ThreadX/MT is the first RTOS that enables applications to use hardware multi-threading easily and efficiently
Multicore EXPO, Santa Clara, CA, March 21, 2006 -- Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS), today announced the availability of its popular ThreadX® RTOS for the MIPS32® 34K™ multi-threaded (MT) processor core family. Through a cooperative development effort with MIPS Technologies, Express Logic has developed ThreadX/MT™, an enhanced version of ThreadX for the MIPS 34K. ThreadX/MT is designed to provide applications with a significant performance boost through its use of the multi-threading capabilities of the MIPS® MT application-specific extension (ASE), as implemented in the 34K processor cores. Licensees of the 34K core now will have access to this powerful solution for their performance-intensive designs.
The MIPS32 34K family of cores is a revolutionary multi-threading solution for high- performance, cost-sensitive embedded applications. Single-threaded microprocessors today waste many cycles while accessing memory, which considerably limits system performance. The 34K cores are designed to minimize the effect of memory latency by increasing processor use of otherwise wasted CPU cycles. As one thread stalls, waiting for access to memory, other threads can feed instructions into the pipeline, resulting in a significant gain in application throughput. Additionally, the 34K core family provides hardware support for real-time responsiveness in embedded applications. Users can allocate dedicated processing bandwidth to real-time tasks resulting in a guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS). MIPS Technologies’ benchmarks indicate that the 34Kc™ core running just two threads achieved a 60% speed increase over a single-threaded processor with only a 14% increase in area. It is this low-cost performance capability that ThreadX/MT delivers to applications, while managing the 34K’s MT resources transparently.
Mobileye N.V., a global leader in driver assistance and safety systems for the automotive industry, has licensed the MIPS32 34Kf™ core for its next-generation SoC, EyeQ-2™. Featuring lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning and vision/radar fusion for active safety, EyeQ-1 combines high performance and low cost in a technology aimed at revolutionizing the mass implementation of driver assistance systems. EyeQ-2 will add pedestrian detection capabilities to its extensive feature list and will debut in late 2008 models.
“Our new EyeQ-2 SoC demands high-performance and rapid real-time response,” said Elchanan Rushinek, vice president of engineering at Mobileye. “The combination of the 34K core and Express Logic’s ThreadX/MT RTOS planned features are designed to provide that kind of performance and speed time to market.”
Mobileye intends to use the ThreadX RTOS in its firmware to support efficient application use of the 34K’s multi-threading resources. Mobileye’s current SoC, EyeQ-1™, will debut in the AWSTM after-market driver assistance products in March, 2006.
ThreadX/MT is based on Express Logic’s popular ThreadX RTOS, a small, highly efficient embedded OS that minimizes system overhead and provides lightning-fast real-time response. With as small as a 6KB footprint and sub-microsecond interrupt response and context switch, ThreadX/MT perfectly complements the QoS mechanism in the 34K processor. ThreadX/MT introduces technology that automatically, or optionally, manually under program control, calculates 34K QoS weights for application threads to assure that the intended threads get the desired percentages of CPU cycles. It is the ideal RTOS for demanding real-time applications where high-efficiency is needed. Together, ThreadX/MT and the MIPS32 34K cores provide the system developer with a combination of high-performance and ease-of-use that speeds time to market.
MIPS Technologies Welcomes ThreadX/MT
“We’re delighted that ThreadX/MT will support licensees of our new 34K multi-threaded processor cores,” noted Jack Browne, vice president, marketing at MIPS Technologies. “The 34K cores are ideal for applications that demand high efficiency and real-time response, and the addition of ThreadX/MT enhances these capabilities. We believe that this combined solution will greatly benefit our customers by accelerating their development of consumer, multimedia and other performance-hungry products.”
ThreadX/MT achieves such a high degree of ease-of-use by enabling 34K applications to be developed without concern for all of the details of the 34K architecture. The RTOS takes care of efficiently allocating and managing powerful hardware resources to provide maximum efficiency for application threads. The MIPS32 34K processor implements the MIPS MT ASE with multiple Thread Contexts (TC). These TCs of hardware registers and program counters channel concurrent multi-threading into a common execution pipeline. ThreadX/MT transparently maps application threads to individual TCs within the 34K core. Each TC provides a “virtual machine context” for a thread, enabling it to run concurrently with other threads on other TCs. Up to five TCs can be configured in the 34K core, and ThreadX/MT manages the assignment of application threads to these TCs. The low overhead of ThreadX enables an efficient thread-to-TC allocation and assignment that may be difficult for a larger RTOS to achieve, especially in the common case where there are more threads than TCs. In such cases, the small size and extremely low overhead of ThreadX/MT make thread-to-TC assignment very efficient, delivering the 34K’s execution cycles to all available threads.
“We’re excitied to introduce ThreadX/MT for the MIPS32 34K core family,” commented William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic. “ThreadX/MT enables developers to use existing applications on the 34K core, and to develop new ones without concern for the 34K’s architectural features. ThreadX/MT enables applications to run more efficiently without a redesign.”
ThreadX/MT for the MIPS 34K is available now from Express Logic, with royalty-free licenses starting at $12,500. For more information regarding Express Logic, contact 1-888-THREADX or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://www.expresslogic.com, call 1-888-THREADX, or email inquires to email@example.com.