Zaltbommel, Netherlands — (press release excerpt) — ACTIVE Exhibitions Europe today announced the main keynote talk of the international Embedded Linux Expo & Conference in Milan, Italy, November 26-29, 2001. The talk, entitled “Measuring Performance in Real-Time Linux”, will be given by Fred Proctor, a prominent scientist and member of the Control Systems Group of the U.S. National Institute of Standards in Maryland, U.S.
“Fred dedicates his research to real-time operating systems, digital control, motion control, and modeling and simulation,” said Zoltan Hunor, President of ACTIVE Exhibitions Europe. “He also participates in standards activities for machine tools, robots, and coordinate measuring machines. He is the developer of the Enhanced Machine Controller, an open-source real-time Linux controller for machine tools and robots.”
“My keynote talk concentrates on the many measures of software performance, split between size, speed, and resource use,” said Proctor. “Linux measures up quite well with these metrics: the kernel is scaleable and small to begin with, and it boots up quickly with a minimum of disk activity. More detailed measures can be made using benchmarks such as those from SPEC.”
“Real-time programmers, however, are more concerned with timing performance against a deadline,” added Proctor. “Real-time operating systems provide a guarantee that tasks will execute before their deadline, but the question is: 'How precisely?' No matter how well-written, schedulers will eventually run up against timing uncertainties in the underlying hardware due to features such as caches, pipelines, and speculative execution. Various methods of measuring this timing jitter exist. Measurements on the RTLinux and RTAI variants of real-time Linux show that jitter contributes several to tens of microseconds of variation in task execution. Techniques to minimize these effects can reduce jitter down to below a tenth of a microsecond, for tasks that run at periods of a few tens of microseconds. This analysis and experimental results show that real-time Linux is suitable for fairly aggressive real-time tasks, such as the low-level control of stepper motors.”
The Embedded Linux Expo & Conference (ELEC) and the Real-Time Expo & Conference are presented by ACTIVE Exhibitions Europe in collaboration with the Real-Time Linux Foundation and K Computing. The events take place on November 26-29, 2001 in Milan, Italy.
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