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New tools, board support, SMP, IDE added to Linux/RT

Aug 17, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

LinuxWorld — (press release) — TimeSys Corp. announced several enhancements to its tools and to platform support for the TimeSys Linux/RT operating system distribution. Additions include TimeSys' TimeTrace and TimeWiz real-time simulation tools, support for several added embedded board platforms, support for multi-processor system architectures, and the TimeWarp integrated development environment (IDE).

Unlike other solutions that provide a small RTOS executive beneath the Linux OS, the Resource Kernel within TimeSys Linux/RT directly incorporates real-time technology into the Linux OS. Thus the distribution supports fixed-priority scheduling (256 priorities), priority inheritance, high-resolution timers and counters, and also offers a Temporal Firewall to provide guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) support. This enables existing applications to be run as-is with their QoS parameters controlled externally via the TimeSys Resource Manager.

TimeTrace and TimeWiz tools bring visualization to simulations

TimeSys TimeTrace enables the visualization and measurement of a running real-time system. Critical events including context swap activities and system call activities are displayed via easy-to-use interactive icons along with their associated parameters.

The integration of TimeTrace with TimeWiz allows for statistical and worst-case execution time data to be generated and exported to TimeWiz where extended simulations and worst-case analyses based upon Rate-Monotonic Analysis (RMA) can be performed. Developers will benefit by accomplishing earlier visualization of analyses, simulations, and actual executions via the integrated tools.

According to Dr. Doug Locke, vice president of technology at TimeSys, “Sequences causing Priority Inversion and Blocking can be visualized easily using TimeTrace; however, these are best avoided during system design by using TimeWiz. The integration offers high-quality tools for building predictable embedded real-time systems with the TimeSys Linux/RT OS.”

Support for additional embedded board platforms

TimeSys Linux/RT OS now supports a variety of popular embedded hardware platforms. Ports are available for the x86/Pentium, the PowerPC, and the ARM high-performance processors. Board support packages available include those for the Force PowerCore 6750, Motorola MCP750, Synergy VGM5, Cirrus EP7211, Motorola MPC860, Motorola Sandpoint, and the Lockheed Martin SP103.

Multi-processor support for embedded real-time Linux systems

TimeSys' Linux/RT operating system distribution now offers support for multi-processor system architectures. Developers have been requesting multi-processor support for the TimeSys Linux/RT distribution since its introduction in May. Multi-processor system architectures were used previously in only very high-end real-time system applications such as those in space, avionics, and defense applications. However, they are now finding their place in modern high-performance multimedia applications and telecommunications.

In addition, TimeSys Linux/RT Quality of Service support with CPU reservation is available on SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processor) architectures. The support includes the real-time capabilities, including the real-time capabilities such as the 256 fixed-priority scheduling, priority inheritance and high-resolution timers and clocks described above.

When a user attempts to add a CPU reservation, the module checks all of its processors for room for the reservation, and if room is found, will bind the reservation to a particular CPU. Support includes the parallelization of all the necessary data structures to support concurrent execution of CPU reserves using different resource sets.

TimeSys' TimeTrace visualization support also now supports SMP architectures.

TimeWarp integrated development environment (IDE)

Embedded developers generally prefer to use tools that are integrated to provide similar interfaces and a common development environment, rather than assembling assorted tools from multiple vendors. The new TimeSys TimeWarp IDE enables embedded developers to edit, compile, link, download, and debug embedded target systems that are running TimeSys Linux/RT.

The full-featured editor in TimeWarp allows syntax highlighting, keyword recognition, auto-indentation, and other features commonly found in IDEs. The IDE offers total integration with compilers and linkers, as well as allowing for reverse engineering from raw source code to generate Unified Modeling Language (UML) class diagrams and UML activity diagrams. Users can then edit either the diagrams or the source to maintain their code.

TimeWarp interactively manages all of these views to keep them consistent.

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