RTX Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) Platform Broadens the Scope of IntervalZero’s Solution

RTX Software Transforms Windows into a Real-Time Operating System

Waltham, MA (May 17, 2012)IntervalZero Inc., whose RTX software transforms Microsoft Windows into a real-time operating system (RTOS), is broadening the scope of its solution through a vertically integrated RTX RTOS Platform.

IntervalZero CEO Jeffrey Hibbard said the RTX RTOS Platform combines trusted, proven technologies and innovative new technologies to deliver cost and performance breakthroughs, and other benefits in markets that require hard real-time or deterministic capabilities for high-precision, high-performance applications.

“Over the last four years we’ve been enhancing relationships with the key technology partners and providers that make the platform a complete real-time solution – with pre-tested and pre-qualified applications and drivers to help OEMs and Customers jump-start projects that demand an RTOS,” said Hibbard.

“For nearly a decade we’ve proven that by using RTX, systems developers can replace proprietary real-time hardware with software, reducing the hardware costs associated with hard real-time and determinism by 25-50%, and doubling application performance every 18-24 months.

“Now we’re adding better-integrated, third-party components to help Customers get to market even faster. The RTX RTOS Platform components also provide an opportunity for increased scalability and improved safety. Our Customers have achieved Safety Integrity Level 3 – SIL 3 – ratings in Industrial Automation and FDA Class II certification in Medical industries,” he said.

The RTX RTOS Platform capitalizes on continuous advances in:

  • Standard Windows PCs to deliver the Windows user experience, including multi-touch;
  • X86 multi-core multiprocessors from Intel and AMD for application-performance improvements, for scalability, and for elimination of proprietary real-time hardware such as digital signal processors (DSPs) and microcontrollers (MCUs);
  • RTX software for transforming Windows into an RTOS, eliminating the need for a separate proprietary RTOS or real-time hardware;  and for its symmetric multiprocessing capabilities (SMP);
  • Real-time Ethernet from a variety of third party partners – EtherCAT and ProfiNET for example – for streamlining and simplifying system development and for improved safety;
  • Microsoft’s Visual Studio for a single integrated development environment;
  • Additional third-party-provided applications, communications, I/O, and driver capabilities that can enhance the platform’s value.

“All over the world, we encounter approaches for addressing real-time and deterministic needs that could benefit significantly from the RTX RTOS Platform,” said Hibbard.

“For example, we see systems with separate hard real-time operating systems on dedicated or virtual hardware that also have a Windows general-purpose operating system; or systems that have an over-reliance on real-time hardware, such as DSPs or MCUs. Both approaches drive up costs, limit performance, or cause development delays,” Hibbard said.

With a separate RTOS, there are additional costs for redundant hardware in a second device to handle the real-time needs, or for an extra IPC for the human machine interface (HMI). Integration is more complex because of separate development teams, duplicate development environments, and multiple code bases, Hibbard noted.

The use of real-time hardware increases the time to market because of the need to build custom hardware. Additionally, the hardware cannot keep pace with performance gains allowed by x86; it does not scale well; and it cannot take advantage of AVX/signal processing and cores on multicore, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) chips.

The RTX RTOS Platform eliminates these challenges, according to Hibbard.

RTX transforms Windows into an RTOS without requiring added engineering expertise. RTOS functions and Windows run as an integrated platform on a single Windows PC and engineering teams utilize a single IDE.

Proprietary hardware is eliminated by exploiting the full capability of single-core and multi-core COTS Windows PCs. Engineers can design for the future by creating a scalable, deterministic engine that can utilize one or more cores of a multi-core PC. They can also design for use across product lines through a reusable deterministic engine rather than being tied to specific DSP hardware.

In terms of building out the RTX RTOS Platform network, Hibbard noted that IntervalZero already has formalized relationships with many of the platform’s key technology providers, notably Microsoft and Intel. IntervalZero has been a long-time Microsoft Embedded Gold Partner and was recognized as a leading Windows Embedded Partner in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

IntervalZero is a member of the Intel Embedded Alliance and RTX’s value in digital signal processing is prominently featured on Intel’s web site.

“Over the next several quarters we will announce additional formalized RTX RTOS Platform partnerships with third-party developers whose applications, drivers and technology are qualified to run in the platform,” Hibbard said.