XMOS, AWS team for symmetric multiprocessing FreeRTOS

July 02, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
XMOS, AWS team for symmetric multiprocessing FreeRTOS
SMP version of FreeRTOS ported to XMOS xcore chip and Tensilica configurable processor IP, with a RISC-V port in development

Amazon has launched a version of the FreeRTOS real time operating system that supports symmetric multiprocessing to allow higher performance on multicore devices.

Working with UK chip maker XMOS, SMP FreeRTOS added support for the Xcore ports for use on the xcore chipset, which brings together AI, control, communications and DSP.

The xcore architecture was developed for realtime multicore operation, and the recently released xtc software tools come with standards compliant C and C++ compilers, language libraries, simulator, symbolic debugger, and runtime instrumentation and trace libraries. Multicore support offers features for task based parallelism and communication, accurate timing and I/O, and safe memory management.

The MIT-licensed open-source FreeRTOS is downloaded every 170 seconds by developers around the world and supported with verification and maintenance by Amazon Web Services (AWS) following a deal in 2017.

The SMP release of FreeRTOS means that developers can now use the flexibility of our xcore platform to architect custom solutions from the operating system. This is a major differentiation from other SoCs, which are substantially hard-coded in silicon,” said Mark Lippett, CEO of XMOS in Bristol, UK.

“With full support for the C programming language, FreeRTOS and the deep learning framework TensorFlow-Lite, we ensure developers enjoy the benefits of xcore through comfortable and familiar programming models,” he said.

“Thanks to our collaboration with Amazon Web Services, developers now have the opportunity to programme and adapt applications for the IoT quickly and easily. With this release, a full voice stack, for example, with different forms of compute (DSP, AI, etc) can be run on a homogeneous platform, simplifying development, testing, and maintenance of software, and ultimately reducing cost and time to market.”

Next: RISC-V SMP FreeRTOS plans

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