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Speed up your RTOS synthesis

Posted: 01 Apr 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:software synthesis  RTOS  VHDL 

A software synthesis tool that abstracts the designer even further form the software that they are creating would have to deal with the designer's real need to generate efficient and high-quality code while still maintaining some level of understanding of the code created by the tool.

Even more than a software synthesis tool, a tool that synthesises an OS seems even more heretical. Commercial operating systems have built their reputations on the premise that creating and porting an RTOS to a new target platform is not for the faint of heart. They point out the engineer-years of effort that went into fine-tuning the RTOS to wring the last bit of performance out of kernel tasks such as task switching and interrupt response. Thus, to propose that there is a tool capable of synthesising an RTOS would obviously be met with a hefty dose of scepticism.

To investigate the use of software synthesis technology, Hill and Berger set out to use a software synthesis tool to generate an embedded RTOS. Bob Zeidman of Zeidman Technologies and the creator of SynthOS agreed to take part in the project as both the supplier of the tool and advisor to the authors. We then worked together with the intention of creating a basic system, documenting our experiences for other designers who want to use software synthesis to get an embedded OS system up and running. Performance measurements were also taken to see how well the synthesised system worked.

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