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Why do I need an RTOS?



For the past several decades embedded systems with some complexity always relied on an RTOS to get the job done. However, during this time, there have been advancements in compute technology that have increased the system complexity as well as decreased the cost for memory. Software solutions have seen the creation and advancement of open source OS solutions like Linux or Android. But are they the panacea that some make them out to be.

RTOS's are known for several things: Small, Deterministic, Fast Boot and Certifiable. While some applications are easily adapted to Android or Linux there are some that need the capabilities of an RTOS.

We'll explore the reasons why or why not to chose an RTOS, and see some trends in the industry that give the RTOS new life.

What You Will Learn

  • Key differences between an RTOS and open source solutions like
    Linux and Android
  • Where an RTOS is the right choice
  • What are some new trends in RTOS development

About the Presenter

Presenter Image Stephen Olsen

Stephen Olsen has over 20 years of embedded software experience. Having spent the past 11 years at Mentor Graphics, Stephen has been involved in consulting, embedded software and intellectual property. He is currently in Mentor Graphics’ Embedded Systems Division as an Operating Systems Architect. During his tenure at Mentor, he co-chaired the VSIA’s Hardware dependent Software (HdS) design working group. He has also authored several papers on system design including "How to choose a CPU for your SoC design." Stephen holds a BS in Physics from Humboldt State University in California.

Who Should Attend

  • Anyone who is considering using an OS in their next design, but aren't sure if an RTOS is the right choice for their project

Products Covered

Technical Requirements

What do I need to watch and hear this web seminar?

Mentor Graphics’ web seminars are delivered using Adobe Connect. You will be able to login to the seminar room 15 minutes prior to the start time on the day of the presentation. You can hear the audio using your computer’s speakers via VoIP (Voice over IP) and background music will play prior to the beginning of the presentation.

Detailed system requirements

Microsoft® Windows

  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10.3 or later
  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor and 512MB of RAM

Mac OS X, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.4, 10.8

  • Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3
  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor and 512MB of RAM


  • Ubuntu 10.04, 11.04; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6; OpenSuSE 11.3
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.3


  • Apple supported devices: iPad, iPad2, iPad3; iPhone 4 and 4 S, iPod touch (3rd generation minimum recommended)
  • Apple supported OS versions summary: iOS 4.3.x, 5.x, or 6.x (5.x or higher recommended)
  • Android supported devices: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), Samsung Galaxy Tab (10.1), ASUS Transformer, Samsung Galaxy Tab (7”) , Motorola Xoom, Motorola Xoom 2, Nexus 7
  • Android supported OS versions summary: 2.2 and higher
  • Android AIR Runtime required: 3.2 or higher

Additional requirements

  • Bandwidth: 512Kbps for participants, meeting attendees, and end users of Adobe Connect applications. Connection: DSL/cable (wired connection recommended) for Adobe Connect presenters, administrators, trainers, and event and meeting hosts.

Online Chat