Microsoft acquires Express Logic to boost IoT efforts

Joanna Estrada
April 21, 2019

Since then, we've been making a number of investments from product innovation - including Azure Sphere, Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT Edge, Azure Maps and Azure IoT Central - new partnerships with DJI, SAP, PTC, Qualcomm and Carnegie Mellon University for IoT and edge app development, and programs to help drive the next wave of innovation for our customers. Although the terms of the deal are not yet disclosed, it has been assumed that it is an expensive deal considering a prominent role Express Logic plays in the ecosystem of connected devices.

Microsoft announced in April 2018 they will invest $5 billion dollars in IoT devices over the next 4 years. In the wake of the acquisition, the company will likely add yet more integrations between ThreadX and its cloud services to encourage enterprise adoption of Azure.

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"This widespread popularity is driven by demand for technology to support resource constrained environments, especially those that require safety and security", Sam George, director of Azure IoT at Microsoft, said in a blog post about the acquisition. Further to this, billions of new connected endpoints can be unlocked, enabling a wider range of devices to seamlessly connect to Azure, and enable new intelligent capabilities. The OS is used in devices including light bulbs, temperature gauges, air conditioners, medical devices and network appliances. One of Express Logic's most important products is ThreadX, a real time operating system for MCU based devices with already over 6.2 billion deployments.

Microsoft will make ThreadX available to customers as an option for real time processing requirements on an Azure Sphere device.

"Although we endorse Azure Sphere as a most secure connection to the cloud for customers, it (Azure) is not possible in devices, which are highly constrained". The recommendation over other RTOS solutions comes down to ThreadX's certifications and its ability to connect to Azure IoT Hub out of the box.

ThreadX will match with Microsoft's own Azure Sphere operating system to connect devices.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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