Products - Embedded POSIX RTOS or Ultra Tiny Embedded Linux

RoweBots offers users of System On a Chip (SOC) microcontrollers (MCUs), microprocessors (MPUs), digital signal controllers (DSCs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and digital signal processors (DSPs) ultra tiny Linux and POSIX compatible real time operating systems (RTOS) along with supporting tools, support services and customization services.

Ultra Tiny Memory Footprint 

The DSPnano POSIX RTOS supports general purpose MCU, DSP and DSC 16 bit architectures with as little as 1K of RAM and 6K of flash. The Unison POSIX RTOS supports 32 bit MCUS, DSPs, FPGAs, MPUs and DSCs with memory sizes from 1.2K of RAM and 6K of flash to many mega bytes of RAM and Flash.

A typical POSIX RTOS solution using a minimal UDP stack for either Unison or DSPnano RTOS is in the range of 20K of flash and 8K of RAM.  A complete solution looking more like an ultra tiny embedded Linux configuration using the Unison RTOS might be in the order of 300K of flash using 70K of flash depending on the configuration without security modules.  With security modules, this might be more like 400K of flash and 100K of RAM depending on features selected.

The POSIX RTOS services provided to create the ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible offering are also tailorable in size to miminize Flash and RAM usage.  With this approach hardware savings can be achieved for volume products as the most effective hardware platform can be used.

Full Native POSIX Implementation

The implementations of both DSPnano and Unison are based on a completely native POSIX implementation using nano-kernel technology.   As such they don't include inefficient layers or mapping of functions.  A layered approch often involves a subset implementation due to different abstraction approaches and different error reporting which leads to none portable code.   The Unison and DSPnano RTOS approaches deliver complete POSIX RTOS implementations with file I/O, socket I/O and fully compatible error codes.

If comparing to an embedded Linux implementation, the RoweBots POSIX RTOS implementations use a POSIX class 2 approach while Linux and embedded Linux take a POSIX class 3 approach.   In practical terms, this means that RoweBots' ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible solutions offer a single process, multiple thread model with complete I/O and a tiny footprint and other significant improvements while embedded Linux variants offer multiple process, multiple thread models with complete I/O which require an order of magnitude more resources.

When compared to uCLinux, RoweBots ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible solutions require an order of magnitude fewer resources and deliver superior embedded systems features.  uCLinux offers non standard process capabilities without protection.

Zero Boot Time

The DSPnano and Unison POSIX RTOSes offer something that looks like zero boot time  to the user.  This is accomplished in two ways.  First, the user controls the boot sequence, so the slow devices can come up in the background.  Second, the ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible offerings from RoweBots run from flash not RAM as Linux must.  Third, the small efficient kernel that the RoweBots POSIX RTOSes offer are simply much leaner and faster and this creates a very fast boot without optimization.  

In comparison, the ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible offerings from RoweBots can boot in microseconds while Linux systems using things like Fastboot and image storage and retrival offer boot sequences that take seconds or tens of seconds.

Ease of Use and Understanding

The RoweBots POSIX RTOS offerings have the programming model of embedded Linux without processes.  This is generally well known and understood by developers and makes embedded system development fast and easy.

The architecture of the POSIX RTOS offerings are also extremely simple and easily understood.  With six primitives to write your own POSIX device support, and a well defined API, the simplicity of Unison for embedded systems development is unprecidented.  Other systems layer on proprietary I/O layers with a different model and structure for each device which vastly complicates developing new I/O services.   The POSIX RTOS offerings are an order of magnitude easier to understand than other offerings like embedded Linux as well.

