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UNISON Operating System

art picFor the UNISON operating systems products, the focus is on the following concepts:

● open systems (such as Linux and POSIX compatibility)

real-time operating systems or embedded operating systems

● modularity

● scalability

● connectivity

● ultra tiny memory footprint

● high performance

● complete system security

● miserly power consumption


Open Systems

Open systems interfaces are critically important. The UNISON OS supports the POSIX open systems standard, one of two widely used and accepted operating systems application programming interfaces (APIs). It's use is critical in reducing time, cost, and providing superior product quality. In addition UNISON OS supports many other open standards and chooses open standards where every possible. Here is a list of the benefits:

  • ● Portable and reusable software,
  • ● Interoperable systems,
  • ● Knowledge reuse regarding system operation and error reporting,
  • ● Programming knowledge reuse,
  • ● Simplified and more accurate project planning an execution,
  • ● Standardized systems tests written by hundreds of developers,
  • ● Hardware agnostic software components,
    ● Modular designs for optimized systems,
  • ● Scalable designs
  • ● User defined boot sequence to speed system startup, 
  • ● Power savings options, 
  • ● And training elimination.

Each of these items saves time during development, saves money, reduces support requirements, simplifies finding and making staff productive and ensures that a total time to market and total life cycle costs are minimized while maximizing product quality.

Ultra Tiny Memory Footprint

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. 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.

A typical UNISON 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 RAM depending on the configuration. The flash requirements for basic security are approximately 70K.

With full system security modules, this footprint will 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 minimize Flash and RAM usage. With this approach hardware savings can be achieved for volume products as the most effective hardware platform can be used.

Often marketing people will talk about minimum system size. This is not relevant for designers, what is relevant is “what is the size for the services that you need to address the problem”. UNISON has been configured to run in 1K of RAM for both instructions and data; however, this is not a relevant measure. UNISON comes with a memory estimation tool enabling users to make actual estimates for what they need in terms of RAM and Flash worst case. System tailoring will reduce these estimates further.

By providing an ultra tiny memory footprint and the ability to tailor modules to reduce memory requirements further, UNISON ensures that optimization to fit an application into a particular memory size is minimized. The cost of size optimization is substantial and should be avoided if possible. UNISON sizes are pre-optimized to ensure that developers only have to tailor, not optimize themselves.

High Performance

An integral part of UNISON's design is optimization for performance. By utilizing all hardware available to reduce processing time, and optimizing various operations for the specific processor architecture, UNISON achieves very high levels of performance.

By providing great performance out of the box, the need for further optimization by the developer is eliminated. This saves in terms of time to market and eliminates costly optimization during projects. It also ensures quality products by optimizing responses to external events.

Complete System Security

System security modules have been developed and integrated into the UNISON RTOS, not as an after thought, but as a key component required in each and every system. In this way, UNISON offers a superior security solution not available from others. It includes security from the lowest levels of the system through to the highest layers of applications.

These security components include:

  • ● wireless and data link security
  • ● network level security
  • ● applications communication security
  • ● password security at multiple levels
  • ● encrypted images
  • ● secure email
  • ● secure system management
  • ● secure file transfer
  • ● secure remote login and communications
  • ● encrypted file system
  • ● secure remote field service

Using this approach, users are not required to develop custom security solutions, simply reuse the existing security services. This supports the overall goal of developing minimum time to market, minimum cost of ownership and very high quality products.


Remedy Development and Testing

Developing complex MCU and MPU based products is challenging. By providing superior development and testing products, time to market can be reduced, total cost of ownership reduced and product quality increased.

The Remedy tools approach is to reuse the best and most preferred tools for a given MCU or MPU as determined by the manufacturer and the market, and then augment these tools with additional UNISON OS specific tools. The overall effect is to provide the best tools or the best price/performance tools for a given MCU or MPU development. This satisfies the overall requirements of minimum time to market, minimum life cycle costs and maximum product quality while providing customers choices and familiarity to avoid retraining.

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Rowebots Limited

RoweBots was founded in May 1987 by a group of Univer­sity researchers. From the outset, RoweBots had its roots in real-time multiprocessor software and has broadened into an embedded signal processing systems company today.

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