About RT-Thread

RT-Thread was born in 2006, it is an open source, neutral, and community-based real-time operating system (RTOS). As an open source project, RT-Thread has received strong support and contributions from the community developers and from many chip and original equipment manufacturers. RT-Thread has the characteristics of very low resource occupancy, high reliability, high scalability, so it can not only be used in sensing nodes, wireless connection chips and other resource-constrained scenes, but also is widely used in gateway, IPC, smart speakers and many other high-performance applications.

RT-Thread is also an IoT operating system with it's rich middle-tier components and great hardware and software ecosystem, it has almost every key basic components required for IoT devices, such as network protocols, file systems, low power management, etc. RT-Thread supports all mainstream compiling tools such as GCC, Keil, IAR, etc. The compiling tool chain is complete, user-friendly, easy to develop, and supports a variety of standard interfaces, such as POSIX, CMSIS, C++application environment, Micropython and Javascript, which makes it easy for developers to port a wide range of applications. RT-Thread offers great commercial support to all the mainstream CPU architectures such as ARM Cortex-M/R/A, RISC-V, MIPS, X86, Xtensa, etc.

RT-Thread Advantages

Designed for Resource-constrained Devices

  • The minimum kernel requires only 1.2 KB of RAM and 3 KB of Flash.
  • The power management components support a variety of low-power modes to minimize system power consumption.

Rich Components and A Prosperous and Fast Growing Package Ecosystem

  • RT-Thread has complete middle-tier components which covers almost all the underlying components needed for the IoT industry, including file system, low power management, network protocol, GUI, audio framework, AT component, and more.
  • All critical components support the optimization of the resource-constrained devices and RT-Thread systems.
  • RT-Thread has a fast growing software package ecosystem, the core teams of RT-Thread and its community developers have contributed nearly 200 packages which covered a total of eight categories, including IoT, peripherals, system, programming language, tools, multimedia, security, and an unclassified category.

Easy to Use

  • Elegant code style, easy to read and master.
  • RT-Thread has console shell debugging tools and a variety of development assistant tools, making debugging development easy and efficient.
  • Graphical IDE, RT-Thread Studio, dramatically enhances the development experience and lowers the development threshold.

High Scalability

  • High-quality scalable software architecture, loose coupling, modularity, is easy to tailor and expand.
  • ENV configurer configures the functions of the kernel and the components, also tailors the components, so that the system can be built like building blocks.
  • Can be run on a tiny core,Cortex-M0,M3/4 or alternatively can be scaled up to a feature-rich system like Cortex-A7,A9 even A55 dual cores.

Supporting High-performance Applications

  • Compatible with POSIX interface standards, making porting Linux applications very easy.
  • Support for SMP and AMP multi-core.
  • Support for 32-bit and 64-bit processors (ARM Cortex-A and RISC-V architectures).
  • The upcoming microkernel architecture, specifically for the high-performance applications, has the features of application-to-core separation, fast start-up, low resource occupancy, high security, etc.

Supporting Cross-platform and A Wide Range of Chips

  • Cross-chip platform, the application program using RT-Thread interface is highly reusable, one-time programming, and lifetime can use.
  • Has designed a scientific device framework, it uses unified interface specifications, to achieve upper-level applications and lower-level hardware independent.
  • Supports more than 300 part numbers of chips (MCU, Wireless SoC, MPU/AP).

RT-Thread Roadmap

The Internet of Things is growing rapidly and now is marching on a more deeper level. A more convenient and efficient connection, a more simpler development and application deployment, and a more secure networking experience will all become the direction of future technology development. Therefore, cloud integration, scripting and some more lightweight loadable applications will be gradually favored by the industry.

Besides, real-time system (RTOS) is increasingly widely used in the high-end Internet of Things (like, AIoT) because of its low cost, high real-time, and fast start-up characteristics, soon or later, more and more RTOSs would support multi-kernel SMP, AI, audio & video and this is inevitable. In near future, RT-Thread Studio IDE, next-generation microkernel architecture, AI frameworks and more will all be released step by step.

RT-Thread v4.0.x
  • Cloud to end integration:

    • Speed up scripting development
    • Script applet
  • Supports TrustZone-m, PSA, etc.

  • Multi-kernel SMP scheduling, increased support for 64-bit processors.

  • Supports the scripting engine of micropython, JavaScript, lua, etc.

  • Smart audio, smart human-machine UI interaction.

RT-Thread v4.2.x
  • RT-Thread IoT:

    • LoRaWAN

    • BLE Mesh

    • NB-IoT

  • RT-Thread Smart:

    • Hybrid micro-kernel architecture

    • Audio and video framework

    • Artificial intelligence framework and tools on terminal side

  • RT-Thread Studio integrated development environment, multi-architecture development & debugging:

    • Cortex-M/A

    • RISC-V

RT-Thread v5.0.x
  • With high reliability, high security certification.

  • RT-Thread Studio offline version:

    • Supports hybrid micro-kernel operating system application development

    • USB-based system debugging tools