Freescale Announces Free MQX RTOS with TCP/IP, USB Software Stacks

The increasing complexity of industrial applications and expanding functionality of semiconductors are driving embedded developers toward solutions that combine proven hardware and software platforms. To help accelerate time-to-market and improve application development success, Freescale Semiconductor is offering the Freescale MQX[tm] real-time operating system (RTOS) with TCP/IP and USB software stacks to ColdFire® microcontroller (MCU) customers at no additional charge.

Freescale is now shipping its new MCF5225x ColdFire MCUs with a complimentary, full-featured version of the Freescale MQX RTOS and associated stacks, providing developers a comprehensive embedded platform for industrial connectivity. The MCF5225x family is the first line of Freescale embedded controllers to be combined with the Freescale MQX RTOS. In 2009 and beyond, Freescale plans to expand the availability of complimentary Freescale MQX software across its broad portfolio of embedded processors and MCUs, such as other ColdFire devices, 16-bit digital signal controllers (DSCs), Power Architecture® processors and i.MX application processors.

“By combining our embedded silicon with Freescale MQX software, we’re now offering developers a single source for hardware, RTOS, connectivity stacks and development tools,” said Aiden Mitchell, director of industrial and multi-market MCUs at Freescale. “This streamlined, all-inclusive platform solution allows embedded system designers to focus on application development in an efficient way that reduces cost and complexity and accelerates time-to-market.”

Reducing cost, accelerating success
By providing complimentary Freescale MQX software with its silicon products, Freescale is helping alleviate much of the initial software investment hurdle faced by embedded developers. Comparable full-featured software offerings on the market today may cost developers as much as $95,000 (USD) in licensing fees.

According to recent embedded market research conducted by TechInsights, development teams spend 64 percent of their resources on software. Embedded projects based on 32-bit devices have a greater need for software reuse to manage development costs. Nearly 90 percent of developers report that they reuse code from previous projects. The Freescale MQX RTOS and software stacks address these needs by providing a scalable, reusable platform designed to work across a wide range of Freescale processor architectures, development tools and third-party software environments.

Freescale silicon ships with full production Freescale MQX source code, including communications software stacks at no additional cost. Freescale is able to provide customers a commercial-friendly software licensing model, enabling developers to keep their source modifications while being able to distribute the required binary code.

Full-featured, proven and scalable
The MQX RTOS has been the backbone of embedded products based on Freescale silicon for more than 15 years. MQX software deployment spans a broad range of market segments and leading manufacturers worldwide.

The Freescale MQX RTOS offers leading-edge software technology for embedded designs based on Freescale processors and MCUs. Freescale MQX software offers an application programming interface (API) with a modular, component-based architecture that makes it simple to fine-tune custom applications. It also allows developers to add Web servers, e-mail, network management, security and routing to their designs. Components are linked in only if needed, preventing unused functions from bloating the memory footprint. With its straightforward API, the Freescale MQX RTOS solution easily scales across Freescale’s growing alliance network of software and tools, such as security, industrial protocols and graphical plug-ins.

Unlike general-purpose operating systems designed for desktop systems, the Freescale MQX RTOS was designed for speed and size efficiency in embedded systems. Freescale MQX software offers powerful, preemptive real-time performance with optimized context switch and interrupt times, enabling fast, highly predictable response times. Its small, configurable size conserves memory space for embedded applications, and it can be configured to take as little as 6 KB of ROM, including kernel, interrupts, semaphores, queues and memory manager.

Supported by Embedded Access, Inc.
Founded in 2004 and based in Ottawa, Canada, Embedded Access is the world leader in MQX software development and support. Freescale is partnering with Embedded Access to provide product development consultation and second-level support to Freescale’s technical support teams. Embedded Access also provides custom engineering services to Freescale MQX RTOS users looking for further assistance.

Embedded Access provides embedded software platforms for Freescale ColdFire MCUs, Power Architecture devices and i.MX processors used in industrial control, medical, consumer and networking applications. Embedded Access is a provider of add-on components to the Freescale MQX platform, such as security products, industrial protocols, flash file system, e-mail clients, SNMPv3 and others.

“We are excited about being a key partner in Freescale’s ground-breaking initiative,” said Craig Honegger, president of Embedded Access. “Freescale has truly raised the bar in enabling customers to rapidly deploy state-of-the art embedded products. We look forward to continue working closely with Freescale and users of their products who have an interest in our custom engineering services and components.”

In addition to offering engineering services to speed device development based on MQX platforms, Embedded Access provides training, technical support and software product licensing. For more information, visit www.embedded-access.com.

Freescale MQX RTOS features

  • RTOS with full priority-based, preemptive scheduler
  • Real-time TCP/IP communication suite (RTCS) with TCP/IP, FTP, Telnet, DHCP, SNMP and more
  • USB host and device stacks (HID, MASS, HUB)
  • MS-DOS file system (MFS)
  • Board support package (BSP) I/O driver supporting CAN, UART and more
  • HTTP Web server support
  • Supported by CodeWarrior[tm] Development Studio with kernel and task awareness
  • IAR development suite support with Freescale MQX RTOS awareness planned for 2009

For more information about the Freescale MQX RTOS, visit www.freescale.com/files/pr/mqx.html
For more information about Freescale’s MCF5225x ColdFire MCU family, visit www.freescale.com/files/pr/coldfire.html

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.