 Complete I/O and High Level Protocols 

 The POSIX embedded operating systems or POSIX RTOSs have an extensive set of I/O modules, services and protocols  which provide the necessary services for: 

  • Internet connectivity using TCP/IPv4/v6 .
  • Advanced Internet protocols like tFTP, DHCP, SMTP, SNTP, Telnet, PPP, SNMP, HTTP, and more.
  • Wireless support including Bluetooth, WiFi, Zigbee, 802.15.4, 6loWPAN, UHF, GPRS/GSM, LTE, GPS and more.
  • File systems including minimum space oriented Fsys, FAT compatible, and PowerSafe File System using uSD, Nand, Nor, USB and more.
  • USB embedded host and device with a variety of class drivers.
  • Security protocols including SSH, SFTP, TLS/SSL, Secure Boot, HTTPS, IPSec /VPN, and Secure email.

 Modular Construction

The ulta modular construction of the POSIX RTOS or ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible offerings make the entire system very small while also making it easier to understand.   The modularity means any new service can be easily added and integrated without affecting other services.  It minimizes testing and really makes the environment simple to expand or contract.   The ultra tiny embedded Linux or POSIX RTOS approach taken  to maximize modularity creates unprecidented simplicity - at least and order of magnitude simpler than embedded Linux.  See the white papers section for more details.

Interrupt Performance 

The interrupt performance of the POSIX RTOS offerings is equal to or superior to any offering on the market.  It has very low jitter and exceptionally fast response compared to most offerings.

Throughput Performance

 The overall performance of the ultra tiny embedded Linux compatible POSIX RTOS products is also unprecidented.  Due to the very small and highly optimized size, throughput is exceptional.  

Quickstart Options

 By providing off the shelf, standard developmen hardware based examples for all the various modules and features (90+ demonstration programs today) the POSIx RTOS offerings take just 10 minuted to run right out of the box.   Evaluation of the POSIX RTOS and developing with the POSIX RTOS has never been easier. 

POSIX Standards Based Testing

Using standard POSIX test suites provides a substantial advantage when using a POSIX RTOS.   Tests developed by hundreds of developers over many years can be exploited to test all the various corner cases.  Because the standards are used and the tests are independent, the quality of the services is much higher.  To these standards based tests, extra tests are added to ensure complete test coverage. 

Customization

 The POSIX RTOS solutions often require customization to meet specific user's needs.  Development of custom modules is a service offered in conjunction with the software modules to ensure that the users have all the components and features that they need.

Support

The embedded POSIX operating system offerings require support to continually deliver solutions on the latest hardware with the most recent features.  This is provided on an hourly basis to augment the software and customization options. 

Training 

The POSIX RTOS is easy to use but it still contains many details.  Training is provided to make sure that users can get up to speed quickly to complete projects on time and under budget. 

Licensing

The licensing for the POSIX RTOS offerings are not GPL based.  The public or open source license is based on RoweBots own open source license.  This is done to ensure proper and consistent release control for all users.  Full commercial licenses are also available and for time to market and total cost of ownership reasons, commercial OEMs select these licenses the vast majority of the time.  

The main reasons that users are delighted with these products are:

  • Time to market savings 
  • Total cost of ownership savings
  • LinuxTM and POSIX open standards - the industry's de facto standard
  • Ultra tiny memory footprint
  • Modular architecture scalable from very tiny to MByte applications
  • Hard real time performance with deterministic responses and minimal latency
  • I/O Framework which supports integration of any device quickly and easily.
  • QuickStart on standard evaluation hardware in 10 minutes.
  • Dual licensing -  a FREE open source version and a fully supported commercial version
  • Fast and easy to learn and to use
  • Extensive I/O and add on module library
  • Portability of applications across many SOC MCU, DSP and DSC architectures
  • Excellent documentation
  • Extensive testing using industry standard test suites
  • Support for 8, 16 and 32 bit SOC MCUs, DSPs and DSCs
  • Source code access
  • No GPL
  • Application focus rather than infrastructure building
  • Risk elimination and cost reduction with immediately working infrastructure
  • Access to thousands of trained programmers
  • Access to thousands of books and training courses
  • Indemnification
  • Support by the hour
  • Training courses
  • Exceptional value proposition with a world pricing model