NXP and Real Time Engineers announce collaboration on FreeRTOS+

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Real Time Engineers Ltd have announced FreeRTOS+IO and FreeRTOS+CLI support for the NXP LPC1700 series – the first microcontrollers supported by these new extensions to FreeRTOS, the popular real-time embedded operating system kernel. Under a new agreement between NXP and Real Time Engineers, the FreeRTOS+IO peripheral driver interface and FreeRTOS+CLI command line interpreter will be available for use completely free of charge, also under commercial licensing terms, when deployed on an NXP microcontroller.

The market-leading real-time operating system FreeRTOS now supports NXP’s latest generation of ARM Cortex-M0, M3, and M4 processor-based microcontrollers, including the 50-MHz LPC1100, 120-MHz LPC1700 and 204-MHz LPC4300 series MCUs. The FreeRTOS kernel itself is freely available for both development and unhindered commercial deployment from Further information on NXP’s ARM continuum of microcontrollers is available at:

Key Facts / Highlights:

  • Unlike the FreeRTOS kernel itself, the new add-on components including FreeRTOS+IO and FreeRTOS+CLI were originally released by Real Time Engineers Ltd under a dual open-source/commercial license. Under the new agreement with NXP, developers using NXP microcontrollers can use FreeRTOS+IO and FreeRTOS+CLI completely free of charge, also for commercial use, when deploying the tools on NXP microcontrollers.
  • FreeRTOS+IO provides a Linux/POSIX-like interface to support common on-chip peripherals, abstracting the peripheral interface details, and allowing developers to focus on developing their products. FreeRTOS+IO currently supports UART, I2C, and SSP in SPI mode in polling as well as circular buffer and zero-copy interrupt transfer modes.
  • FreeRTOS+CLI provides a user-extendable command-line interface to the target. Examples for implementing commands are provided, such as “run-time-stats” to see the amount of time each task has spent in the Running state, and “task-stats” to see a snapshot of task state information, including stack high water mark. Additional commands, such as the familiar file system “dir”, “del” and “copy” commands, are implemented in a featured example that targets the LPC1769 microcontroller.
  • NXP’s high-performance LPC1769 microcontrollers are based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor, and are the first devices in the industry to be supported by FreeRTOS+IO and FreeRTOS+CLI. The LPC1700 series operates at speeds up to 120 MHz and offers peripherals such as Ethernet, USB 2.0 Host/OTG/Device, LCD Controllers and CAN 2.0B.

Supporting Quotes:

  • “FreeRTOS, along with its new FreeRTOS+ extensions, provides a professional-grade OS solution and ease of use for embedded system developers. By making the latest tools freely available for commercial use with our high-performance NXP microcontrollers, we’re offering the key ingredients that engineers need to quickly develop and bring more complex 32-bit devices to market – at an unbeatable cost,” said Jan Jaap Bezemer, director of marketing, microcontroller business line, NXP Semiconductors.
  • “We’re very pleased to offer FreeRTOS support for NXP’s low-power Cortex-M0 and high-performance Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 microcontrollers. The popularity of the LPC1769 microcontrollers made it a natural choice as the initial target for our new FreeRTOS+IO extension, and we look forward to working with NXP to extend FreeRTOS+ add-on support for its entire ARM Cortex-M microcontroller range,” said Richard Barry, director and CTO, Real Time Engineers Ltd, owners and maintainers of the FreeRTOS Project.