Nucleus RTOS

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Nucleus RTOS
Developer Mentor Graphics
Written in C
OS family Real-time operating systems
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Latest release 3.x / September 15, 2009; 6 years ago (2009-09-15)
Available in ?
Platforms ARM, Freescale, MIPS, IBM PowerPC, Altera Nios II, Xilinx MicroBlaze, Renasas SuperH, Infineon, Atmel AT91SAM and others [1]
Kernel type Real-time kernel
Default user interface ?
License Proprietary
Official website Nucleus RTOS

Nucleus RTOS is a real-time operating system (RTOS) offered by the Embedded Software Division of Mentor Graphics for various central processing unit (CPU) platforms. Nucleus RTOS is embedded software and is in an estimated 2.11 billion devices worldwide.[2]

Development is typically done on a host computer running Windows or Linux. Applications are cross compiled to run on various target CPU architectures and tested using the actual target boards or in simulation environment.

The Nucleus RTOS is designed for deeply embedded systems applications including consumer electronics, set-top boxes, cellular phones, and other portable and handheld devices. For limited memory systems Nucleus RTOS can be scaled down to a memory footprint as small as 13 KB for both code and data.



  • Real time kernel
  • C++, POSIX and Micro ITRON interfaces
  • Dynamic download
  • Inter-process communication
  • Closed Source (however, the source code is available to customers, making it easier to debug than operating system distributed as binaries only)


File System[edit]

  • File Allocation Table (FAT)
  • CD-ROM
  • Virtual file system Application Programming Interface (API)


  • Low-level rendering
  • Windowing system
  • Multi-media GUI control framework


  • Encryption
  • Hash and signature algorithms
  • Key exchange protocols

Products using Nucleus RTOS[edit]

Mentor Graphics boasts Nucleus installment base of over 1.6 billion mobile devices,[3] as of mid-February, 2010 and 2.11 billion devices as of June 2010. According to a report[4] by an analyst firm, Nucleus has been shipped in over 2.84 billion devices as of the end of 2010.

Example devices using Nucleus products are as follows:

  • Nucleus RTOS used by Honeywell for Critical Terrain Awareness Technology in the Aviation Industry.
  • IVL Technologies' On-Key Karaoke Handheld Player Sings along with the Nucleus PLUS Kernel.[5]
  • Logitech uses Nucleus OS in its Pocket Video Portable Digital Video Cameras.
  • Nucleus RTOS used by SK Telecom's first commercialization of CDMA technology in Korea.
  • Nucleus RTOS used in Mediatek Dual SIM Dual processor based chipsets found on most Chinese phones.
  • Nucleus used in NEC High Definition Mobile Handset
  • ASC's RBOX Multi-Service Aggregator Family uses Nucleus PLUS.[6]
  • The TI-Nspire handheld calculators use Nucleus as the basis of their operating system[7]
  • Telephonics is using Nucleus in the SDI System for the USAF C-130 Avionics Modernization Program and the Aviation Communication System for the 767 Tanker Program.[8]
  • Garmin International to develop the CNX80 navigational global positioning system (GPS) for general aviation.
  • A large number of Motorola, Samsung, LG, Siemens/Benq, Sagem and NEC mobile phones.
  • The S-Class UI on LG Pop, Arena & etc. are running on Nucleus OS
  • Intellon Home Plug AV
  • Crestron Electronics on their control system processors.[9]
  • BSS Audio in their Soundweb London range.[10]
  • Later versions of the Creative ZEN product line.
  • The Infineon S-Gold2 chipset used in Siemens S75, E71, M81, etc. phones[11]
  • The Infineon S-Gold2 baseband chip used in Apple's iPhone[12]
  • The Metrotech i5000 Utility Locating Receiver.
  • The Creative Zen Vision line uses Nucleus as their operating system
  • Intel Active Management Technology/VPro embedded controller
  • Tandberg MXP Video & Telephony appliances[13]
  • Datex-Ohmeda Avance anesthesia system
  • Zoll Medical Corporation's defibrillators
  • Samsung bada platform based devices[citation needed]
  • Mindray's early Patient Monitor, ultrasound device and hematology analyzer products


External links[edit]