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Embedded Software Blog

Posts tagged with 'RTOS'

17 Sep, 2012

ESC Boston

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls This week I am making a flying visit to DESIGN East [a.k.a. ESC Boston] to present a couple of classes. When I say “flying”, I am not alluding to my mode of transportation, but the duration of my visit. My first paper is Wednesday afternoon and my second is lunchtime on Thursday; I fly in Wednesday morning and out again Thursday evening. I even manage to pack in some other activity while … Read More

DESIGN East, RTOS, Low Power, Nucleus

20 Aug, 2012

Evaluation boards

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Just about all the embedded CPU manufacturers produce evaluation boards employing their devices with a suitable selection of peripherals.These boards are generally offered at a very reasonable price and are readily available, along with good software support from vendors like Mentor Embedded. So, what use are these boards to the embedded developer, who may be looking at the design of custom hardware? … Read More

evaluation boards, Nucleus, RTOS, Nucleus ReadyStart

6 Aug, 2012

RTOS memory footprint

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Most of the time, I subscribe to the view that “the only stupid question is the one you did not ask”. However, I do have trouble with a question that I have been asked countless times at trade-shows, seminars etc. The question is “How much memory does Nucleus RTOS need?” It is not that this is a stupid question. It is very sensible to be fully aware of resource utilization with … Read More

memory footprint, Nucleus, RTOS

23 Jul, 2012

Going to sleep

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Once again, I am thinking about embedded software and low power design, as I have discussed before. I still find it interesting that a characteristic of electronic devices, which until only recently would have been considered purely a hardware issue, is now very much on the agenda for software developers. The challenge now is to keep up with the capabilities provided by the chip makers … There … Read More

Low Power, Nucleus, RTOS

16 Jul, 2012

Munich Embedded Developers' Forum

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Last week, I attended the Embedded Developers’ Forum in Munich, Germany. This is an increasingly common type of event – a small conference, with a somewhat broad subject coverage, with multiple streams offering a greater level of specialization. In this case, there were about 4 “mini-conferences”. I was presenting in part of the Embedded Software event. Another set of streams … Read More

Nucleus, RTOS

26 Jun, 2012

Power Suckers

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls I have often observed that the world of embedded software is usually dominated by a small number of “fashionable” topics – technology that everybody is talking and/or concerned about. The key one just now, which I have discussed before, is the influence that software has on device power consumption. This is a topic to which I will certainly return. A number of the Mentor Embedded team … Read More

Freescale, FTF, RTOS, Low Power, Nucleus

15 Jun, 2012

Multicore thread synchronization

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls An article by my colleague Faheem Sheikh has just been published in EE Times, which covers multicore thread synchronization. Apart from the interesting topic of the piece, it is also an opportunity to learn more about symmetric multi-processing [SMP] – an option increasingly available for real time operating systems, like Nucleus. … Read More

multi-core, Nucleus, SMP, RTOS

5 Jun, 2012

Measuring interrupt latency

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls I have posted a couple of times recently [like here] about a recent webinar that I conducted on measuring RTOS performance. This is a topic that appears to be of significant interest to most RTOS users, so I thought it might be a good time to pick up on a key detail of the issue. My colleague Rizwan Rasheed suggested a little while ago that the measurement and specification of RTOS interrupt latency … Read More

interrupt latency, Nucleus, RTOS

28 May, 2012

RTOS in demand

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls As I mentioned previously, I presented a Web seminar last week. The topic was the measurement of RTOS performance. To be frank, I was unsure how popular this might be, though I have found that, at conferences, the topic seems to draw a reasonable audience, so I was quietly optimistic. As it turned out, there was a very good attendance, with lots of questions, which kept me busy right up until the end … Read More

Nucleus, RTOS

14 May, 2012

Colin Walls There is still a common misconception that a real time system is simply one that responds quickly to demands. Although a real time system may, indeed, be fast, its key characteristic is predictability. A real time system is deterministic – its response to an event will occur in a timely fashion, neither too quickly nor too slowly. It is common to use a real time operating system [RTOS - like our … Read More

Nucleus, RTOS, Webinar

12 Mar, 2012


Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview of the results from UBM’s annual survey of embedded developers. This survey is carried out every year and provides a valuable opportunity to see trends by comparing year on year changes. To be frank, a lot of the data is unsurprising and many factors never seem to change. However, from time to time, clear trends emerge and there can even be surprises. … Read More


27 Feb, 2012

Looking forward to Embedded World

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls This week sees the 10th anniversary of the Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, Germany. This show and conference has been growing steadily over the years and I guess it is now the biggest event devoted to embedded systems in the world. I am fortunate enough to attend Embedded World most years, as I reported here and here, and this year is no exception. I have two papers in the conference: “USB … Read More

Embedded World, Nucleus, USB, RTOS

19 Dec, 2011

The invisible RTOS continued

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Last week I wrote about a test harness for applications using an RTOS. The idea was to have a library of functions corresponding to the API calls of a particular RTOS. Specific tasks of an application, that are under test, would be linked to this library to enable the code to be executed on a desktop computer in a useful way. I had some feedback on this posting from a couple of people, talking about … Read More

Debugging, API, RTOS, test harness, Nucleus

12 Dec, 2011

The invisible RTOS

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls

I was talking about OS-aware debuggers and someone asked me whether I could suggest a technique for unit testing of code for a multi-threaded application. It took me a while before I could fully understand what they were after, but it did become clear eventually. They were considering an environment where a number of engineers were working on an embedded application [using Nucleus]. Each guy was developing

Read More

Nucleus, test harness, Debugging, RTOS, API

21 Nov, 2011

What is the plural of Linux?

Posted by Colin Walls

Colin Walls Somebody asked me: “What is the plural of Linux?” Maybe it is Linuxes. That sounds a bit messy, which seems rather appropriate really… If we think about the desktop world and buying application software, you might have a Windows PC or a Mac or perhaps you run Linux. It is typical for the spec for an application to discuss hardware and OS compatibility. There will normally be ridiculously … Read More

Linux, Nucleus, RTOS



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