Thursday, December 6, 2012

TI intros new, complete real-time operating system: TI-RTOS

USA: Microcontroller (MCU) developers can spend more time focusing on their unique applications because software design just got easier. Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) furthers its investment in the embedded processing software and tools ecosystem with TI-RTOS, a complete real-time operating system (RTOS) based on preemptive multithreading kernel, for its MCU platform.

With more than 20 years of experience in delivering production-quality operating system (OS) solutions for real-time applications, TI has taken its expertise in its RTOS components, including the popular SYS/BIOS real-time kernel and network developer kit (NDK) TCP/IP stack, and integrated them to create a complete microcontroller RTOS. This new OS enables much faster software development by eliminating the need for designers to write and maintain complex system software, including schedulers, protocol stacks and low-level drivers.

Unique to the market, TI-RTOS provides a consistent embedded software platform across TI's entire MCU portfolio, 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.
"Embedded hardware development has become easier with the high level of integration MCUs now have," said Scott Roller, vice president, MCUs, TI.

"However, because of the integration of more peripherals, memory and connectivity options, software development has become more complex, which is why we created TI-RTOS. Now developers can build MCU-based designs with Internet and USB connectivity without the concern that software development will be onerous and time-consuming."

TI-RTOS features and benefits
- Ease software development with a complete, mature and stable embedded operating environment that provides full middleware and driver enablement to add more product functionality.  These components include:

* Deterministic, real-time multitasking 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
* Low overhead core-to-core communication mechanism for dual-core devices

- Begin software development and achieve network connectivity straight 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 multithreading environment.

- Easily enhance an existing software base with new functionality by adding new tasks that do not disrupt the real-time response of critical system functions.

- Move functions between dual core devices to optimize performance by using the same TI-RTOS kernel on both the ARM® and C28x DSP cores.
Receive robust documentation and examples to augment designs, including examples and APIs appropriate for multitasking development and integration to help evaluate TI-RTOS and receive training.

- Meet on-chip memory constraints with an RTOS 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.

- Enable seamless development in familiar environment. 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.

- Obtain application-specific software with TI's broad Design Network software developer network with partners such as Interniche and Simma software that provide additional communications stacks that work with TI-RTOS.

- Benefit from no upfront or run-time license fees and free support with full C source code and direct support from TI.

TI-RTOS is available today on select devices, including ARM Cortex-M4 MCUs and C2000 dual core C28x + ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs. It will be offered soon on MSP430 MCUs, as well as other C2000 and ARM-based MCUs. TI will continue to expand its RTOS offering beyond the MCU portfolio to other processor families. Download the software free from the TI website.

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