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Think you can’t afford a commercial RTOS – Think Again!

RTOS’s have been around for a long time in the embedded industry.   And with the introduction of the TI RTOS, Freescale’s MQX, FreeRTOS and several others, I hear all the time that “RTOS’s have become a commodity.”  And to some extent, I agree.   While every RTOS has its pros and cons with various features and benefits, selecting the right one for “your” application requirements can be a little tricky.  Certainly you’ve heard around the coffee pot that a kernel is a kernel, and TCP/IP is TCP/IP and USB is USB.  And don’t forget the tagline “you pay for what you get.”

We all know it’s never that easy!  When you step outside of a bare-metal application or even basic real-time kernel requirements and start adding things like connectivity, certification, power management and alliance affiliations just to name a few credentials, the RTOS evaluation process become increasingly difficult.  The answer: choose wisely.  Duh!

What about price? With all the cheap and free RTOS options available, why would ANY thinking person pay for and RTOS these days? Isn’t the RTOS business dead?  To some degree and for parts of the high-end market, yes it is dead in favor of higher end OS’s like Linux and Android.  (Note:  If you think Linux and Android are free, Mentor Graphics offers professional services to help you build, integrate and implement your free software.)

In the meantime, for commercial RTOS’s like Nucleus, the business is not dead at all.  There are a handful of popular RTOS’s in the market where the business is still a good, healthy and growing.  But why?  The answer is legacy, stability and innovation.  Since 1993, Nucleus has been deployed in over 3 billion devices worldwide, making it the most deployed and one of the most stable commercial RTOS’s in the world today.   Nucleus has been licensed by thousands of customers in the past 20 years who expect innovation to provide leading products for their customers.   To answer, robust connectivity, multicore support, Power Management Framework, out of the box BSP availability and Sourcery CodeBench integration provide a wealth of continued technical innovation from Mentor Graphics.

How about business innovation?    While Mentor Graphics offers a number of flexible business models for Nucleus to support our diverse customer base, there is a market segment of startups and really small companies who need an RTOS but don’t have the funds to purchase a commercial RTOS, which limits the available choices.  Not anymore! Mentor Embedded has introduced the Nucleus Innovate Program which offers complete Nucleus source code with seats of the Sourcery CodeBench IDE tools for FREE to qualified small companies.  Small company = < $1mil in revenues.  And there’s no rusty hook lurking in the muddy water to worry about.  Meaning, all product SKUs deployed while you’re a small company ship for free perpetually.  When your business becomes successful (i.e.:  greater than $1mil), you simply purchase a license type that fits your needs for new product SKUs going forward.  How’s that for business innovation?   If your company is smaller than $1mil in revenue, submit a short Qualification Form today!

OSS, RTOS, Freescale, Android, Mentor Embedded, Nucleus, Linux, Medical

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About Jamie Little

Jamie LittleI work in the Embedded Software Division (ESD) of Mentor Graphics. I have 20 years of experience in the embedded market with the first 17 being in Sales Management and the last four in Marketing/Business Development. During my career in the embedded market, I’ve enjoyed calling on worldwide accounts, engaging many customers, attending countless events and working with our partners. In my current role, I work closely with our Semiconductor Partners and Ecosystem Partners. I also manage Nucleus Innovate Program, which is a specialized program targeted to small companies. I have the unique opportunity to learn about current semiconductor devices, key market segments and customer use cases. Outside of work, I enjoy a number of outdoor hobbies on the Gulf Coast and spending time with my three kids. Visit Embedded Blog

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