Maclain Lobdell

Beta version of MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK - Now Available

Discussion created by Maclain Lobdell Employee on Aug 8, 2014

Freescale is happy to announce the release of the BETA version of MQX™ RTOS for Kinetis SDK, a new branch of MQX RTOS that is built upon the software development (SDK) for Kinetis MCUsAll components of Freescale MQX software solutions are now available pre-integrated with the Kinetis SDK. 

These components are based on versions found within RTOS MQX 4.1, and include:

  • MQX RTOS – real-time pre-emptive multitasking kernel used in millions of products for over 20 years 
  • MQX Real Time TCP/IP Communication Suite – with extensive protocol support including IPv6
  • MQX File System – FAT file system compatible with FAT-12, FAT-16, FAT-32
  • MQX Shell – Command Line Interface



     MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK is developed on the same codebase as the Kinetis SDK.  It includes an unmodified version of Kinetis SDK v1.0.0.

     Kinetis SDK v1.0.0 provides:

  • New and improved USB Host and USB Device stacks
  • Peripheral drivers and hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for Kinetis MCUs
  • ARM® CMSIS Core and DSP standard libraries and CMSIS compliant device header files
  • System services for centralized resources including a clock manager, interrupt manager, low-power manager, and a hardware timer.

     By adopting the Kinetis SDK, MQX RTOS application developers get:

  • Simpler structure – This new platform is much more flexible and extendable, with a simplified structure that is efficient for Kinetis MCU software development.
  • Easier migration of applications between Kinetis MCUs – Porting and maintaining software for Kinetis MCUs is easier with a standard software platform designed to support Kinetis MCUs.
  • More drivers, improved drivers The new Kinetis SDK platform is more comprehensive with optimized drivers for key target applications

Peripheral drivers provided by Kinetis SDK

MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK does not include the low-level peripheral I/O drivers found within previous versions of MQX RTOS.  Instead, it leverages the extensive suite of robust peripheral drivers available with the Kinetis SDK, which offer most of the same features and more.


Additional POSIX-based API for select drivers

MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK adds POSIX-based (file open, close, etc) high-level drivers for those peripherals where POSIX is most useful, such as:

  • Serial console (TTY, UART)
  • File system, including ramdisk and trivial file system (TFS)
  • Other MQX native I/O drivers such as NULL, PIPE ...

Kinetis SDK directory structure

MQX RTOS components fit directly into the Kinetis SDK directory structure. 

Kinetis SDK top level directory:




filesystem/mfs/  <- MQX MFS sources, libraries, documentation, and native MQX examples




rtos/mqx/   <- MQX Kernel sources, libraries, documentation, and native MQX examples

tcpip/rtcs/ <- MQX RTCS sources, libraries, documentation, and native MQX RTCS examples




   Evaluation boards supported:

  • TWR-K64F120M
  • FRDM-K64F
  • TWR-K22F120M
  • FRDM-K22F
  • TWR-KV31F120M


   Development tools supported:

  • Kinetis Design Studio IDE version 1.1.0
  • IAR Embedded Workbench® for ARM® Version 7.20.1
  • ARM-MDK™ - Keil μVision® version 5.11.0


     MQX Task Aware Debugging (TAD) plug-ins are available for each development tool

New documents available

Where to get MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK v1.0.0 (BETA)

   Option 1 – MQX Kernel available within the Kinetis SDK Installer

   Kinetis SDK v1.0.0 installer – MQX RTOS Kernel comes preloaded in the Kinetis SDK v1.0.0 Installer

   Option 2 – Fully Integrated package including all available MQX and KSDK components

   Fully pre-integrated package – Includes Kinetis SDK v1.0.0, MQX RTOS Kernel, RTCS, and MFS


Why is it BETA software?

MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK is still in beta stage of development, with numerous updates and improvements planned and testing to be completed.

     Freescale recommends waiting for the production-ready version targeted for late 2014 before using the software in a product.


MQX RTOS releases planned for 2014 and 2015

This new evolution of MQX RTOS is a branch from the traditional Freescale MQX RTOS releases. Freescale will continue to provide support for both the traditional Freescale MQX RTOS as well as the new MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning in 2015, support for NEW Kinetis MCUs will no longer be added to the traditional Freescale MQX RTOS (v4.x) releases. These new Kinetis MCUs will be supported instead by MQX RTOS for Kinetis SDK releases.

Support and maintenance will continue to be available for traditional Freescale MQX RTOS.


Freescale MQX RTOS is a leading thread-based RTOS as highlighted in the 2014 UBM Embedded Market Survey.

By using MQX RTOS, embedded designers get:

  • Full source code
  • No license fees or royalties
  • Pre-emptive multitasking scheduler with hard real-time performance and 20+ years of use
  • Unlimited number of tasks
  • Pre-integrated TCP/IP stack, File System, USB Host and Device stacks
  • Extensive inter-task synchronization, message passing, and memory management
  • Choice of lightweight or full-featured components
  • Moderated online community support with commercial support package options
  • Numerous examples and getting started guides
  • Continuous up-to-date support for popular tool-chains and Freescale MCU families

More Information Available at


MQX Software Solutions Fact Sheet