Express Logic Launches Embedded GUI Development Tools Optimized for Small Footprint
San Diego, CA (October 29, 2013)
Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOSes), today introduced GUIX™, a new graphical user interface (GUI) development framework. GUIX is a small-footprint, low-overhead runtime engine and development tool featuring automatic code generation for embedded systems capable of graphical display. GUIX simplifies embedded GUI development and targets the ARM 32-bit MCU and MPU architectures, including Cortex-M3, M4, A8, and A9, in medical devices, consumer electronics, and industrial control equipment.
GUIX includes a full-featured runtime graphical library fully integrated with THREADX, Express Logic’s popular RTOS that is deployed in over 1.5 billion devices. Like THREADX, GUIX achieves high performance in small footprint, deeply embedded applications. Designed to meet the growing need for dynamic user interfaces with limited hardware resources, GUIX uses the same optimized design and coding methods of THREADX and the other Express Logic embedded system software products, is distributed with full ANSI C source code, and has no run-time royalties.
Thanks to the explosion of opportunities that started in smartphones, GUIs have become commonplace in medical, consumer, and industrial applications, prompting the need for advanced tools to simplify their development. Most embedded system programmers are not LCD specialists and do not want to program these displays at the lowest level, which involves constructing individual graphical shapes and objects (“widgets”). Instead, to speed time to market, most developers use a library of routines that manage the GUI details. By describing the widgets at a high level, such libraries help developers to enhance programming productivity and avoid many errors. GUIX offers developers an advanced UI framework and rich library of unique widgets tailored to help them construct whatever GUI they envision. Programmers can call GUIX functions from their C application programs, and GUIX performs all the necessary drawing functions to produce a clear, interactive GUI on LCD screens of various sizes and resolutions.
GUI designers can create GUIs using GUIX STUDIO™, the companion PC-based application that enables WYSIWYG rapid prototyping of GUI designs. With GUIX STUDIO, the designer can select, drag-and-drop, and resize images, backgrounds, widgets, and other elements of a powerful GUI without having to write a single line of code. GUIX STUDIO generates the code necessary to implement the exact GUI design constructed on the PC. The generated code can be dropped into the application and executed on the target system.
A complete GUIX UI application can be executed on a PC desktop within the GUIX STUDIO environment, enabling developers or designers to quickly and easily generate and demonstrate UI concepts and test screen flows as well as observe screen transitions and animations. When completed, the design can be exported to target-ready C data structures that are ready to be compiled and linked with the GUIX and THREADX libraries as part of a project.
Developers can produce prerendered fonts for their applications using integrated font generation in GUIX STUDIO. Fonts can be generated in monochrome or antialiased formats that are compressed to save space on the target. Fonts can include any set of characters, including Unicode characters for multilingual applications. Importing graphics from PNG, JPG, or BMP files and converting them to compressed GUIX pixelmaps for the target system is another integrated feature of GUIX STUDIO, and many of the GUIX widget types are designed to incorporate developers’ proprietary graphics for a custom look and feel. In addition, developers can customize default colors and drawing styles used by the stock GUIX widgets, allowing them to customize the appearance of GUIX very easily. GUIX STUDIO also generates and maintains application strings for any number of target languages.
“The widespread appeal of the smartphone with its user-friendly GUI has revolutionized expectations of interactive devices not only in the consumer domain, but also for medical equipment and industrial control systems,” noted Ken Maxwell, Director of GUI Engineering at Express Logic. “GUIX and GUIX STUDIO were conceived and developed to ensure that comparable GUI designs can be realized in embedded system GUIs for all markets.”
STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, and Renesas have assisted Express Logic in porting GUIX to their respective STM32F429 Discovery, TI Tiva™ C Series and Sitara™, and RZ/A Series development systems.
“Development needs have changed dramatically in the last half-dozen years,” noted Laurent Desseignes, Microcontrollers Ecosystem Marketing Manager, STMicroelectronics. “Consumer, medical, and even industrial devices now involve a sophisticated application with a robust user interface. With GUIX, Express Logic not only extends its already comprehensive portfolio of software products, further speeding our customers’ time to market, but also proposes a solution able to deliver benefit from unique STM32F429 Chrom-ARTTM hardware acceleration.”
“Our Tiva™ C Series microcontroller (MCU) and Sitara™ processor platforms containing ARM®-based cores are targeted at the growing need for responsive graphical user interfaces,” said Nick Lethaby, Product Manager, TI. “Express Logic’s GUIX offers our customers a new option for their GUI development, and we’re very pleased that it is being offered in support of our Tiva MCU and Sitara processor platforms.”
“Performance innovations in consumer, medical, and industrial devices are accelerating the demand for full-featured human-machine interface capability and improved graphics for next-generation applications,” said Ritesh Tyagi, Senior Director, Microcontroller Products & Solutions, Renesas Electronics America Inc. “Incorporating the Express Logic GUIX tools with our RZ/A Series microprocessors allows developers to incorporate more sophisticated GUIs quickly and easily to enhance the user experience for their customers.”
Price And Availability
GUIX is available to support a collection of LCD displays used for ARM Cortex A or M processors, including STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments, Renesas RX- or RZ-based designs, as well as platforms from other 32-bit processor manufacturers. Please consult Express Logic for availability of GUIX for your processor platform of choice. GUIX STUDIO is available for Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs. GUIX and GUIX STUDIO are licensed together, at prices starting at $12,500. Please consult Express Logic for further information.