Electronic Design

Embedded OS Improves Win32 Compatibility

Designers familiar with Microsoft's Developer Studio will feel at home with Phar Lap's version 10 of the TNT Embedded Tool Suite (ETS), Realtime Edition. ETS adds full Win32 serial I/O support on top of the existing Win32 support, which now includes a real-time GUI.

A Microsoft Developer Studio add-in known as the Embedded StudioExpress provides remote debugging support. It also improves application and RTOS configuration via the ETS Project Wizard and the Visual System Builder.

ETS is compatible with off-the-shelf products like 32-bit compilers and tools normally used for Windows development. It supports dynamic link libraries (DLL), including third-party DLLs. This compatibility can minimize training and support costs. Version 10 also has a number of improvements, from the Win32-compatible GUI to Microsoft WinInet-compatible FTP client support.

Compatible with WinSock 1.1, ETS includes multihoming support on a single network adapter. SNMP support is now standard. DHCP client support enables remote configuration. SMTP mail client support has been added. Additionally, its ETS MicroWeb Server supports on-the-fly HTML generation.

Resident flash arrays and ROM-based file systems are supported as well. The File System Interface (FSI) permits the construction of a user file system. New Ethernet and sound drivers are included with the release, too. Furthermore, the thread API has been expanded. New timing functions have been added. Named threads, semaphores, mutexes, events, and pipes are now supported. And, internal thread status is now accessible through the API.

ETS supports priority scheduling. Round-robin scheduling can be set up with variable timeslices. A reliable priority inversion avoidance system supports deterministic multithreaded embedded applications. The collection of sample programs has increased. These now include everything from GUI applications to PC Card enablers.

Embedded Windows NT, Windows CE, and ETS all provide Win32 compatibility. Yet Windows CE lacks the real-time support found in ETS. Minimum Windows CE resource requirements also are well above ETS. Embedded Windows NT has more features than ETS, but its resource requirements are higher, too. These traits give ETS a large niche that the others don't cover.

Contact Phar Lap for Realtime ETS Kernel processing and licensing fees. Source code is available for purchase.

Phar Lap Software Inc., 60 Aberdeen Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; (617) 661-1510; fax (617) 876-2972; Internet: www.pharlap.com.

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