Microsoft has acquired Express Logic, which provides real time operating systems (RTOS) for IoT and edge devices running microcontrollers units (MCUs), Microsoft said Thursday.
Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS has more than 6.2 billion deployments, making it one of the most popular RTOSes in the world, according to a post on the Microsoft blog announcing the deal. The OS is used in devices including light bulbs, temperature gauges, air conditioners, medical devices and network appliances. RTOS runs in "highly constrained devices" that are battery powered and with less than 64KB of flash memory, particularly in safety and security applications. Overall, more than 9 billion of these devices are deployed every year, according to the blog post, signed by Sam George, Microsoft director of Azure IoT.
Microsoft now provides Azure Sphere as an operating system for edge devices; for highly constrained devices that can't run Azure Sphere, Microsoft will recommend ThreadX instead, the company says.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Why this matters The Internet of Things will explode demand for telco and other communication service provider services, as IoT devices need reliable connectivity options. IoT also pushes compute and storage requirements to the edge of the network, rather than in enterprise or big cloud data centers. And IoT will drive demand for flexible, high-speed 5G services.
AT&T and Microsoft are jointly testing network edge capabilities on the AT&T 5G network; the two companies announced those plans at Mobile World Congress in February.
Microsoft is investing heavily in edge computing to support IoT -- the company announced a $5 billion four-year-investment last year -- and the Express Logic acquisition is the latest step.
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— Mitch Wagner Executive Editor, Light Reading