Express Logic fast-tracks ARM-based IoT designs
Looking to make it easier for embedded developers to implement wireless, M2M and Internet of Things apps on a variety of MCUs and in a variety of connectivity environments, Express Logic, Inc. has launched its X-Ware Platform.
The X-Ware Platform will be on display and being demonstrated at ARM Techcon on the show floor in Express Logic's booth (#314) ARM TechCon 2014.
In this platform (Figure below), said John Carbone, vice president of marketing at Express Logic, the RTOS vendor has taken its previous independent X-Ware components (ThreadX RTOS, NetX, USBX, FileX, GUIX and TraceX) and will be integrating them into preported and pre integrated packages specific to particular development boards such as the Renesas Cortex-A9, RZ/A1-based RSK and various other processor architectures.
At ARM Techcon, Oct. 1- 3, Express Logic will be taking the wraps off one of the first of these packages tailored specifically for the ARM architecture.
By integrating its ThreadX RTOS and middleware components for use on specific targets, Carbone said, the X-Ware Platform simplifies and accelerates IoT development for products aimed at markets such as home automation, smart metering, industrial control, medical devices, and more.
"The unique aspect of our X-Ware Platform is that it includes all drivers, protocol stacks, USB classes, and a robust GUI framework," said Carbone, "all developed entirely in-house by Express Logic engineers. The X-Ware Platform is uniform in coding style, designed to be intuitive and easy to use, and it is fully supported by Express Logic."
The initial X-Ware Platform is designed to work with IAR’s Embedded Workbench IDE on the Renesas Cortex-A9, RZ/A1-based RSK.
"The idea is to deliver all of the software technologies required to create real-time, networked, connected, HMI-driven products—all integrated and optimized for high performance" said Carbone, "so that developers can focus on their domain expertise. "
For example, he said, IoT-targeted products typically require an RTOS, network connectivity, graphics displays, a file system, and sometimes USB or other middleware components.
"We have designed the X-Ware Platform to deliver all the software needed by these products in a fully integrated, ready-to-use form," he said. "Much more than just an RTOS kernel, X-Ware Platform also features IPv4/IPv6 TCP/IP, USB host/device, GUI, and file system software libraries, including device drivers, readily accessible from applications via a simple, intuitive API.
First to buy into the concept is Renesas, where Ritesh Tyagi, vice president of Marketing at Renesas Electronics America said the company has developed numerous example projects showcasing the many facets and interoperability of the X-Ware Platform.
By custom-constructing each X-Ware Platform for specific development boards, Carbone said, X-Ware saves designers the engineering development time needed to produce fully supportable, fully integrated, easy-to-use IoT systems.
Board-specific X-Ware Platforms will include support for peripherals such as LCD touchscreens, Ethernet MAC, USB host or device controllers, and SD card media. All are supported with integrated stacks and drivers, ready to use out of the box.
Because it has added the IAR Embedded Workbench software tools into the mix, he said the X-Ware Platform is capable of RTOS-aware debugging support and fully configured project structure, eliminating the need for developers to adapt software from one tool to another.
“Without this kind of integrated platform, developers are slowed down by component selections, driver development, product integration, optimization, never mind the challenge of dealing with multivendor support,” said William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic.
“Our goal with X-Ware Platform is to eliminate all of that. We knit the entire RTOS, middleware, and IDE solution together in a board-specific reference platform right down to optimized drivers. "
The package includes fifteen reference projects, provided for evaluation and product development, illustrating the use of each product individually, as well as in combination. These reference projects include individual demos of ThreadX, TraceX, IPv4 and IPv6 (Ping Demos), NetX IPv4 and IPv6 Iperf (TCP/UDP Demos), USBX Host/Device Mass Storage Demos, FileX RAM-disk and SD Card Demos, GUIX demos for thermometer, medical and weather and a multifunction Medical Demo (combining all technologies)
All fifteen projects include full application source code, and can be used with licensed full source code X-Ware products or with pre-built binary X-Ware libraries free of charge.
The multifunction reference project uses all X-Ware technologies in a single application, providing a multifaceted example for developers to use in building their product applications.
X-Ware Platform is licensed at prices starting at $12,500 with no per-unit royalties. Pre-license evaluation is easy and free. Reference projects can be downloaded and run on a developer’s hardware of choice, free of charge. Full source evaluation licenses are available free of charge from Express Logic.