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Express Logic’s X-Ware Platform is the cornerstone for the Renesas Synergy Software Platform, providing a true integrated platform for embedded-systems customers. I was able to talk to Express Logic CEO William Lamie about the X-Ware Platform.

Wong: How are embedded development tools and solutions changing?

Lamie: We are seeing the need for more integrated solutions and/or frameworks to enable embedded developers to address the demands of the IoT space in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Such solutions must include pre-certified products and integrated, tested, and qualified software components. For example, the Renesas Synergy Platform offers a complete and qualified platform that accelerates embedded development.

Wong: Renesas recently introduced its Synergy Platform, which integrates a complete software package, with the aim to boost design engineers’ ability to develop products for the Internet of Things. How does Express Logic’s X-Ware Platform contribute to these efforts and help remove obstacles for IoT development? What role does the X-Ware Platform perform in cost-effective IoT development?

Lamie: IoT-targeted products typically require an RTOS and network connectivity. Many devices also require a graphical user interface, a file system, and sometimes USB and other middleware components. Our X-Ware Platform delivers all of this in a fully integrated, ready-to-use form—optimized for the Renesas Synergy Platform. The X-Ware Platform features ThreadX RTOS, NetX IPV4 and NetX DUO IPv4/IPV6 TCP/IP stacks, USBX USB Host/Device/OTG protocol stack, FileX FAT-compatible file system, and the GUIX graphical user interface software libraries, including device drivers, readily accessible from applications via a simple and intuitive API.

The Synergy Platform saves time and money by eliminating the need for component selection, driver development, product integration, optimization, licensing, and support from multiple vendors. Most of all, customers can start working on their application software immediately and get to market faster, improving time-to-revenue (TTR).

Wong: Why did Renesas choose Express Logic’s X-Ware Platform as the cornerstone software solution for the Synergy Platform? What specific features or capabilities were attractive?

Lamie: Renesas selected our X-Ware Platform as the cornerstone for the Renesas Synergy Software Platform based on the X-Ware feature set, which provides a true integrated platform for embedded-systems customers. X-Ware enables the rapid exchange of data required by the IoT. In addition, the Renesas Synergy Platform fills a vital need among embedded-systems developers for high-speed networking and high-performance GUIs in a small-footprint solution. Together, these products help developers deliver systems and solutions for the IoT faster and more cost-effectively. Express Logic also provided dedicated support resources for Synergy, working hand-in-hand with Renesas resources to deliver the best possible, one-stop support.

Wong: Can you give me an overview of the X-Ware Platform? What does the feature set look like, advantages over other solutions, and what makes it ideal for IoT design?

Lamie: Express Logic’s X-Ware Platform is based on the real-time multitasking ThreadX RTOS, which provides standard RTOS features as well as advanced features such as preemption-threshold, priority inheritance, event chaining, real-time event trace, run-time stack analysis, and completely deterministic processing. ThreadX is the first RTOS to have earned UL/IEC 60730/60335 certification, and is certified for UL 1998, IEC 61508/62304, and ISO 26262. It’s also 100% compliant with MISRA-C:2004 and MISRA C:2012.

Without X-Ware, customers are often forced to assemble products from multiple vendors and integrate them together and with underlying BSP code. This wastes engineering resources, costs time, and introduces significant risk. Of course, this also delays the start of actual application development. The X-Ware Platform eliminates all of that work and risk, letting developers concentrate squarely on their application.

Wong: You talked about the “software first” approach. What advantages does this provide to the designer and why is this important? How is it integrated into this approach?

Lamie: The “software first” approach from Renesas is the key advantage of the Renesas Synergy Platform, an offering that allows the RTOS, middleware, communication stacks, user interface, and detailed MCU functions to be accessed entirely through the API. This allows development engineers to start developing end-product application code and practically eliminates the learning curve for software operation below the API level.

Our X-Ware provides the key components to the Renesas Synergy Platform (ThreadX RTOS and middleware). Our products have been qualified and tested to commercial standards with ensured compatibility across all Renesas Synergy MCUs.

Wong: The rapid and secure exchange of data is essential for the growing Internet of Things. How does the X-Ware Platform address concerns around performance, security, and reliability/ quality?

Lamie: The X-Ware Platform is an application-dedicated system, and thus does not have the security concerns of a general-purpose, open system like Linux. For networking security, Express Logic offers IPsec and secure sockets for our NetX Duo product to provide authentication and encryption within a communication session. With ThreadX deployed in over two billion products, and various combinations of our middleware products qualified and adopted by system-on-chip vendors like Gainspan, Broadcom, and Qualcomm, to name a few, our track record speaks to the stability and quality of products.