editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Is an OS More Like IP or a Tool?

As Jim Turley mentioned in his ESC run-down, Express Logic has done a deal with IAR to make available a “lite” version of the ThreadX operating system. Of course the features are cut back, as he explains. But it was the nature of the licensing that caught my attention.

Full-up ThreadX is licensed by project: when you finish the project, you’re done with that license, and you buy a new one when a new project starts up. While this model works for larger companies, according to Express Logic’s John Carbone, it proved burdensome for small guys.

ThreadX-Lite is aimed at those guys, and the key is that it’s no longer licensed per project: it’s per user, and doesn’t expire at the end of the project. In addition to the feature differences, if you have lots of users, it ends up costing more: the $12,500 per-project license for ThreadX covers three users. If you have three ThreadX-Lite users at $4500 each, it actually costs more. Although it transcends the project.

Details aside, the reason this caught my eye was that it occurred to me that, at least when compared to hardware, ThreadX uses a royalty-free IP licensing model; ThreadX-Lite uses a tool licensing model. They’re fundamentally different.

Asked whether Express Logic was actually thinking in these strategic terms when deciding on ThreadX-Lite, John indicated that wasn’t the case. They were simply trying to craft a product for a missing audience. If the two models end up performing differently, then they could look at this from a broader angle, but that’s not the case at present.

More detail on ThreadX-Lite can be found in their release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Nov 18, 2019
By Srinivas Velivala – Mentor, A Siemens Business MaxLinear implemented the Calibre RealTime Digital interface for fast, iterative signoff DRC during P&R, and shaved weeks off tapeout schedules while meeting PPA targets. Learn how they did it… At the 2019 TSM...
Nov 18, 2019
Dangers of 5G. Thousands of satellites. Radio controlled birds. Smartphones spying on us. And much, much more....
Nov 18, 2019
'Virtuoso Meets Maxwell' is a blog series aimed at exploring the capabilities and potential of Virtuoso® RF Solution and Virtuoso MultiTech. So, how does Virtuoso meet Maxwell? Now,... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site...
Nov 15, 2019
As we seek to go faster and faster in our systems, heat grows as does the noise from the cooling fans. It is because of this heat and noise, many companies are investigating or switching to submersible cooling (liquid immersion cooling) options. Over the last few years, subme...
Nov 15, 2019
[From the last episode: we looked at how intellectual property helps designers reuse circuits.] Last week we saw that, instead of creating a new CPU, most chip designers will buy a CPU design '€“ like a blueprint of the CPU '€“ and then use that in a chip that they'€™re...