Express Logic Introduces Dowloadable Application Modules for ThreadX RTOS

A first for the small footprint RTOS, Express Logic delivers the ability to run Downloadable Application Modules to the ThreadX RTOS. Downloadable modules enable superior functionality, remote product updates and dynamic memory sharing without boosting memory or footprint.

―Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS), today announced the introduction of downloadable application modules for its ThreadX® RTOS. Downloadable application modules enable ThreadX-based applications to dynamically receive additional instructions from local mass storage or a network. Applications therefore gain increased functionality without the cost of an increased footprint or additional memory. This technique also provides on-demand reconfiguration and application updates for deployed systems. The ThreadX Module technology ideally suits situations where application code size exceeds available memory, when new modules need to be added after the product is deployed, or when partial firmware updates are required.

A kernel-module structure is commonly found in operating systems such as Windows and Linux, and in larger RTOSes, such as VxWorks and QNX. Such architecture and functionality is not commonly found in small-footprint RTOSes like ThreadX. Express Logic’s penetration of the RTOS glass ceiling provides a breakthrough for small-footprint applications, which require the reliability and responsiveness of ThreadX, but can now also use downloadable modules to achieve an even greater range of functionality and modularity in their designs.

ThreadX Modules are collections of application threads, not linked with the ThreadX kernel, but that are instead loaded into target memory and use ThreadX kernel services via an interface with the Module Manager. The ThreadX Module Manager, resident within the ThreadX kernel, initiates a module as well as fields and interfaces all module requests for ThreadX API services. Although there is only one copy of the Module Manager, there are no limits on the number of modules that can be loaded at the same time, and no limits on the number of threads in any one module. In this manner, the ThreadX kernel becomes a distinct execution entity, running continuously to serve Module requests.

If desired, application threads can alternatively be linked with the ThreadX kernel and reside in target memory as part of its executable image. While this option avoids the need to reload the modules containing these threads, it increases the size of the resident kernel image, leaving less memory for use by Modules.

“With the introduction of our Downloadable Modules for ThreadX, ThreadX gains the functionality previously reserved for larger, more expensive RTOSes, while still providing the small-footprint, high-performance, and ease of use that a billion ThreadX-based systems have always relied on,” noted William E. Lamie, President of Express Logic. “With these Modules, developers can structure their applications with greater functionality, while still enabling them to execute in small memory systems, and with on-demand reconfiguration and update from remote facilities.”

Pricing and Availability

ThreadX with Downloadable Modules is available in full source code form, royalty free, at license prices starting at $17,500.

About Express Logic and ThreadX

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Express Logic offers the most advanced run-time solution for deeply embedded applications, including the popular ThreadX® RTOS, the high-performance NetX™ TCP/IP stack, the FileX™ embedded MS-DOS compatible file system, and the USBX™ Host/Device USB protocol stack. All products from Express Logic include full source-code and have no run-time royalties. For more information about Express Logic solutions, please visit the Web site at www.expresslogic.com, call 1-888-THREADX, or email inquiries to sales@expresslogic.com.