Microsoft has acquired Express Logic, a leader in real time operating systems (RTOS) for IoT and edge devices powered by microcontroller units (MCUs). Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS claims over 6.2 billion deployments. This widespread popularity is driven by demand for technology to support resource constrained environments, especially those that require safety and security. Manufacturers building products across a range of categories – from low capacity sensors like lightbulbs and temperature gauges to air conditioners, medical devices, and network appliances – leverage the size, safety and security benefits of Express Logic solutions to achieve faster time to market. Even highly constrained devices (battery powered and having less than 64KB of flash memory) can use Express Logic solutions. Over 9 billion of these MCU-powered devices are built and deployed globally every year, many of which can benefit from Express Logic solutions.
With this acquisition, Microsoft looks to unlock access to billions of new connected endpoints, grow the number of devices that can seamlessly connect to Azure, and enable new intelligent capabilities. Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS joins Microsoft’s growing support for IoT devices and is complementary with Azure Sphere, their security offering in the microcontroller space. The goal is to make Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS available as an option for real time processing requirements on an Azure Sphere device and also enable ThreadX-powered devices to connect to Azure IoT Edge devices when the IoT solution calls for edge computing capabilities. While Azure Sphere is recommended for customers’ most secured connections to the cloud, they recommend Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS where Azure Sphere isn’t possible in highly constrained device because of its additional certifications and out-of-the-box connectivity to Azure IoT Hub.