5 Key Points to Consider When Choosing a RTOS

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This article will discuss 5 Key Points to Consider When Choosing an RTOS. If you do not know what is RTOS, you can go to my previous article here.

Key Points to Consider When Choosing an RTOS:

There is now a wide choice of open source and commercial RTOS for IoT devices in the market. The choice can be surprising, here are the 5 key points to consider when choosing the best RTOS for your IoT device:


You have a lot of choices when it comes to performance. The first thing to consider is the memory and processing footprint requirements of a particular RTOS. ROM, RAM, and flash should all be evaluated for your memory requirements, while interrupt delays and context switch times should be evaluated for your processing needs.


8-bit and 16-bit MCUs were the hardware of choice for IoT devices for a long time, but 32-bit MCUs are now becoming increasingly popular, with many manufacturers using two separate power processes on the device. Must be scalable and ready to handle future upgrades.


Since there is no doubt that,  you are working with limited RAM, your RTOS will come with a mandatory core kernel with customized middleware and protocol stack. By creating just what you need around the main kernel,  you are able to control the device memory requirements which is more robust with the help of a traditional themed OS.


Your IoT device and system security requirements should be cautiously considered. Each RTOS on the market offers a separate range of security add-ons, such as secure boot, SSL support, and driver for encryption.


Connectivity is another key parameter when choosing an RTOS. 

  • Communication protocols that your RTOS needs to provide connectivity to your embedded devices? 
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IEEE 802.15.4?

These are the questions that need to be answered before choosing an RTOS. So that, Your RTOS will enable you to select the specific communication protocols you need to connect with, so use only what you require.

The most popular open-source RTOSs for IoT include:

  • RIOT
  • Nano-RK
  • FreeRTOS
  • Apache Mynewt
  • ARM mbed OS
  • DuinOS
  • mipOS
  • RT-Thread
  • uOS
  • Lepton
  • Zephyr

The most popular commercial RTOSs for IoT include:

  • Microsoft Azure (ThreadX)
  • QNX
  • VxWorks
  • SafeRTOS (Commerical FreeRTOS)
  • RTX
  • REX OS
  • PikeOS
  • Nucleus RTOS
  • Neutrino

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