The IPv4 protocol was not designed for the purpose it serves today. As the scope of the Internet grew, the IPv4 protocol attempted to grow with it, but finally, it has reached its limits. With the eminent exhaustion of the IPv4 address space and a mounting number of embedded devices pushing the limits of the current infrastructure, the need for a new Internet protocol is urgent. The constraints of the IPv4 protocol have restricted innovation in the embedded industry, but the improvements introduced by IPv6 will progress the embedded industry by adding TCP/IP capability to devices never previously imagined. This paper aims to outline the rise and fall of the IPv4 protocol, the advantages of IPv6 in the embedded industry and the mechanisms in place to transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
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