RTOS for Microchip Technology’s PIC32 32-bit Microcontrollers from Express Logic

5th November 2007
Posted By : ES Admin
Express Logic has announced the availability of its ThreadX RTOS for the new PIC32 microcontroller family from Microchip Technology Inc, a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors. In August, Express Logic announced its ThreadX/MCU Edition for Microchip’s 16-bit PIC24 and dsPIC33 controllers. With this addition, ThreadX users can easily migrate between Microchip’s 16- and 32-bit families using the same RTOS and the same MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) toolchain from Microchip.
Embedded systems engineers are demanding increasingly higher levels of MCU performance to enable differentiated end-product features. To maximize end-product features and differentiate their designs from the competition, engineers can take advantage of the PIC32’s high-performance and efficient 72-MHz 32-bit core, which allows software to run faster and multiple threads to run simultaneously. Additionally, the PIC32 provides ample code space with up to 512 Kbytes of on-chip flash memory and up to 32 Kbytes of RAM.

ThreadX is an ideal match for the multithreading applications that target Microchip’s new 32-bit PIC32 family. With ThreadX’s small footprint, low overhead and royalty-free business model, PIC32 developers can deploy applications ranging from simple to complex, all with minimal overhead and memory footprint. ThreadX offers around 60 services for applications, including priority-based, preemptive thread scheduling, message queues, communication semaphores, resource-locking mutexes, flexible application timers, and event flag groups.
ThreadX is easy to learn and use, enabling developers to bring new products to market rapidly and successfully. As a result, ThreadX is widely deployed, with over 450 million units in consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial automation, and wireless networking. The royalty-free licensing model is ideal for high-volume manufacturing where cost is king.

“We partnered with Express Logic to make it as easy as possible for developers to use our new high-performance PIC32 MCUs,” noted Patrick Johnson, director of Microchip’s High Performance Microcontroller Division. “The flexibility, ease of use, and low cost of ThreadX make it an ideal choice to support the PIC32 MCU. The fact that ThreadX also supports our PIC24 and dsPIC33 16-bit product lines makes it an excellent vehicle for developers migrating up to the PIC32.”

Microchip’s free MPLAB IDE supports application development with ThreadX, including integration with Microchip’s MPLAB C32 C compiler, MPLAB ICD 2 incircuit debugger, and MPLAB REAL ICE™ emulation system. To further assist in the development process, ThreadX kernel awareness support has been fully integrated into the MPLAB IDE.

A free demo version of ThreadX for Microchip’s PIC32 is available from the Express Logic web site at www.rtos.com/download. The demo version includes all the features of ThreadX, and is limited only in the number of threads and other kernel objects that can be created. The demo version is configured to run with Microchip’s MPLAB IDE, and can be running out-of-the-box in minutes. It includes a sample 8-thread application program that can be used as the basis for user development. Users can download the free MPLAB IDE and evaluation version of the C32 C Compiler from www.microchip.com.

ThreadX users who need greater performance and more memory can easily migrate up to the 32-bit PIC32. Applications written to run on ThreadX/MCU for the 16-bit PIC24/dsPIC33 will port easily—typically without any source code changes needed—to run on the PIC32, speeding migration and enabling developers to expand their product lines at either end.

“The high-DMIPs/MHz rating of the PIC32 combined with a second set of 32 core registers, enables faster execution while minimizing context switching delays,” commented William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic. “ThreadX now supports developers at each end of the Microchip spectrum, from 16- to 32-bit.”

ThreadX is available immediately for Microchip’s PIC32 MCUs, with full source-code, royalty-free licenses starting at $12,500. The ThreadX MCU Edition (ThreadX/MCU), announced in August, is available for under $6,000. For further information regarding ThreadX, or ThreadX/MCU, please contact Express Logic at 1-888-THREADX, or via info@expresslogic.com.



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