Cisco, Atmel and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) have built one of the smallest ever IPv6 stacks, and have open sourced it for general use.
The uIPv6 stack has such small memory and power requirements that it can be built into almost any device, allowing for a host of new applications like in-depth network monitoring, web-enabled medical equipment and power monitoring systems in devices as small as a light bulb.
"UIPv6 has the potential to impact a wide range of market verticals where automation is key, just as voice-over-IP did in enterprise telephony," said Rob Adams, senior director of Cisco's corporate development technology group.
The new stack needs just 0.5Kb of SRAM for data structures, a minimum of 1.3Kb of SRAM for buffering and 11Kb of Flash for the code.
Cisco has contributed IP networking experience to the project, while Atmel has put the stack on low-power wireless hardware known as Raven. The SICS' knowledge in embedded operating systems design was also key to the development of uIPv6.
Patrick Wetterwald, president of the IP for Smart Objects Alliance, said: "By running an IPv6 stack, operating a network of sensors thus becomes as easy as operating a network of PCs, IP phones or any other IP devices."