Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS Supports Altera's Nios II Embedded Processor

11/18/2004 - Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) and Express Logic, Inc., announced immediate support for Altera’s Nios® II soft-core embedded processor using Express Logic’s ThreadX® real-time operating system (RTOS). Now, the thousands of embedded designers using the ThreadX RTOS can realize the performance and flexibility benefits of the industry-leading Nios II processor for applications such as consumer electronics, medical equipment, wireless networking, and industrial automation.

Integration and Performance
With its fast software timers and Preemption-ThresholdTM capabilities, ThreadX enables developers to maximize the strengths of the Nios II processor. Applications can take advantage of ThreadX's preemption-threshold to eliminate excessive context switching , un-deterministic priority inversion, and enhance responsiveness. ThreadX is delivered as a plug-in for the Nios II integrated development environment (IDE), enabling users to configure, build, and debug their application from a single tool. ThreadX also makes use of the Nios II hardware abstraction layer (HAL), a software service library custom-tailored to the system hardware, which automatically generates the correct RTOS integration.

Using as little as 3 KB of ROM, ThreadX’s small footprint and high performance strongly complements the Nios II processor. ThreadX also provides significant technical innovations including highly efficient interrupt handling and thread context switching.

Seamless Migration Opportunities
ThreadX is complemented by a robust set of middleware, including the NetXTM TCP/IP stack and a broad set of application protocols, including SNMP, PPP, PoP3, FTP/TFTP, and SSL. Express Logic’s FileXTM MS-DOS-compatible embedded file system is also available for the Nios II processor, and provides small, fast file system capabilities for embedded systems.

“FPGA solutions with embedded soft-core processors represent a growing opportunity for our customers,” said William E. Lamie, president of Express Logic. “We view Altera’s Nios II processor as a highly flexible and powerful soft-core processor, and are pleased to offer ThreadX RTOS support for it.”

“Many of our customers have ThreadX-based designs deployed on standard microprocessors and have been wanting to move these designs to Nios II embedded processors,” said Craig Lytle, vice president of solution engineering at Altera. “ThreadX support for Nios II soft embedded processors provides customers with an easy migration path.”

Pricing and Availability
ThreadX for Nios II processors is immediately available from Express Logic. Pricing starts at $12,500 for a single design license, with no run-time royalties. The Nios II processor is available royalty-free from Altera as part of development kits featuring the CycloneTM, Stratix®, Stratix II FPGAs and upcoming Cyclone II development kits. A downloadable evaluation version is available from the Altera® web site at:

About the Nios II Family of Embedded Processors
Altera’s Nios II family of soft embedded processors is optimized for programmable logic and system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) integration. With three Nios II cores and multiple programmable logic device (PLD) families to choose from, developers can accommodate a wide range of performance and price points. The Nios II cores are general-purpose RISC processors that can be combined with user logic and programmed into an Altera FPGA. The processor features a 32-bit instruction set, 32-bit data path, and configurable instruction and data caches. Nios II embedded processors are royalty-free when used in Altera PLDs and HardCopy® structured ASICs. An ASIC license for OEM applications is available for an additional charge. For more information, visit

About Altera
Altera Corporation (NASDAQ: ALTR) is the world’s pioneer in system-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions. Combining programmable logic technology with software tools, intellectual property, and technical services, Altera provides high-value programmable solutions to approximately 14,000 customers worldwide. More information is available at

About Express Logic
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 NetX, and the embedded MS-DOS file system FileX. All products from Express Logic include full source-code and have no run-time royalties. For more information about Express Logic solutions, please visit, call 1-888-THREADX, or email inquiries to

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.

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