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Express Logic’s NETX™Achieves Near Wire Speed on Freescale Kinetis

ESC Boston (September 27, 2011)

Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free, real-time operating systems (RTOS), announced that its NETX™ TCP/IP stack has achieved 94 Mbps, an outstanding 94% wire speed on Freescale’s ARM Cortex-M4-based Kinetis processor. The Kinetis has a 100-Mbps Ethernet port, which enables transfers at up to wire speed. Generally, TCP/IP stacks are less than 100% efficient, leading to performance well below wire speed. To facilitate rapid data transfer, the closer to wire speed, the better.

Not only did NETX achieve 94% of full wire speed on the Kinetis processor, but it achieved it while using less than 50% of the processor’s cycles. This frugal use of CPU cycles is equally outstanding, as it allows many other product functions to run during TCP/IP activity without slowing network performance.

“Today’s devices demand not only connectivity, but high throughput to meet the needs of advanced consumer, medical device, and industrial control products,” commented Dr. Jerry Krasner, Ph.D., founder and principal analyst at Embedded Market Forecasters (EMF). “High-performance hardware cannot achieve this alone. It must be complemented by high-performance software in order to realize the full benefits of the device.”

NETX performance was measured using the open-source, industry-standard network throughput benchmark tool, “iperf.” Wikipedia describes the iperf test as “a commonly used network testing tool that can create TCP and UDP data streams and measure the throughput of a network that is carrying them. It is open-source software and runs on various platforms including Linux, Unix and Windows. It is supported by the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research”.

“Not all TCP/IP stacks are equal,” confirmed William E. Lamie, President of Express Logic. “Not only do some stacks perform better than others, but they can help achieve lower development costs and faster time to market, as well. Developers are advised to select the best stack for their needs, in order to get the most out of their hardware. NETX delivers outstanding performance on Freescale’s Kinetis, warranting consideration by the performance-conscious developer.”

Iperf was run on a Windows host, connected to a Freescale Kinetis target board via Ethernet. The iperf TCP and UDP results were served by NETX as a Web page, displayed by Internet Explorer on the host.

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