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Home > What's New > Upper Saddle River, NJ - October 7, 2003

Pentek First to Offer eCos Real-Time OS on G4 PowerPC-Based VME Board

  • eCos Royalty-Free Embedded Software Solution Offers Fast, Scalable Kernel for Performance-Driven Hardware Environments
  • eCos-Enabled VME Platform Delivers High-Density Real-Time Signal Processing Solution with Variety of I/O
  • ReadyFlow Board Support Package Features Pre-Built eCos Libraries
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Pentek, Inc., the industry pioneer of VME board-level technology, today announced an alternative to costly commercial real-time operating systems or Linux with virtually no inherent real-time performance. Pentek is the industry's first vendor to port eCos (Embedded Configurable Operating System), a popular RTOS that is rapidly gaining acceptance, to the Motorola G4 PowerPC processor. The initial target is Pentek's Model 4205 I/O Processor VME board, an extremely powerful I/O platform with a wide range of interfaces. To jump start development, Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support package features pre-built eCos libraries and the GNU open-source development tools.

"Cost-effective eCos offers developers an open-source software infrastructure for a diverse range of embedded systems. With eCos, they can focus on delivering competitive, leading-edge technology instead of developing or maintaining a custom real-time operating system," said Rodger Hosking, vice president of Pentek, Inc. "The Model 4205 delivers flexibility plus extensive high-performance I/O and eCos supports it with a low-cost, royalty-free embedded software development solution. Ideal for specialized single-slot, real-time I/O subsystems for data acquisition, software radio, storage and recording applications, the 4205/eCos combination also scales smoothly to meet the needs of large, multi-channel systems."

About eCos

eCos is an open source real-time operating system for embedded applications, providing a complete runtime infrastructure necessary to support real-time applications with code footprints in the 10's to 100's of kilobytes. The highly configurable nature of eCos allows the operating system to be customized to precise application requirements, delivering the best possible runtime performance with absolutely no associated runtime or development tool costs. Because of its efficient architecture, eCos delivers excellent benchmarks for real-time operations including a task switching time of less than one microsecond on a 600 MHz G4 PowerPC.

The standard tool chain for board-independent eCos features GNU binary utilities, GCC C/C++ language compiler, GDB Debugger, eCos Configuration Tool, Cygwin (UNIX environment for Windows) and TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol). A complete TCP/IP stack is also provided for network support.

The eCos Configuration Tool features a graphical interface for easy selection of specific modules, parametric control for many modules, and complete templates supporting specific hardware platforms. The GDB Debugger is supported with the Insight GUI to dramatically speed application development tasks.

All of these tools, plus the eCos OS components, are free software with full source code available. A worldwide user community, as well as commercial developers and consultants, fully support the eCos environment.

ReadyFlow Board Specific Support

Pentek's ReadyFlow Board Support package is a collection of well-structured C-callable libraries delivered with full source code and numerous examples. For the Model 4205 G4 PowerPC I/O Processor, ReadyFlow also includes all of the open source eCos tools described above, plus eCos libraries and components that have been pre-built specifically for the 4205 hardware environment for optimum performance. Pentek offers complete development tool suites for popular workstation environments including Linux, Solaris, and Windows NT, 2000, and XP.

High Performance, Flexible I/O Platform

The Model 4205 comes standard with a 600 MHz Motorola MPC7455 G4 PowerPC, or optionally the 1 GHz MPC7457. Two 3-million gate Virtex-II FPGAs coupled with Pentek's GateFlow FPGA Design Resources offer additional signal processing capability. The 4205 accommodates two VIM-2 (Velocity Interface Mezzanine) modules, one VIM-4 module, or one VIM-2 and one PMC (PCI Mezzanine Card) module. I/O capabilities include built-in Ethernet, RS-232, VME64, dual RACE++ and a front-panel 1- or 2-Gigabit Fibre Channel interface. Future high-speed interfaces for the 4205 include Gigabit Ethernet, Serial FPDP and Rapid I/O. Any of these interfaces can be included without exceeding the one-slot configuration.

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