low-cost, low-power microcontrollers to the Internet.


  • Memory Allocation. Contiki is designed for tiny systems, having only a few kilobytes of memory available.
  • Full IP Networking. Contiki provides a full IP network stack, with standard IP protocols such as UDP, TCP, and HTTP, in addition to the new low-power standards like 6lowpan, RPL, and CoAP. The Contiki IPv6 stack, developed by and contributed to Contiki by Cisco, is fully certified under the IPv6 Ready Logo program.
  • Power Awareness. Contiki is designed to operate in extremely low-power systems: systems that may need to run for years on a pair of AA batteries. To assist the development of low-power systems, Contiki provides mechanisms for estimating the system power consumption and for understanding where the power was spent.
  • 6lowpan, RPL, CoAP. Contiki supports the recently standardized IETF protocols for low-power IPv6 networking, including the 6lowpan adaptation layer, the RPL IPv6 multi-hop routing protocol, and the CoAP RESTful application-layer protocol.
  • Dynamic Module Loading. Contiki supports dynamic loading and linking of modules at run-time.
  • The Cooja Network Simulator. Contiki devices often make up large wireless networks. Developing and debugging software for such networks is really hard. Cooja, the Contiki network simulator, makes this tremendously easier by providing a simulation environment that allows developers to both see their applications run in large-scale networks or in extreme detail on fully emulated hardware devices.
  • Sleepy Routers. In wireless networks, nodes may need to relay messages from others to reach their destination. With Contiki, even relay nodes, so-called routers, can be battery-operated thanks to the ContikiMAC radio duty cycling mechanism which allows them to sleep between each relayed message. Some call this sleeping routers, we call it sleepy routers.
  • Hardware Platforms. Contiki runs on a wide range of tiny platforms, ranging from 8051-powered systems-on-a-chip through the MSP430 and the AVR to a variety of ARM devices.
  • Protothreads. To save memory but provide a nice control flow in the code, Contiki uses a mechanism called protothreads. Protothreads is a mixture of the event-driven and the multi-threaded programming mechanisms.
  • Coffee flash file system. For devices that has an external flash memory chip, Contiki provides a lightweight flash file system, called Coffee.
  • The Contiki shell. Contiki provides an optional command-line shell with a set of commands that are useful during development and debugging of Contiki systems.
  • Regression Tests. To ensure that the Contiki code works as expected, the Contiki developers use a set of nightly regression tests that test important aspects of Contiki on a daily basis in the Cooja simulator.
  • The Rime Stack. In situations when bandwidth is at a premium or where the full IPv6 networking stack is overkill, Contiki provides a tailored wireless networking stack called Rime.
  • Build System. The Contiki build system makes it easy to compile applications for any of the available Contiki platforms. This makes it easy to try out applications on a range of different platforms.

Contiki OS Demo Projects

Contiki porting on PIC32

This project aims at porting the Contiki OS to Microchip PIC32 microcontroller based boards and has been effectively used by defining a new Contiki platform for the SEED-EYE Board.

A Contiki port for cc2520+stm32f4-boards

A Contiki port for cc2520+stm32f4-boards, with the following features: The cc2520 radio. The RPL border router using the USB connector. RIME IPv6. LEDs. Printf for debugging. Many applications, such as the webserver, telnet, udp. Driver for ws2811 LEDs that uses DMA and a timer.

Contiki Port for MSP-EXP430F5438

This project aims to port the Contiki OS to MSP-EXP430F5438 experimenter board. The experiment board is built around the MSP430F5438 micro-controller and has several peripherals including an audio input, a serial port, and a LCD. During port operations MSPGCC compiler is used. Although MSPGCC compiler has support for the MSP430 architecture, its support for the MSP430X architecture is buggy, therefore several patches were applied to the compiler. Also several device drivers are implemented to use all features of the experimenter board. Combining the advanced features of the MSP430F5438 micro-controller and the Contiki OS, we provide a powerful rapid development environment for sensor networks researchers.

Running Contiki with uIPv6 and SICSlowpan support on Atmel RAVEN hardware

This tutorial explains how to run Contiki with IPv6 and 6lowpan support on Atmel RAVEN evaluation kit (ATAVRRZRAVEN) hardware. We present basic example system architecture and application scenarios, as well as instructions to run more advanced demos. In the basic demo, you can: Ping the RAVEN Board from the router. Ping the router from the RAVEN board, using the RAVEN board menu. Browse the web server running on the RAVEN board. The server displays the live temperature measured from the board temperature sensor.


A deployment-ready 6LoWPAN Border Router solution based on Contiki.


A deployment-ready 6LoWPAN Border Router solution based on Contiki.

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Contiki OS Platforms

  • MSP430
  • ARM
  • ARM Cortex-M
  • AVR
  • 8051
  • PIC32