embARC Open Software Platform


Go to embARC.org now

The use of 32-bit processors in embedded and deeply embedded applications continues to grow at a rapid rate. This includes applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), which span a broad range of products and market segments based on new and/or evolving standards that make writing or porting embedded software difficult.

The embARC Open Software Platform is an easily-accessible, highly-productive solution for developing software for ARC® processor-based embedded systems and subsystems, especially those targeting the IoT. The comprehensive suite of free and open-source software available from the embARC.org website, including drivers, operating systems and middleware, enables code development to start sooner and complete faster. Documentation and other resources available on the website facilitate the sharing of information and expertise among the ARC-based development community.

Watch the videos for a demonstration on how to build a smart home application example using the embARC Open Software Platform and Amazon AWS IoT Service.

embARC Open Software Platform

embARC Open Software Platform

embARC Software

The embARC software includes drivers, operating systems and middleware ported to the ARC EM processor family. Through embARC, developers have the choice of leading real-time operating systems (RTOSes) including FreeRTOS, Contiki OS and ARC MQX RTOS, which is available separately from Synopsys.

  • FreeRTOS is a scalable, compact and reliable operating system that is popular among embedded software developers. Middleware available for use with FreeRTOS includes the TCP/IP stack lwIP, file system fatfs as well as MQTT, REST/HTTP, libcoap and LWM2M IoT protocol implementations.
  • The Contiki OS is specifically designed for networked, memory-constrained systems such as low-power, wireless IoT applications. It comes with a middleware package that has an integrated IoT protocol stack including MQTT, a publish/subscribe messaging protocol for lightweight machine-to-machine communications, and the CoAP application layer protocol for resource-constrained IoT applications.

The embARC Open Software Platform provides support for two popular implementations of SSL/TLS secure communications protocols. SSL/TLS are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communication security over a computer network. The embARC Open Software Platform package includes documentation and scripts to download and build these implementations for use on ARC-based platforms. MatrixSSL, wolfSSL, tinyDTLS and mbedTLS are currently supported.

It also includes the OpenThread protocol, an open-source implementation of the Thread networking protocol released by Nest Labs, Inc. The Thread specification is defined by the Thread Group, and describes an IPv6-based protocol designed to be reliable, secure and low-power for wireless device-to-device communications for digital home applications.


Free software development tools built on the open-source GNU toolchain are available for use with the embARC Open Software Platform. This gives developers a flexible software environment with an IDE, compiler, debugger and utilities that are familiar to embedded developers. The embARC software is also supported by the commercially-available Synopsys MetaWare Development Toolkit, giving developers the option to use a highly optimized toolchain for maximum code density and performance.

EM Starter Kit

The embARC Open Software Platform has been ported to Synopsys’ ARC EM Starter Kit, a low-cost, versatile software development board consisting of pre-installed FPGA images of ARC EM Processors with peripherals and a software package. The ARC EM Starter Kit enables rapid software development, code porting, software debugging, and profiling for the ARC EM family of processors. The embARC Open Software Platform includes over fifty example applications to run on the ARC EM Starter Kit. This includes bare-metal examples, as well as examples for FreeRTOS, Contiki and MQX RTOSes.

Go to embARC.org now

embARC Open Software Platform Datasheet

embARC Open Software Platform Accelerates Development of ARC Processor-based Embedded Systems

Learn about Synopsys? embARC Open Software Platform, an easily accessible and productive solution for developing ARC processor-based embedded software. It gives software developers online access to a comprehensive suite of free and open-source software that eases the development of code for IoT and other embedded applications. Device drivers, operating systems and middleware ported to and optimized for ARC processors are available for download free of cost from the embARC.org website.

Allen Watson
Product Marketing Manager, Synopsys


  • Comprehensive suite of free and open-source software to accelerate development of ARC processors-based systems
  • Includes ports of FreeRTOS and Contiki OS operating systems
  • Supported by ARC MQX Real Time Operating System
  • Packaged with common IoT protocol implementations, including MQTT, REST/HTTP, CoAP and LWM2M
  • Support for ARC SecureShield™ technology for developing secure applications
  • Supports popular SSL/TLS protocol stacks for secure network communications, including WolfSSL, MatrixSSL, mbedTLS and TinyDTLS
  • Over fifty examples including Amazon AWS IoT Smart Home demo
  • Supported by free open-source GNU Toolchain and premium MetaWare Development Toolkit
  • Dedicated website with downloads and documentation
  • Supports ARC EM Starter Kit