Open source tools, training, and services vendor Microcross is offering development kits based on the open source RTEMS embedded operating system for a number of tiny SBCs (single-board computers) from Cogent. RTEMS, or “Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems,” is a mature RTOS available under a number of free licenses.
What is RTEMS?
“RTEMS is GPL with exceptions … developers and commercial companies are not required to 'open source' their proprietary applications when linking with RTEMS modules,” said James Calvin, President of Worldwide Sales at Microcross.
According to Microcross, “RTEMS was open sourced before open source was 'sexy.'” It was originally developed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Command in 1988. It features a POSIX 1003.1b API (including threads), RTEID/ORKID based classic API, FreeBSD TCP/IP stack, UDP, TCP, ICMP, DHCP, RARP, TFTP, RPC, FTPD, HTTPD, and CORBA.
The dev kits
The kits include Microcross's Visual GNU X-tools, an IDE (integrated development environment) based on GNU tools under a front-end based on SlickEdit. They also include a pre-built RTEMS BSP (board support package) with libraries installed, linker scripts preconfigured, and startup code running several test programs using the Visual GNU X-Tools toolset environment.
The RTEMS development kits are available initially on the following Cogent boards:
- CSB335 (Sharp ARM720T)
- CSB337 (Atmel ARM920T)
- CSB360 (Motorola Coldfire MCF5272)
- CSB637 (Atmel ARM920T)
- CSB650 (AMD Au1100)
The Cogent OEM development boards range in size from 1.75 x 2.75 inches (CSB637 and CSB650) to 3.2 x 3.5 (CSB335, CSB337, CSB360). They offer selected off-chip peripherals that may include:
- Color/Mono LCD Controller
- 8MB Flash, 32 MB SDRAM
- JTAG Debug Header
- Real-Time Clock with battery back
- 10/100 Ethernet
- SD/MMC Card for additional FLASH, Bluetooth and 802.11
- Dual CAN 2.0B ports
- Open Source Boot ROM (Micromonitor)
The development kits cost $1,999 per developer seat. The CSBxxx OEM boards with breakout boards cost between $449 and $678.
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