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RTOS speeds MCU software development

Posted: 11 Dec 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RTOS  MCU  software  embedded 

Texas Instruments Inc. releases the TI-RTOS real-time operating system for its MCU platform. The RTOS, which is based on pre-emptive multi-threading kernel, integrates the company's SYS/BIOS real-time kernel and network developer kit (NDK) TCP/IP stack to create a complete MCU RTOS. It is said to speed software development by removing the need to write and maintain complex system software such as schedulers, protocol stacks and low-level drivers.

The software provides an embedded software platform across the company's MCU products making it easy for developers to scale designs to update or add functionality by porting legacy applications to the latest processor. This consistent platform also benefits TI Design Network software ecosystem partners by providing a free, widely used software platform without proprietary constraints.

The RTOS offers a mature and stable embedded operating environment that provides full middleware and driver enablement, including a deterministic, real-time multi-tasking kernel (SYS/BIOS); TCP/IP stack, including network applications; USB, EMAC, MMC/SD host and device stacks and class drivers; FAT-compatible file system fully integrated with C RTS file I/O functions; Ethernet, USB, UART, I2C and SD device drivers; and low overhead core-to-core communication mechanism for dual-core devices.

It enables software development and network connectivity out of the box with components that have been integrated and tested. The user does not have to piece code together or face component version mismatches to get their application working in a multi-threading environment. It also enhances existing software by adding new tasks that do not disrupt the real-time response of critical system functions.

The RTOS lets designers move functions between dual core devices to optimise performance by using the same TI-RTOS kernel on both the ARM and C28x DSP cores. It lets them receive robust documentation and examples to augment designs, including examples and APIs appropriate for multi-tasking development and integration to help evaluate TI-RTOS and receive training.

In terms of memory, the RTOS is based on a modular architecture with a small footprint, enabling easy removal of software functionality not required in the application. Components are also scalable, allowing for further reductions in memory requirements.

TI-RTOS is fully integrated with TI's Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) and contains board support packages and development kits, including the TI MCU LaunchPads. Application-specific software can be obtained with TI's broad Design Network software developer network, including Interniche and Simma software that provide additional communications stacks that work with TI-RTOS.

Plus, designers can benefit from no upfront or run-time licence fees and free support with full C source code and direct support from TI.

TI-RTOS is available on select devices, including ARM Cortex-M4 MCUs and C2000 dual core C28x + ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs. It will be available on MSP430 MCUs, as well as other C2000 and ARM-based MCUs.

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