Architecture extends ARMv8-A 64-bit support to include SMP

The ThreadX RTOS from Express Logic now provides Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) support on the ARMv8-A 64-bit processor family, including the ARM Cortex-A53, Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A72 processors. ThreadX SMP is based on Express Logic’s industry-leading ThreadX RTOS, a small, highly efficient embedded OS that minimizes system overhead and provides lightning-fast, real-time response. With a memory footprint less than 10KB and submicrosecond interrupt responses and context switches, ThreadX SMP complements the multicore architecture of the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture with the ease of SMP, while retaining hard real-time responsiveness.

ThreadX’s real time SMP Advantage
ThreadX/SMP offers developers of ARMv8-A 64-bit based products the following:

  • Incremental processing resources
  • Automatic load-balancing across all cores
  • Ease of application programming
  • Use of common code for single and multicore versions
  • Increased performance without increased programming complexity

With ThreadX/SMP, an application can exploit the resources of multiple processors to serve its threads, without developers having to tailor the program logic to manage and arbitrate among the processors. In a single-processor system, the moment a top-priority thread begins execution, other threads must wait. With ThreadX/SMP, threads of equal priority can run in parallel on the other processors, effectively balancing overload situations where one processor could not handle the volume of data to be processed. Using ThreadX SMP, the application can launch a second, third or fourth thread, as needed, to help with the processing. The additional threads can be defined at initialization and automatically run on any available processor or created dynamically as the executing thread identifies processing demand beyond its capabilities.

“As a result of the strength and diversity of the ARM partnership, multicore CPUs are now both widely available and cost-efficient,” said Richard York, vice president of marketing, embedded segment, ARM. “They are used in a diverse range of embedded applications and require a powerful RTOS to harness the capabilities offered. The ThreadX SMP RTOS enables embedded developers to utilize the power of these multicore SoCs and develop their software with a familiar and easy-to-use solution.”

“ARMv8-A is gaining popularity with customers seeking to design-in higher performance, low-power Internet of Things devices in the embedded space,” said William E. Lamie, President, Express Logic. “Express Logic complements the strength of the ARMv8-A architecture. In contrast to Linux SMP, ThreadX SMP delivers deterministic real-time responsiveness in a small memory footprint and is fully supported by Express Logic. It delivers the benefits of SMP programming without the overhead of a large OS.”

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