Colin Walls, Mentor Graphics
embedded.com (December 01, 2014)
Desktop or laptop computers are extremely powerful and amazingly low cost. This means that developers of software for desktop systems assume that there is infinite CPU power, so they worry very little about the speed of their code. They also assume that indefinite amounts of memory are available, so they do not worry about code size either.
Embedded systems are different. Typically, there is enough CPU power to do the job, but only just enough – there is no excess. Memory size is limited. It is not normally unreasonably small, but there is unlikely to be any possibility of adding more. Power consumption is usually an issue and the software – its size and efficiency – can have a significant bearing on the number of Watts burned by the embedded device. It is clear that, with an embedded system, it is vital that the RTOS has the smallest possible impact on memory footprint and makes very efficient use of the CPU.
Selecting an RTOS for an embedded system is quite a complex process and making the right decision is critical.
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