Microsoft boosts IoT offering with Express Logic acquisition Credit: Martyn WilliamsIDG
Business Management

Microsoft boosts IoT offering with Express Logic acquisition

Microsoft has acquired Express Logic, a developer of real-time operating systems (RTOS) for internet of things (IoT) and edge devices for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will see Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS, supporting software and engineering staff join Microsoft’s growing IoT device technology portfolio, according to the company’s CEO William E. Lamie.

“Now as part of Microsoft, we believe our customers will be even better positioned to unlock exciting new capabilities of the IoT,” Lamie wrote in a blog post.

Founded in 1996 and based in San Diego, Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS complements Microsoft’s security offering in the micro controller space, Azure Sphere.

According to Microsoft, ThreadX RTOS has been deployed more than 6.2 billion times, making it one of the most used for micro controller units (MCUs) globally,

“With this acquisition, we will unlock access to billions of new connected endpoints, grow the number of devices that can seamlessly connect to Azure and enable new intelligent capabilities,” Microsoft Azure IoT director Sam George said in a blog post.

Such devices are frequently used to support resource-constrained environments, including low capacity sensors like light bulbs and temperature gauges to air conditioners, medical devices and network appliances.

The device even works on highly-constrained devices, such as those which are batter-powered and with less than 64Kb of flash memory, the post said.

George said the vendor expects to make ThreadX RTOS available as an option for real-time processing on an Azure Sphere device, while also enabling ThreadX-powered devices to connect to Azure IoT Edge devices.

“While we recommend Azure Sphere for customers’ most secured connections to the cloud, where Azure Sphere isn’t possible in highly constrained devices, we recommend Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS over other RTOS options in the industry because of its additional certifications and out-of-the-box connectivity to Azure IoT Hub,” he added.

The deal follows the vendor’s pledge to invest US$5 billion in IoT and the intelligent edge between April 2018 and 2022.

Since then, it has made a raft of investments in the Azure Sphere, Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT Edge, Azure Maps and Azure IoT Central, plus launched partnerships with SAP, PTC and Qualcomm, among others. 

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