Express Logic Supports Xilinx MicroBlaze with ThreadX RTOS

10/27/2003 - Responding to a need for high performance processing and configurable soft-processor based solutions, Express Logic announced ThreadX® real-time operating system (RTOS) support for the Xilinx®, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) MicroBlazeTM 32-bit soft processor core, and membership in the Xilinx AllianceEmbedded Program. ThreadX for the Xilinx MicroBlaze processor is the highest-performance ThreadX implementation yet measured, boasting a blazing 1.2µs context switch time in Xilinx Virtex-II ProTM FPGAs.

Express Logic's ThreadX provides real-time embedded developers designing with Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor cores the most technically advanced multitasking solution on the market today. Express Logic's picokernelTM design results in a very high-performance implementation with extremely small memory footprint (as small as 3Kbytes) in order to address high volume, low cost applications. These low-cost applications are ideal for use in the Xilinx Spartan-3TM FPGA family. ThreadX also provides significant technical innovations such as extremely fast software timers and a mechanism to help reduce context switching known as preemption-thresholdTM. Also supporting MicroBlaze based applications is the full suite of Express Logic offerings, including the NetXTM network stack, FileXTM file management, and PegXTM graphics.

The MicroBlaze 32-bit soft processor core is the industry's fastest FPGA based soft processing solution. Delivering up to125 D-MIPS at 150MHz, the MicroBlaze processor is ideal for building complex embedded systems for the networking, telecommunication, data communication, and consumer markets. The MicroBlaze processor features a RISC with Harvard-style separate 32-bit instruction and data busses running at full speed to execute programs and access data from both on-chip and external memory.

"Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS high performance and low cost of implementation enables the MicroBlaze soft processor core to address the demands of many deeply embedded applications such as digital imaging, networking, storage systems, and consumer electronics," said Jerry Banks, director of Global Alliances at Xilinx “These strong attributes can help both our consumer and industrial customers meet their aggressive price and performance design goals”.

ThreadX works with the Xilinx Embedded Development Kit 6.1i (EDK) which is expected to start shipping to customers in October. The Xilinx EDK includes a complete set of GNU-based software development tools including a C compiler, assembler, linker, and debugger. The MicroBlaze core is also supported by wide range of IP and hardware development tools from Xilinx. Low cost MicroBlaze evaluation and development systems from Insight Memec allowed Express Logic to quickly port ThreadX to the Xilinx soft processor core.

“Evaluating the ThreadX RTOS on our Spartan-IIETM, Virtex-IITM and new Spartan-3TM based platforms provides users with a flexible environment to investigate the benefits of Express Logic’s multitasking solution,” said Jim Beneke, director of Technical Marketing for Memec.

"We are seeing substantial interest in Xilinx's MicroBlaze core because it addresses the same high-performance and cost sensitive applications as the ThreadX RTOS. As a result, we expect strong demand for our MicroBlaze support package," says William E. Lamie, Express Logic's president. "Our ThreadX support for the MicroBlaze core will most definitely help application developers leverage the advanced features of the MicroBlaze architecture to get better quality products to market in less time."

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.

ThreadX for MicroBlaze is available today, at prices starting at $12,500 for a single product, royalty-free license.

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 TCP/IP stack NetXTM, and the embedded MS-DOS file system FileXTM. All products from Express Logic include full source-code and have no run-time royalties. For more information about Express Logic solutions, please browse to, call 1-888-THREADX, or email inquires to

ThreadX is a registered trademark of Express Logic, Inc. NetX, FileX, preemption-threshold, picokernel, UDP fast path technology, are trademarks of Express Logic, Inc. MicroBlaze is a trademark of Xilinx, Inc.

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