EnSIlica brings Thread-X to its RISC cores

Paul Boughton

UK silicon designer EnSilica is working with Express Logic to port the ThreadX real-time operating system (RTOS) to EnSilica’s eSi-RISC family of configurable embedded processor cores writes Nick Flaherty.

The royalty free RTOS provides an intuitive, highly functional API and advanced, instant-on features as well as efficient real-time responsiveness and code compactness that appeal to developers of deeply embedded consumer and industrial electronics.

“While some eSi-RISC customers often choose an open-source RTOS to realise up-front budget savings, others believe that a commercially supported RTOS is more preferable for successful embedded product development and fast time-to-market delivery,” said Ian Lankshear, CEO of EnSilica. “Our collaboration with Express Logic in developing the ThreadX port provides our customers with access to one to one of the most successful and popular commercial RTOSes on the market. The combination of ThreadX and eSi-RISC delivers unrivalled compactness, high performance and low-power for all manner of embedded applications.”

The UK-based company, founded in 2001, provides low power ASIC/FPGA design services to semiconductor companies and OEMs worldwide. The eSi-RISC family of highly configurable and low-power soft processor cores scales across a wide range of applications and uniquely support both 16-bit and 32-bit configurations. The cores have been extensively silicon proven in a variety of ASIC technologies down to 28nm. The eSi-RISC family includes the eSi-1600 16-bit processor, eSi-3200 32-bit processor, eSI-3250 32-bit processor, eSi-3250sfp incorporating a single precision floating point processor, eSi-3260 32 bit processor with SIMD DSP extensions and eSI-32X0MP 32-bit scalable, asymmetric multicore processor. The processor cores also benefit from a configurable memory architecture and configurable cache options.

In addition to providing IP and turnkey ASIC/FPGA development, EnSilica also provides point services to companies with in-house ASIC design teams.

“Today’s embedded developers are challenged to provide solutions that process high volumes of complex data using minimal processor cycles and memory,” said William Lamie, President of Express Logic. “We believe EnSilica’s flexible eSi-RISC processor cores and our highly efficient ThreadX RTOS creates a commercial-grade solution capable of addressing the most demanding projects now and into the future.”

The combination of eSi-RISC and ThreadX gives a small footprint, high-performance and low-power characteristics that, when combined with ThreadX’s pre-certification for many safety standards, makes it suited for IoT and industrial applications. Express Logic’s companion X-Ware software features ThreadX fully integrated with Express Logic’s FileX high-performance MS-DOS compatible file system, NetX high-performance implementation of TCP/IP protocol standards, and USBX high-performance USB host, device, and On-The-Go (OTG) embedded stack.