Gartner research predicted well over 20 Billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices that would be online and active by the year 2020. Many IoT devices require network connectivity and a Graphical User Interface (GUI), because of the processor load that comes with both, many IoT devices will require 32-bit microprocessors to provide the requisite address space and processing power. Due to the elevated connectivity requirements, there is a need to execute communication protocol stacks on the microprocessor and executing these protocol stacks requires the utilization of a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). With the unprecedented growth of the Internet of Things and the number of new devices being developed to leverage it, you will most likely be using an RTOS soon. This article is about why RTOS may be useful for your next system development project.
A Real-Time Operating System is an embedded system software that provides and handles real time processor requirements for applications. These resources include but are not limited to peripherals, interrupts, processor cycles, and memory. The key function of a Real-Time Operating System is to allocate processing time among the tasks the embedded software is to perform. Allocating processing time requires dividing the software into parts known as “threads,” and developing a run-time environment that provides each thread with its own virtual microprocessor.
In simple terms, a virtual microprocessor comprises of a virtual set of microprocessor resources such as stack memory area, program counter, stack pointer, and a register set. Only while executing does a thread use the physical microprocessor resources, but each thread retains its own copy of the contents of these resources as if they were its own private resources.
Here are some potential benefits to consider if you are going to use an RTOS:
RTOS Provides Swift Real-Time Performance
An RTOS invisibly handles allocation of the processor’s resources to the threads that perform the various duties an embedded device must perform. With the proper assignment of thread priorities, the application software does not have to concern itself with how much processing time each individual thread takes.
An RTOS Can Reduce Overhead Costs
Contrary to popular opinion, an RTOS often results in lower overhead and better responsiveness compared to using a polling loop for thread execution and responsiveness.
>An RTOS Makes it Easier to Add New Functionalities
An RTOS manages the processor allocation logic, thereby ensuring real-time performance of a high-priority thread irrespective of the firmware size and number of threads in the application. This makes it easier to maintain the application and add new functionalities to a device.
>Increased Application Portability
Most multithreading operating environments in an RTOS have a layer of abstraction between the processor and the application. Processor specific tasks like context switching and interrupt processing are managed by the multithreading environment. This makes it easier for the applications to port to new processors as long as the RTOS also supports the new processors.
Many safety-critical systems require a certification by regulatory bodies. This involves a software developer to providing artifacts for all the software in the system. Many commercial RTOS providers are certified by these regulatory bodies, and this offers significant safety benefits to software developers.
Credit: For more insights, click this link
Olamide is a technology consultant with cognate experience providing digital transformation services for small and large-scale clients globally. With a focus on emerging technologies like IoT, Extended Reality, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, he has spent three years developing numerous articles on these knowledge areas for different platforms online and offline.
Jun 11, 2021 | Everything About IoT
Jun 10, 2021 | IoT Applications & Examples, IoT Software Platforms
Jun 14, 2021 | IoT Applications & Examples, IoT Software Platforms, Everything About IoT
Jun 15, 2021 | IoT Applications & Examples, Everything About IoT
Jun 16, 2021 | IoT Devices & Sensors, Everything About IoT