Raspberry Pi meets the Julia programming language Raspberry Pi users now have a new general-purpose programming language, named Julia, that's created specifically for scientific computing.

Ben Nuttall, Raspberry Pi Community Manager of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, praised Julia for combining the ease of writing in high-level languages like Python and Ruby with the technical power of MATLAB and Mathematica and the speed of C. According to the project page, Julia provides a sophisticated compiler, distributed parallel execution, numerical accuracy, and an extensive mathematical function library.

Julia's base library integrates open source C and Fortran libraries for linear algebra, random number generation, signal processing, and string processing, according to the project page.

"Some time ago," wrote Nuttall in his blog [6], "Viral Shah, one of the language's co-creators, got in touch with us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation to say his team was working on a port of Julia to the ARM platform, specifically for the Raspberry Pi. Since then, they've done sterling work to add support for ARM. We're happy to announce that we've now added Julia to the Raspbian repository, and that all Raspberry Pi models are supported!"

Julia founders have ported the language for Raspberry Pi and added support for GPIO, the Sense HAT, and Minecraft.

According to the blog, Shah said, "The combination of Julia's performance and Pi's hardware unlocks new possibilities. Julia on the Pi will attract new communities and drive applications in universities, research labs and compute modules. Instead of shipping the data elsewhere for advanced analytics, it can simply be processed on the Pi itself in Julia."

Microsoft brings Azure cloud to Raspberry Pi

During the Build 2017 conference, Microsoft announced a new service called Azure IoT Edge that's designed to bring the capabilities of Azure IoT natively to IoT devices.

Edge computing is becoming increasingly popular because it enables developers to process and compute data locally, instead of in the cloud. In many instances, devices are deployed in scenarios with dodgy connectivity and devices and services that need to remain active and sync data whenever they are connected. Business Insider forecasts that more than 5.6 billion IoT devices will be connected to an edge computing solution by 2020.

"In a world of near infinite compute power and an exponential growth in data, we are focused on empowering every developer to build applications for this new era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, at the Build 2017 conference [7].

The devices supported by Azure IoT edge include Raspberry Pi and a broad range of IoT hardware and lower powered devices.

IoT Edge is capable of running on Linux and Windows and needs as little as 128MB of memory. According to a report from TechCrunch: "The Microsoft services that can run on these devices include Azure Machine Learning, Stream Analytics (which came to Edge devices earlier this year), Azure Functions, Microsoft's AI services and the Azure IoT Hub" [8].

"This will enable scenarios that require much lower latencies to be built with real-time analytics and intelligence on running on the IoT devices (at the edge)," wrote Chris Pietschmann, a Microsoft MVP on a blog post [9].

According to Pietschmann, Azure IoT Edge will allow developers to run artificial intelligence at the edge and deploy IoT solutions from cloud to edge, while managing them centrally from the cloud.


[1] Google brings AI to Raspberry Pi: https://developers.googleblog.com/2017/05/aiy-projects-voice-kit.html

[2] Voice Kit wait list: https://aiyprojects.withgoogle.com/voice/#project-overview

[3] Raspberry Pi Zero W: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-zero-w-joins-family/

[4] Huawei Board HiKey 960 for AOSP developers: https://www.linaro.org/news/linaro-announces-latest-96boards-product-aosp-development/

[5] British invasion: micro:bit comes to Adafruit: https://blog.adafruit.com/2017/04/19/new-product-bbc-microbit-go-bundle/

[6] Raspberry Pi meets Julia, a new programming language: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/julia-language-raspberry-pi/

[7] Microsoft brings Azure cloud to Raspberry Pi: https://news.microsoft.com/2017/05/10/microsoft-announces-new-tools-services-help-developers-modernize-existing-apps-build-intelligent-ones-every-platform-every-platform/#pWhfK0KmjqsXkdT4.99

[8] TechCrunch report: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/10/microsoft-is-extending-azure-iot-to-the-edge-of-the-network/

[9] Announcing Azure IoT Edge: https://buildazure.com/2017/05/10/announcing-azure-iot-edge/

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