BitRouter Utilizes Nucleus RTOS
The Challenges; Cost, Performance, and Functionality
BitRouter was asked, in a competitive bidding process, to develop a digital-to-analog software solution that would be integrated into a Digital Transport Adapter (DTA) for a large U.S. cable company. A DTA enables cable TV customers to migrate to digital cable without having to replace their actual television set. If BitRouter won the contract, it would mean their software would be deployed in millions of DTA units.
BitRouter knew this territory well. The company has expertise in developing a variety of digital TV & cable software solutions. But there was one huge hurdle to clear with this project, a mandate from the cable company: The software solution must be extremely cost-effective, in order to achieve a retail price of $35 or less for the DTA unit.
BitRouter Chooses Nucleus RTOS
BitRouter had just completed a terrestrial converter box design for another customer who had insisted upon using open source Linux software. Unfortunately, using Linux resulted in the converter box having a code footprint of 4MB, which would have put the new customer’s solution at a severe cost disadvantage.
Fortunately, BitRouter and the new customer were in agreement on the need for a nimble and compact OS to meet the tight cost constraints of the DTA. As an embedded software company, BitRouter was well aware of Nucleus RTOS from Mentor Graphics. The company knew that Nucleus was a proven and stable operating system, but they were especially interested in its resource efficiency – specifically its small footprint. The BitRouter developers ported their “CBpak for Cable DTA” solution to Nucleus and were pleasantly surprised with the results: Nucleus matched the performance of their Linux-based solution at a fraction of the size, which reduced the requirement for memory in every DTA unit shipped.
“Given the cost pressure and the volumes involved, the kind of saving Nucleus provided was a real advantage for us.”
BitRouter Corporation located in San Diego, California, offers comprehensive products and services for digital TV systems. The company provides a variety of converter box software solutions available to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) throughout the world.
BitRouter's Digital Transport Adaptor
Nucleus is a proven, stable, and optimized RTOS deployed on over 3 billion embedded devices. It’s the first RTOS integrated with power management features (DVFS, Deep Sleep Modes, and Power/Clock Gating) enabling engineers to take full advantage of the latest power saving technologies in today’s silicon. With Nucleus, developers can deploy a kernel as small as 2k on a wide selection of hardware including MCU, DSP, FPGA, and MPU.