Supported Boards

Hello,

I am currently writing my thesis about the comparison of different Low-End-IoT-OS. One of the categories I chose to compare the OSs is the hardware support, where I want to analyse which OS supports the most boards and processor families. I am currently looking into Free RTOS but I dont really understand how the whole “official supported” and “community supported” system works. Is there an official document where every “official supported” board is listed or can someone might share how many boards are currently ported for Free RTOS?

Greetings,
Steven

Hi there Steven and welcome,

with respect board support, you need to be careful with your comparison. Because FreeRTOS does not support any peripherals(1) out of the box, there is no point in listing every single board out there, the list would be immense and shadow Zephyr by a magnitude. With regard ro FreeRTOS, a look at the supported MCU ports would be more meaningful.

(1) Unless you wanted to include network connectivity and mass storage support, but that is not core FreeRTOS.

1 Like

Hello RAc,

thank you for your fast reply! I still have to ask you more questions, since I am not sure if I understand your answer correctly. Other IoT-OSs like RIOT or Zephyr have a list of (already) supported boards. Is this different in Free RTOS? If i understand you correctly, Free RTOS has already a bunch of MCU ports, and you then have to choose a board and also have to port it to Free RTOS? If so, shouldn´t there be already implemented boards that I could build on? Or do I have to do that regardless of past implementations?

Thank you very much,
Steven

That is not correct. FreeRTOS runs on a number of architectures. An example of an architecture is Cortex-M4. There are a lot of boards in the market with Cortex-M4 core and FreeRTOS runs on all of them without requiring any porting. That is why @RAc said that it is hard to list all the boards FreeRTOS runs on. This page provides a non-exhaustive list of supported architectures - Microcontrollers and compiler tool chains supported by FreeRTOS.

1 Like

Got it, thank you very much! That is an very interesting approach, which makes Free RTOS stand out of all the OSs that I reviewed for my thesis. I wonder why other OSs don´t aim for the same approach, since it should not only support the biggest number of boards, but also makes it very easy for developers to use Free RTOS as their OS. Is there any downsight that I oversee at the moment?

Well, a particular board has a specific set of peripherals (gpio, comm interfaces etc). On FreeRTOS you need to get support for those peripherals separately. FreeRTOS in essence is nothing but a task scheduler, providing on top of that support for isr integration. Other RTOSs are more ambitious, providing drivers (possibly multi layered) for peripherals.