Microsoft to Open Source ThreadX RTOS and Azure RTOS Suite

Author photo: Harry Forbes
ByHarry Forbes
Company and Product News

Microsoft has announced that it will open source ThreadX RTOS and Azure real-time operating system (RTOS) operating suite. The software will be hosted by the Eclipse Foundation under the name Eclipse ThreadX and licensed Open Source ThreadX RTOSunder the MIT license. ThreadX is a certified RTOS that meets the standards of IEC 61508, IEC 62304, ISO 26262, and EN 50128. It also has the EAL4+ Common Criteria security certification.

ThreadX was originally developed by Express Logic, a company that Microsoft acquired in 2019. This acquisition came soon after Amazon AWS took over the stewardship of FreeRTOS, another open source RTOS that uses the MIT license. The founder of Express Logic, William Lamie, later launched a new company called PX5, which offers a "fifth generation" RTOS.

The Eclipse Foundation has also created an interest group to develop a sustainable funding model for ThreadX. Several companies, including AMD, Cypherbridge, Microsoft, NXP, PX5, Renesas, ST Microelectronics, Silicon Labs, and Witekio (an Avnet company), have joined the group. The Eclipse Foundation invites more interested parties to join the discussion.

Open Source ThreadX RTOS

Harry Forbes, from ARC Advisory Group, commented on the announcement: "An open source and certified RTOS with a development environment is a valuable asset. But the main advantage of existing RTOS software is not the RTOS itself, but the features of the integrated development environment (IDE) and how it integrates with the continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines of OEMs and ODMs. Nevertheless, with the new governance and open source availability, automation industry OEMs should reconsider the potential value of ThreadX for their portfolio."


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