Microsoft and semiconductor firms team up on Azure RTOS project


On April 2, Microsoft announced it has partnered with a host of leading semiconductor companies to expand the utility of its Azure cloud computing platform. The Big Tech giant teamed with Microchip, NXP, Qualcomm, Renesas, and STMicroelectronics to develop embedded development kits for Azure’s real-time operating system (RTOS).

The collaboration will allow electronics manufacturers to create multifaceted and secure Internet of Things (IoT) device applications.

Why Microsoft Collaborated with Component Makers

At present, Amazon dominates the American cloud computing sector with a market share of 33 percent. Microsoft currently ranks as the number two web services provider as it represents 18 percent of the industry, but it’s keen to expand its presence in the $100 billion market. As such, the corporation has sought to find ways to make Azure useful in a range of different industries.

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Last April, Microsoft purchased a company called Express Logic that specialized in making RTOSs for IoT and edge devices. The corporation made the acquisition to become a leading provider of IoT digital infrastructure tools. Indeed, the firm’s technology helped the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant develop a suite of embedded device cloud software.

By working with several of the world’s leading microcontroller and microprocessor manufacturers, Microsoft has made its cloud platform more accessible.

Why Azure RTOS Just got Easier to Use

The involvement of Microchip, NXP, Qualcomm, Renesas, and STMicroelectronics with Azure RTOS development kits is very important for electronics manufacturers. For one thing, companies can expedite their research and development process because they can build within a preexisting framework. Firms also benefit from being able to manufacture their new devices with production licenses from five leading component makers.

The Azure collaboration also gives developers the stack support they need to craft game-changing connected devices and equipment.

Appliance makers can release lines of smart home products that work together to provide enhanced customer comfort. Civic infrastructure companies also use Azure to monitor the consistent functionality of streetlights. Even logistics companies use the technology to more precisely track the status of their cargo through sea, air, and ground transportation channels.

Manufacturers’ Azure RTOS-enabled IoT products will also come to market with protection from enterprise-grade cybersecurity tools. Azure Sphere acts as a comprehensive solution that guards devices throughout the entire tech stack. Moreover, Microsoft’s IoT Hub Device Management program supports embedded MCUs and system-on-chip components that are too small to interface with Sphere.

Marketing research firm Gartner estimates there are 20 billion IoT connected devices currently in use. Microsoft’s collaboration with five leading semiconductor firms will likely see that number eclipsed sooner rather than later.


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