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Express Logic Announces THREADX® RTOS Support for Energy Micro’s EFM32 Gecko Microcontrollers

San Diego, CA (October 25, 2010)

Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS), today announced THREADX® RTOS support of Energy Micro’s Cortex™-M3-based EFM®32 microcontroller (MCU) family. Designed for small footprint, demanding real-time control, the THREADX RTOS is a perfect match for the EFM32 Gecko, which targets energy-sensitive real-time control applications including energy, water, and gas metering, building automation, alarm and security, and portable medical/fitness equipment.

Energy Micro develops, markets and sells ultra-low power microcontrollers using the industry leading 32-bit ARM® Cortex-M3 architecture. THREADX’s limited memory usage and short entry-return from power-saving sleep ideally suits the combination of EFM32 microcontroller’s energy friendly autonomous low-power features and the Cortex-M3 CPU. This combination is critical for bringing new safe and energy-friendly medical equipment and industrial systems to life.

“The THREADX RTOS offers the high-speed and small memory footprint crucial to the energy-sensitive markets the EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers target,” commented Oyvind Janbu, Energy Micro’s CTO. “Designing reliable and long-lasting battery-operated applications requires a framework that reduces overhead and response time. THREADX and EFM32 devices provide an unmatched solution.”

The EFM32 Gecko microcontroller family consumes a fraction of the energy required by other 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontroller solutions. The EFM32 Gecko MCU is in full production, and Energy Micro has revelead details of the software and pin-compatible Tiny Gecko and Giant Gecko products. A comprehensive tool suite supports the Gecko MCU, and the unique energyAware Profiler enables designers to perform real-time energy debugging directly on their system.

Express Logic’s THREADX® RTOS offers a robust library of application-callable operating system services that simplify and optimize the performance of an embedded system. THREADX is designed for microcontroller-based applications and features a small memory footprint of under 6KB so it can reside in even the most limited on-chip MCU memory. THREADX provides preemptive, real-time, priority-based scheduling for optimum responsiveness and high performance and includes services such as thread scheduling, message passing, resource allocation, synchronization, and interrupt management.

THREADX is complemented by FILEX®, a full embedded file system, NETX™, a rich but small-footprint IPv4/IPv6 TCP/IP stack, USBX™, a full USB Host/Device/OTG stack, and PRISMX™, a graphics development toolkit. TRACEX®, Express Logic’s graphical real-time event analysis development tool, also is available for the EFM32 Gecko. THREADX is provided with full source code and is fully integrated into the IAR Embedded Workbench IDE.

A free evaluation version of THREADX and a demonstration program in source code form are available for the EFM32 Gecko from Express Logic’s web site, www.rtos.com. The demonstration program consists of a simple multithreaded application that uses many advanced, yet easy-to-use features of THREADX, including message passing, thread creation, and scheduling. The entire application, including the THREADX RTOS, requires less than 7KB of flash and less than 4KB of SRAM. Users can modify the demonstration or write a completely new THREADX application up to the evaluation version’s limits, which consist of ten threads, one instantiation of each type of memory pool, and a maximum of two instantiations for each of the other THREADX objects. The demo application is provided in C source code form, and is fully integrated with the EFM32 system and intended for use with the IAR tools.

“We are pleased to provide THREADX RTOS support for Energy Micro’s EFM32 Gecko microcontrollers,” commented William E. Lamie, CEO of Express Logic. “These power-saving MCUs enable THREADX to deliver sub-microsecond context-switch performance for the most demanding real-time applications.”

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