Express Logic, Avnet Support Xilinx PowerPC 440 on Virtex-5 FPGA

Express Logic, Inc., the worldwide leader in royalty-free real-time operating systems (RTOS), and Avnet Electronics Marketing, an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT), announced ThreadX® RTOS now supports the PowerPC[tm] 440 processor embedded in Xilinx Virtex-5[tm] FPGAs. The IBM PowerPC 440 core is a hard 32-bit RISC CPU processor immersed directly into the Xilinx Virtex FPGA fabric to implement high-performance embedded applications. The combination of the hard PowerPC 440 processor with coprocessing capability and high-performance Virtex-5 FPGA fabric enables a wide range of performance optimization options.

ThreadX support for the PowerPC440 processor on Virtex-5 FXT FPGAs was jointly developed with Avnet Electronics Marketing, resulting in its availability for the Avnet Virtex-5 FX30T Evaluation Kit as well as the Xilinx Virtex-5 FX70T Embedded Kit (ML507 board). Express Logic, a member of the Xilinx AllianceEmbedded Program, first announced ThreadX support for the Xilinx MicroBlaze[tm] soft processor core and PowerPC 405 in 2003. Developers can now use ThreadX on either MicroBlaze, PowerPC405 or PowerPC440 architectures, allowing them to optimize their processor choice based on their ThreadX-supported application requirements.

Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS provides real-time embedded developers who use Xilinx FPGA solutions with the most technically advanced multitasking solution on the market today. Express Logic’s picokernel[tm] design results in very high-performance and extremely small memory requirements — as small as 3Kbytes to meet extreme size constraints. ThreadX also provides applications using Xilinx’s PowerPC embedded processor cores with significant technical innovations, including extremely fast software timers and a mechanism to help reduce context switching called preemption-threshold[tm]. ThreadX is the smallest, fastest, lowest cost commercial RTOS addressing deeply embedded applications in consumer electronics, medical devices, automotive electronics, and industrial control. ThreadX is royalty-free, making it ideal for high-volume products where manufacturing cost must be held to an absolute minimum.

The full suite of Express Logic offerings can now be used by Virtex-5 embedded PowerPC 440 users, including the NetX Duo[tm] IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack TCP/IP network stack, FileX® file management system, and PegX[tm] graphics development toolkit. With NetX Duo, advanced networked devices can be developed that combine the power of the PowerPC 440 and the high-performance networking hardware on the Virtex-5 FPGA.

“Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS support for the PowerPC440 hard processor in Virtex-5 FXT FPGAs enables designers to better address deeply embedded applications in the communications, medical, aerospace and defense markets,” said Navanee Sundaramoorthy, Embedded Platform & Ecosystem manager at Xilinx. “Since ThreadX RTOS also supports the MicroBlaze soft processor in Virtex and Spartan FPGAs, developers can use it as a common embedded software platform reducing development and maintenance costs.”

ThreadX works with the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit (EDK), V10.1i, which includes a complete set of GNU-based software development tools, including a C compiler, assembler, linker, and debugger and the Xilinx Platform Studio, a powerful hardware/software embedded design environment. Low-cost PowerPC evaluation and development systems from Avnet allowed Express Logic to quickly port ThreadX to the Virtex-5 embedded PowerPC 440 core.

“Evaluating the ThreadX RTOS on XC5VFX30T Virtex-5 platforms provides users with a flexible environment to investigate the benefits of Express Logic’s multitasking solution,” said Jim Beneke, vice president of global technical marketing for Avnet Electronics Marketing.

“We are seeing strong interest in Xilinx’s FPGA solutions for demanding real-time embedded applications,” says William E. Lamie, Express Logic’s president. “The addition of our ThreadX support for the PowerPC 440 hard processor core will most definitely help application developers leverage the Xilinx Virtex-5 and FPGAs to get better quality product to market in less time.”

Avnet’s Xilinx Virtex-5 FXT Evaluation Kit provides the necessary features for exploring PowerPC 440-based system architectures using the Xilinx Virtex-5 FXT FPGA family. This low-cost evaluation platform is ideal for both software and FPGA designers needing an easy-to-use, entry-level system for code development and debug, processor systems prototyping, and general FXT evaluation.

Xilinx’s Virtex®-5 FXT FPGA ML507 is a general-purpose FPGA, RocketIO[tm] GTX, and Embedded System development board that provides feature-rich, general-purpose evaluation and development platform. It includes onboard memory and industry standard connectivity interfaces and delivers a versatile development platform for embedded applications.

Pricing and Availability
ThreadX for the Xilinx Virtex-5 embedded PowerPC processor is available today, at prices starting at $12,500 for a single product, royalty-free license that includes full source code.

About Avnet Electronics Marketing
Avnet Electronics Marketing is an operating group of Phoenix-based Avnet, Inc. that serves electronic original equipment manufacturers (EOEMs) and electronic manufacturing services (EMS) providers in more than 70 countries, distributing electronic components from leading manufacturers and providing associated design-chain and supply-chain services. Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT), a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology in the world. Avnet accelerates its partners’ success by connecting the world’s leading technology suppliers with a broad base of more than 100,000 customers and providing cost-effective, value-added services and solutions. For the fiscal year ended June 28, 2008, Avnet generated revenue of $17.95 billion.

About Express Logic
Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with field offices in Redditch, UK, and Hanover and Munich, Germany, Express Logic offers the most advanced run-time solutions and development tools for deeply embedded applications, including its popular ThreadX® RTOS, the high-performance NetX[tm] TCP/IP stack, the FileX® embedded FAT-compatible file system, the USBX[tm] Host/Device USB protocol stack, the PEGX[tm] GUI development kit, the BenchX[tm] Eclipse-based IDE, and the TraceX[tm] real-time graphical event trace and analysis tool. All products from Express Logic include full source-code and have no run-time royalties. For more information about Express Logic solutions, please call 1-888-THREADX, or email inquires to sales@expresslogic.com.

ThreadX and FileX are registered trademarks, and NetX, CANX, USBX, TraceX, BenchX, preemption-threshold, picokernel, UDP fast path technology are trademarks of Express Logic, Inc.