If one examines the 2017 Embedded Market Study Survey: (https://m.eet.com/media/1246048/2017...rket-study.pdf), the use of RTOS vs. no RTOS (page 54) has maintained a fairly consistent 70% (RTOS) to 30% (no RTOS) split for the last 5 years (and probably earlier as well). During the same time frame, the use of open source RTOS increased from 30% to 40%, while the use of commercial RTOS dropped from 40% to 30%.

Digging a bit deeper, the most common reason selected for NOT using (a commercial) RTOS was “the current solution works fine” (AKA inertia, a whopping 68% of the response), with the second most common reason selected being “too expensive” (coming in at 35%.)

Of the reasons to choose an RTOS, whether commercial or open source, the top 4 survey answers were:
  1. Availability of full source code (39%)
  2. No royalties (30%)
  3. Compatibility with other software and systems (27%)
  4. Availability of tech support (27%)

However, the most telling information is perhaps found in the following graphic:

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In other words:
  1. A similar percentage of developers have been using RTOS in the last 5 years
  2. The use of open source RTOS has increased somewhat, at the expense of commercial RTOS
  3. The main selling points of open source RTOS are the availability of source code and no royalties
  4. … and in the end, open source RTOS really just means embedded Linux and FreeRTOS

No wonder Amazon turned FreeRTOS into “Amazon FreeRTOS” for an undisclosed sum.

In my following posts, I will be discussing the pros and cons of different RTOS, as well as describe ImageCraft’s new RTOS REXIS (Real-time EXecutive for Intelligent Systems), which is a part of our JumpStart Embedded Suite. Stay tuned!