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Nucleus RTOS Kernel

Embedded developers can produce reliable systems on memory constrained single-chip microcontrollers to full-featured SoCs through multicore 64-bit data plane engines with the Nucleus RTOS Kernel. Relying on an RTOS deployed on over 3 billion devices, developers can customize the Nucleus RTOS from a minimum kernel size of less than 2 kb and select from the extensive Nucleus Kernel services to develop functional systems for medical devices, consumer electronics, set-top boxes, cell phones, and other portable and handheld applications.

With the Nucleus RTOS embedded system designers can:

  • Rely on a proven and stable RTOS kernel with over 3 billion device deployment
  • Access well documented source code
  • Deliver hard real-time performance
  • Scale from a minimum memory footprint as little as 2 kb
  • Design systems with low power consumption
  • Implement responsive systems with fast boot time and sub microsecond latency for interrupt service and context switching
  • Maximize performance on multicore systems


Application interface

  • Familiar RTOS kernel APIs for multi-threaded application development
  • ANSI C
  • C++

Core services

  • Integrated power management
  • Dynamic task creation and deletion
  • Application timers (One and multi-shot timers)
  • Static and dynamic memory allocation

Inter-task communications and synchronization

  • Counting Semaphores and Mutexes (Priority Inheritance support)
  • Event Flags
  • Fixed and variable queues and pipes
  • Mailboxes
  • UNIX-like signals

Real-time MMU services

  • Deterministic flat memory model supportGraceful handling of errors in the field
  • Nucleus MMU enables kernel-application, application-application memory protection

Enhanced services

  • Powerful build and configuration system
  • Granular control of system foot print, performance, and functionality
  • Device manager for standardized driver interface
  • Automatic initialization
  • Portable abstraction layer
  • Task stack-checking APIs for optimal run-time stack usage
  • Two-tier interrupt processing model for efficient interrupt service
  • No interrupt lock-out during kernel service calls - extremely responsive and low latency

Dynamic loading services

  • Enables field upgrades
  • Supports minimal RAM footprint
  • Integrated with MMU services

Multicore support

  • MCAPI (IPC) and long history of AMP (asymmetric multi-processing) design wins
  • Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) kernel
  • Deterministic and preemptive multicore scheduler
  • Bound Computational Domain (BCD); soft, hard, and interrupt affinity

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Nucleus Source & Dev Tools


Measuring RTOS Performance: What? Why? How?

White Paper: In the world of smart phones and tablet PCs memory might be cheap, but in the more constrained universe of deeply embedded devices, it is still a precious resource. This is one of the many reasons why most... View White Paper

Nucleus RTOS Communities

Nucleus RTOS user forums — discussions, design tips, sample designs and more. Visit

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