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lwip A Lightweight TCP/IP stackOne of the most important middleware is the TCP/IP stack. In full operation systems like Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, etc. the stack is already integrated, but in tiny real time operation systems, like FreeRTOS,FreeRTOS, ChibiOS/RT, etc. usually the TCP/IP stack in not integrated.

The TCP/IP model (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is a descriptive framework for the Internet Protocol Suite of computer network protocols created in the 1970s by DARPA.


The model describes a set of general design guidelines and implementations of specific networking protocols to enable computers to communicate over a network. TCP/IP provides end-to-end connectivity specifying how data should be formatted, addressed, transmitted, routed and received at the destination. Protocols exist for a variety of different types of communication services between computers.


lwIP is a small independent implementation of the TCP/IP protocol suite that has been developed by Adam Dunkels at the Computer and Networks Architectures (CNA) lab at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS).

The focus of the lwIP TCP/IP implementation is to reduce resource usage while still having a full scale TCP. This making lwIP suitable for use in embedded systems with tens of kilobytes of free RAM and room for around 40 kilobytes of code ROM.

lwIP features

  • IP (Internet Protocol) including packet forwarding over multiple network interfaces
  • ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) for network maintenance and debugging
  • UDP (User Datagram Protocol) including experimental UDP-lite extensions
  • TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) with congestion control, RTT estimation and fast recovery/fast retransmit
  • Specialized raw API for enhanced performance
  • Optional Berkeley-alike socket API
  • DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
  • PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) for Ethernet

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