Real-time Operating Systems (RTOS) 
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We are to explore two solid real-time operating systems (VxWorks and Tao's Elate/Intent).


VxWorks is the fundamental run-time component of the Tornado II embedded development platform, and the most widely adopted real-time operating system (RTOS) in the embedded industry. VxWorks is flexible, scalable, reliable, and available on all popular CPU platforms. VxWorks, from Wind River Systems, is a commercial operating system for embedded real-time applications. It is the standard real-time operating system in the FST for embedded VME-based flight software and simulation development.

VxWorks is "UNIX-friendly"--that is, it interoperates nicely with the UNIX environment and provides for many of the UNIX C-library routines, like file I/O, sockets, RCP, etc. VxWorks supports concurrent tasking--workstations communicating with each other by exchanging messages. VxWorks is multi-threaded and supplies all inter-task messaging functions, including semaphores, pipes, sockets, and TCP/IP inter-processor communications. The VxWorks socket utilities provide the hardware interface portions of the device drivers for the Ethernet connection between the "flight" processor and hardware dynamics simulation. VxWorks supports disk- and network-based file systems.

VxWorks supports remote debugging from workstations. VxWorks is not part of the bundled operating system: as an unbundled software package, it is auto-mounted on /opt and it will not be seen unless it is being used.

Some of the major features of VxWorks?

- wind kernel unlimited tasks

- 256 priorities

- binary, counting mutex semaphores

- message queues

- POSIX pipes

- sockets

- shared memory

- profiling utilities

- Ethernet support (i596, LANCE, NIC, SONIC)

- SLIP (no PPP yet)

- back-plane driver for network

- rlogin (server & client)

- telnet (server only)

- rpc (no rpcgen)

- nfs (client)

- ftp (server & client)

- tftp (client & server)

- rsh

- bootp

- proxyarp

- C-interpreter shell 

- symbolic debugging

- disassembly

- performance monitoring tools

- exception handling

- signal handling 

- dynamic object image loader

- system symbol table

- system info utilities

- libraries of 600+ utility routines

- remote source level debugger (VxGDB)

- SCSI support

- DOS & RT11 & Raw file systems.

- "full ANSI"


The VxWorks real-time operating system is found to be working wonders in a multitude of application areas.

  • Data networking: Ethernet switches, routers, remote access servers, ATM and FR switches
  • Industrial: Test and measurement equipment, robotics, CNC equipment, process control systems
  • Medical: MRI scanners, PET scanners, radiation therapy equipment, bedside monitors
  • Digital imaging: Printers, digital copiers, fax machines, multi function peripherals, digital cameras
  • Transportation: Automotive engine control systems, traffic signal control, high-speed train control, and anti-skid testing systems.
  • Telecommunications: PBXS and ACDS, CD switching systems, cellular systems, XDSL and cable modems
  • Aerospace: Avionics, flight simulation, airline cabin management systems, satellite tracking systems
  • Computer peripherals: X terminals, I/O control, RAID data storage systems, network computers
  • Multimedia: Professional video editing systems, video conferencing
  • Consumer electronics: PDAs, set-top boxes/TV, screen phones, audio equipment, car navigation systems, in-flight entertainment systems
Tao’s Intent and Elate

Tao’s intent media stack runs across the broad range of commercial operating systems. One of those is Tao's own deterministic solution, Elate. This best-of-breed technology can now be found in digital cameras, PDAs, set top boxes and other devices.

Elate is a high performance, commercial operating system that offers all of the functionality required for the building of digital consumer electronics appliances. Also a natural extension to the intent stack, it shares many of the same philosophies behind intent. Based around the Tao Virtual Processor, Elate is the heart of a binary portability platform. Even the kernel, libraries and device drivers are binary portable. The benefits to manufacturers include time to market, cost, performance, footprint, modularity and robustness. The power, flexibility and openness of Elate has encouraged companies to incorporate this powerful technology even into deeply embedded consumer products.

Tao's intent, Java Technology Edition is a Sun Authorized Java compliant and branded engine that runs real world Java content extraordinarily fast and in very small footprints. It sits with a range of other intent products from Tao to provide a strategic infrastructure for blue chip corporations looking to offer the very best in connected devices and incorporating their branding and their added value. The entire intent stack from Tao is a magnet, drawing in world-class multimedia technologies from other engineering forces from around the globe into the most comprehensive, customizable and portable media stack the world has seen.

Tao's intent provides a complete and truly portable framework that allows corporations easily to devise a multimedia content strategy for their connected digital appliances, even on extremely low powered devices; intent is clearly becoming the platform for the creation of dynamic and interactive content targeted for the broad range of connected smart devices manufactured for the global mass market.

The intent suite is available as a binary portable content engine on operating systems such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows CE for MIPS, Linux, Embedded Linux, VxWorks, OS-9000 and Elate.

Elate was designed by Tao from its inception as a multimedia, deterministic operating system and has emerged as the most advanced in its class. Elate, incorporating a range of integrated and patented techniques and the result of many years of research, combines the most advanced multimedia technologies, as provided by intent, with compact, high performance, true, binary portable system wide software, even down to the level of the kernel and device drivers. The blending of Elate with intent enables its licensees to develop a strategy based around technology leadership.

Tao's partners have found our solutions ideal for use in the emerging array of next generation digital devices such as wireless communications, interactive and Internet TV, audio-visual and digital imaging products. Both intent and Elate reduce the time to market, the cost, and the risk, increase the flexibility and opportunity available to Tao's licensees and offers the necessary support required for the all important needs of its customers to brand appliances effectively.

Advantages of Elate

Elate is portable, flexible, compact, object-based, multiprocessing, with multimedia and Java support, and secure.

Features of Tao's Elate
  1. Platform and Processor Independence
  2. Translation
  3. Range of Ready-Made Toolkits
  4. Sysgen Utility
  5. Compact and Powerful Shell