embedded systems

Atollic and Quadros Systems Partner to Offer RTOS-Aware Debugging

The Atollic® TrueSTUDIO® C/C++ embedded development suite for ARM® microcontrollers now offers debug visibility for the RTXC™ Quadros™ real-time operating system. Thirteen dockable windows provide deep insight into the status of the RTOS during a debug session. This feature is included in Atollic TrueSTUDIO v4.1 which was just released last week. (click on images for larger view) Get more informat ...[Read More]

Biggest problems for embedded systems developers?

A recent thread in the Real Time Embedded Engineering Group on LinkedIn raised some interesting issues among developers when they were asked about their most difficult problem areas. Do these sound familiar? Unrealistic development schedules set by managers who don’t understand development Deficient documentation of the processor Insufficient errata; struggling with a problem for two years, ...[Read More]

Are you well-positioned for the Internet of Things?

Kaivan Karimi of Freescale has written an excellent overview of the Internet of Things (IoT): “Will the Internet of Things (IoT) turn your smart phone into the center of the universe?” We agree with his assessment that the smart phone may be one of the many hubs or gateways used to query or analyze Big Data from sensing and other smart devices but it is much more likely that Wi-Fi and ...[Read More]

Why would anyone pay for an RTOS or other embedded software?

Maybe this is a question you have asked.  Maybe it’s a question you live by. After all, why pay for software when you can download something similar at no cost? You’ve heard it before but you do get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean that a free RTOS is worthless. What it does mean is that you are on your own. Maybe you’re the hero type; a talented embedded engineer that c ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Understanding Event Flags

To fully understand event flags it will be helpful to read the previous blog entry on semaphores since both semaphores and event flags are techniques used by RTOSes for synchronizing tasks. Semaphores and event flags must have the inherent capability to capture and retain information about an event’s occurrence since the system may be otherwise occupied when the event happened. Event flags are bit ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Understanding Semaphores

A fundamental requirement of a competent multitasking system is a flexible means to detect occurrence of an event and then to synchronize a task with that event (external or internal; synchronous or asynchronous). The requirement is usually met by either semaphores or event flags. Whichever object type is used (and some RTOSes support both) their purposes are identical: synchronize a task as near ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Understanding Critical Regions

Critical Regions and the Effect on RTOS Responsiveness A key design concern for any RTOS is that of its responsiveness to interrupts. Because an interrupt can occur at any time, the RTOS must be prepared to recognize the interrupt as quickly as possible and then accommodate the interrupt service routine (ISR) that handles it. The issue becomes one of managing the internal data structures of the ke ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Understanding Counters and Alarms

One of the valuable feature of a real-time operating system is the ability to count and then to take action at certain defined values of an associated counter. Most RTOSes count only a single independent variable, time, denominated in the unit of time each tick represents. But the RTXC Quadros RTOS provides a more flexible approach to counting because time is not the only independent variable one ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Understanding Kernel Services

Kernel services (sometimes referred to as systems calls or functions) are used to cause the kernel to operate on the data of the kernel objects to achieve the desired behavior of the application code. Knowledge of how these data structures work is fundamental to building real-time application systems around the RTXC Quadros RTOS product. To function consistently and predictably a real-time operati ...[Read More]

RTOS Explained: Preemptive Scheduling

The RTXC Quadros multistack RTOS supports three scheduling methods that may be used in whatever combination the developer requires. Preemptive Round Robin Time-Sliced Today we will discuss the topic of preemptive scheduling. To achieve efficient CPU utilization a multitasking RTOS uses an orderly transfer of control from one code entity to another. To accomplish this the RTOS must monitor system r ...[Read More]