Altera Announces TOPPERS-Pro RTOS for Nios II Embedded Processor

Altera Japan, Ltd. in conjunction with A.I. Corporation, an embedded software distributor and the TOPPERS Project, a nonprofit organization, announced the immediate availability of TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP, a function-distributed real-time operating system (RTOS) that provides multiprocessor support for Altera’s Nios(R) II embedded processor, the world’s most widely used configurable soft-core processor. Targeted at a wide variety of applications in the digital consumer, office equipment and automotive markets, this embedded solution addresses the performance, power consumption and radio noise emission requirements of today’s advanced systems.

“We expect that the support of TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP for Nios II embedded processors will further fuel their adoption in the embedded market,” said Danny Biran, vice president of product and corporate marketing, Altera Corporation. “Designers can leverage the Nios II embedded processor while designing multiprocessor systems with Altera’s Stratix(R) or Cyclone(R) FPGAs and HardCopy(R) structured ASICs to boost their cost and time-to-market advantages.”

TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP, developed and distributed by A.I Corporation, is the first commercial operating system (OS and middleware) with multiprocessor support. It is based on TOPPERS/ FDMP, the open-source software provided by the TOPPERS Project, a nonprofit organization led by Professor Hiroaki Takada of Nagoya University. TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP offers a comprehensive package for multi-CPU systems using the Altera(R) Nios II soft processor core. Specifically designed for function-distributed multiprocessors, the TOPPERS/FDMP kernel is an enhanced version of the TOPPERS/JSP kernel, a RTOS that complies with µ ITRON specifications. TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP also provides a µ ITRON-based API that streamlines application development using function-distributed multiprocessors, leveraging the API’s mature software facilities.

TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP for the Nios II processor will be available in early June and will include basic middleware, such as a TCP/IP protocol stack and a fault-tolerant FAT file system that works within the Nios II integrated development environment. A.I. Corporation also offers technical support, maintenance, and indemnity against the risk of intellectual property violations for TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP. In addition, A.I. Corporation offers an optional remote link loader (RLL), which enables remote maintenance and field updates for the TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP.

“As systems become more complex, there is an increasing need for a RTOS that can be effectively used for application development using function-distributed multiprocessors,” said Hiroyuki Kato, president of A.I. Corporation. “The TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP with Altera’s Nios II embedded processor meets the cost and performance targets of today’s system with rigid, real-time responsiveness. We will continue to address the needs of the embedded market by supporting FPGAs and configurable soft-core processors, as we expect this trend to continue to grow rapidly.”

“Our partnerships with A.I. Corporation for technical support and quality assurance, and with Altera for the unique Nios II embedded solution, are key to the success of TOPPERS-Pro Multi/FDMP. Today’s announcement is a very important milestone in our goal to promote embedded systems technology and grow the industry,” said Hiroaki Takada, professor of Nagoya University and chairman of the TOPPERS Project.

About Nios II Embedded Processors
Nios II embedded processors are general-purpose, 32-bit RISC CPUs optimized for the integration of programmable logic and system-on-a-programmable-chips (SOPC). Over 20,000 Nios series development kits have sold worldwide, including to the world’s top 20 OEMs. The Nios architecture is the most widely configurable soft processor today. The Nios II C-to-Hardware (C2H) Acceleration compiler enables designers to turn bottleneck software algorithms into hardware that significantly improves their system performance.

About the TOPPERS Project
TOPPERS (Toyohashi OPen Platform for Embedded Real-time Systems) Project is based on the technical development result applied ITRON, aimed to develop base software for use in embedded systems. Releasing quality open source software will promote embedded system technology and industry. Also, by utilizing developed technology and distributing educational software, the project aims to cultivate and train embedded system programmers. The TOPPERS Project, a nonprofit organization founded in September 2003, is lead by Professor Hiroaki Takada of Nagoya University and run mainly through the cooperation of public and private sectors and individuals.

About A.I. Corporation
Since its founding in 1985, the A.I. Corporation (AIC) has been a software solutions vendor for embedded system design and development, representing over 15 software makers providing nearly 100 embedded software products and solutions to customers in Japan. Embedded systems are rapidly growing in complexity and size, requiring shorter time to market and higher quality, and employing emerging new technologies in a timely fashion. The mission of AIC is to provide a flexible and wide range of solutions to today’s embedded software design requirements. These solutions include supplying a piece of the software component to the system, total OS solutions integrated with selected middleware components, development tools and packaged environments, as well as technical support, porting, and other engineering services for customers who employ AIC products. AIC’s solutions and products cover a broad range of industries such as consumer electronics devices, automotive and telematix, digital office equipment, communication and network equipment, industrial control and factory automation, and many other industries where embedded microprocessor-based systems are running.

About Altera
Altera programmable solutions enable system and semiconductor companies to rapidly and cost-effectively innovate, differentiate and win in their markets.

Altera, The Programmable Solutions Company, the stylized Altera logo, specific device designations and all other words that are identified as trademarks and/or service marks are, unless noted otherwise, the trademarks and service marks of Altera Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.