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'[EE]: Arm Processors and RTOS'
2003\03\07@154354 by John Dammeyer

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Hi folks,

I've been asked to look into what's required for developing a graphics
application for an ARM processor.  Looking into the future I can see the
need for TCP/IP and Compact Flash support.  WEB searches reveal C and
C++ compilers but are less clear on RTOS.

So the question is:  Given that the IDE with C is available,  what sort
of OS's are there?  WINCE?  RT Linux?  Dedicated kernels?

Suggestions?

Thanks

John Dammeyer


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2003\03\07@174755 by Alex Holden

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On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 20:40, John Dammeyer wrote:
> I've been asked to look into what's required for developing a graphics
> application for an ARM processor.  Looking into the future I can see the
> need for TCP/IP and Compact Flash support.  WEB searches reveal C and
> C++ compilers but are less clear on RTOS.

I've heard eCos is pretty good and the price is certainly attractive:
http://sources.redhat.com/ecos/

ARM Linux is great and I've used it in embedded projects myself, but it
isn't hard realtime and the memory usage is higher.

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2003\03\07@183644 by John Dammeyer

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Interesting eCOS WEB site.

So if I understand what I see,  eCOS is a real time version of Linux?

The manual has a nice sample creating two threads each calling printf().
All looks very nice.  I'll post more info as I find out about it.
Thanks.

John



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> {Original Message removed}

2003\03\07@220311 by Scott Dattalo

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On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, John Dammeyer wrote:

> Interesting eCOS WEB site.
>
> So if I understand what I see,  eCOS is a real time version of Linux?

eCos is *not* Linux. It's open sourced, but is not GPL. eCos is more
LGPL-ish, but different.


> The manual has a nice sample creating two threads each calling printf().
> All looks very nice.  I'll post more info as I find out about it.
> Thanks.

eCos is nice. I've been using it for about 9 months now on an ARM
processor. Having the source is indispensible!

Scott

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2003\03\08@035250 by Alex Holden

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On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 23:33, John Dammeyer wrote:
> So if I understand what I see,  eCOS is a real time version of Linux?

No not at all. The reason RedHat happens to maintain it now is that it
came as part of the package when they bought Cygnus (the people who
ported GCC to loads of embedded processors and also developed Cygwin).
Since they give away the source code to the OS free, they (try to) make
their money from support.

As I understand it the main advantages of eCos apart from the price are
that it is very easy to port to a new platform, and it is extremely
configurable.

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2003\03\08@100242 by Scott Dattalo

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On Sat, 8 Mar 2003, Alex Holden wrote:

> On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 23:33, John Dammeyer wrote:
> > So if I understand what I see,  eCOS is a real time version of Linux?
>
> No not at all. The reason RedHat happens to maintain it now is that it
> came as part of the package when they bought Cygnus (the people who
> ported GCC to loads of embedded processors and also developed Cygwin).
> Since they give away the source code to the OS free, they (try to) make
> their money from support.

RedHat used to have a team of engineers working on the product. About 9
months ago all but one or two were laid off. A couple of new companies
were formed and hired these developers. The eCos "project" is actively
being developed. There are probably a dozen patches applied every day -
these are mostly new additions like supporting new platforms or adding
features.

>
> As I understand it the main advantages of eCos apart from the price are
> that it is very easy to port to a new platform, and it is extremely
> configurable.

I can't agree more. They've developed this package called ecosconfig which
is a configuration tool. You parametrically describe the features you
desire and it will go off and create the makefiles. It's analogous to
automake, but easy to use.

---

Quite frankly, I don't see why anyone would *not* use eCos for a new
embedded design. Well, okay, I can list a couple of reasons: 1) some other
RTOS might have that special driver written for your special piece of
hardware 2) cost is *not* an objective 3) your company already has many
man-years of experience with another RTOS 4) some other RTOS might have a
special tool that eCos lacks.

The negative perceptions that commercial companies have about open source
projects in general (that free stuff is uncontrolled garbage written by
high school kids) is mitigated by the support packages that one can
purchase. You can even hire eCos experts to port to your custom hardware!

Like I said before, I've been using it for over 9 months and I like it.

Scott

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