XMOS announces the launch of SMP FreeRTOS for multicore processors, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services

FreeRTOS, the operating system of choice for millions of developers, is ready for the next generation of AI and IoT applications thanks to the latest symmetric multiprocessing release.

Bristol UK, 30th June 2021 — Leading British chip company XMOS in collaboration with AWS, today announces the release of symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) FreeRTOS, enabling electronics manufacturers to build complex embedded systems faster and more easily than ever before.

With significant contributions from XMOS and other partners, this all-new SMP version marks a step-change in the capabilities of the FreeRTOS kernel, with verification and maintenance provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Traditionally driven by the community, the widely known MIT-licensed open-source FreeRTOS is downloaded every 170 seconds by developers around the world. It brings a whole host of benefits for electronics manufacturers in terms of ease of use, design reuse and speed.

FreeRTOS offers a homogenous and scalable programming interface that can be trusted to run existing and future workloads. Now, for the first time in an upstream version, developers can work within a familiar FreeRTOS environment using symmetric multiprocessing to programme multicore architectures – simultaneously saving considerable time and money, and helping to improve speed to market.

SMP FreeRTOS will be available to use on XMOS’s flexible and powerful xcore® chipset, which brings together AI, control, communications and DSP in an affordable, performant package. xcore is already widely used as a fast, simple and cost-effective route to creating intelligent devices across a wide variety of applications.  XMOS’s recently released XTC tools, paired with the symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) implementation of FreeRTOS, take advantage of xcore’s unique capabilities through easy-to-use industry standard software language and abstraction.

With multicore processing now a standard for various forms of compute in the industry, the impact of the SMP FreeRTOS release promises to be huge.

Mark Lippett, CEO, XMOS, said: “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.  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.

“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.”

Richard Barry, Founder of FreeRTOS and Senior Principal Engineer, AWS Edge Devices, said: “We are really pleased to work with XMOS and other partners to consolidate and upstream the various symmetric multiprocessing versions of FreeRTOS into the officially supported kernel version. This enables us, as well as our expansive user community, to provide the same rapid and knowledgeable level of support across an even wider range of innovative processors and use cases.”


About XMOS
XMOS is a deep tech company at the leading edge of the AIoT. Since its inception in 2005, XMOS has had its finger on the pulse – recognising and addressing the evolving market need for flexible compute to address an ever-widening range of applications. The company’s processors put intelligence, connectivity and enhanced computation at the core of smart products.

To find out more about the SMP FreeRTOS kernel, download our latest whitepaper. To access the SMP FreeRTOS, please visit https://github.com/FreeRTOS/FreeRTOS-Kernel/tree/smp.

Media contact
Charlie Apsey / Ben Musgrove, Wildfire
+44 208 408 8000


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