Why Rust is the best language for IoT development

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is rapidly terraforming the landscape of modern society right in front of our very eyes, and propelling us all into the future. It does this by providing solutions to everything from tracking your daily personal fitness goals with an Apple watch, to completely revolutionising the entire transport sector. These devices connect to each other and form the great network required for something like a digital twin; they are constantly collating data in real time from the surrounding environment which means that the system is always using entirely current information.

As amazing and powerful as this technology is, it is slightly held back by the fact that, by their very nature, IoT devices have far less processing power than your average piece of equipment. This requires a much more efficient code to be written to fully take advantage of its raw potential without affecting the device’s performance. This is where Rust comes into the picture as one of the very few languages that can provide a faster runtime for IoT technology.

The vast number of praises to be sung about Rust make it no surprise that it has been voted in as number one most popular language for five consecutive years. To name a few, it has unparalleled speed and memory efficiency thanks to its lack of runtime or garbage collector, as well as being able to run on embedded devices and perfectly integrate with other languages. Rust differs from other languages such as C and C++ in that it works more towards performance and safety which really tailors it a lot more towards IoT devices.

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IoT devices are being used as the very skeleton on which digital twin systems are being built upon, gathering data live and feeding them into the servers to form a real-time simulation. When you are working on such a large scale with no time for latency, you need a programming language that can handle such a task. Rust performs perfectly without any of the bugs surrounding memory management that you would get with C or C++.

You absolutely cannot beat Rust when it comes to being user friendly. Its different features, like the smart editor support tool and friendly compiler, enables auto-completion and type inspections. These tools offer a huge amount of support when it comes to writing your own programmes in Rust, while zero-cost abstractions mean that there is no essentially no runtime overhead which means that you’ll only be paying for what you use. To add to the list of convenient features of this language, it also has a standard pack manager so you don’t even have to worry about managing the different softwares you’ll be working with.

Rust is a rapidly up-and-coming language, and is beginning to be recognised by more and more people, with 42 Technology announcing in 2019 that Rust had been used to design its first ever single-chip IoT device. With these kinds of projects happening all over the world, Rust is being boosted beyond what anyone could have initially imagined, massively increasing the resources available to IoT developers.

Written by Craig Beddis, CEO and co-founder of Hadean

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IoT devices