Group completes RTOS for embedded multiprocessing -

Group completes RTOS for embedded multiprocessing


TOKYO — The T-Engine Forum has completed work on a real-time operating system and development boards for embedded systems based on multicore processors or multiprocessor architectures, forum chairman Ken Sakamura said at Embedded Technology 2006. The RTOS and boards are based on the T-Engine architecture, which the forum advocates for embedded system development.

Multicore/multiprocessor architectures are critical to embedded, Sakamura told the conference, held Nov. 15-17 in Yokohama, Japan. Demand for higher-performance digital consumer devices is growing, Sakamura said, but “simply increasing the clock frequency” to bump up performance “would cause an increase in power consumption and heat generation.”

Engineers “will soon face clock frequency limits in the embedded world,” he said. “For big server systems, various countermeasures—even cooling processors by liquid nitrogen—would be possible. But people cannot carry around liquid nitrogen on their belts for their digital consumer devices.”

Embedded multicore processors or multiprocessor implementations are key to keeping clock frequencies in check, Sakamura said.

Sakamura said he does not believe that “existing operating systems, such as Linux, are suitable for embedded systems, as real-time processing is essential.” Thus, the T-Engine Forum has developed the MP T-Kernel, a dedicated real-time OS for multiprocessing embedded systems.

Work on the portion of the RTOS addressing asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) configurations was completed in June. The forum now has wrapped up the symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) configuration.

The µT-Engine/MP211 development platform board for the AMP T-kernel, completed this summer, houses an NEC Electronics MP211 multicore processor, which integrates three ARM926 cores and one DSP. The forum has just completed the T-Engine/MP board, which runs the SMP T-kernel. Details of the board will be presented at TRON 2007, slated to run here Dec. 5-7.

The forum expects to consolidate and standardize specifications for the AMP and SMP T-Kernels under the MP T-Kernel designation next year. All source code will be made open to the public under the T-Kernel open-source licensing agreement.

The T-Engine Forum has about 500 member companies. T-Kernel is evolved from the ITRON (Industrial TRON) RTOS.

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