April 6th, 2017 by
Many modern electronic systems use an RTOS, or real-time operating system. A real-time operating system is a system that is intended to serve real-time scenario applications where data is processed as it comes in without typical buffering delays. With this system, the time required to process data is measured in fractions of seconds or even faster. The system is either event-driven or time-sharing. An event-driven system switches between tasks on the basis of their priorities. A time-sharing system switches tasks on the basis of clock interrupts. Today, real-time operating systems have numerous applications, particularly for tasks with timing constraints.
Applications with strict deadlines
Some tasks must be completed before the set instant or deadline. However, the exact instant when the task is performed is not crucial. For instance, a sound card buffer has to be refilled before it is emptied. The output port’s voltage must reach a certain level before the value is read by the next peripheral device.
Applications with zero execution time
This is where a task has to be performed at a specific instant that is minimized. For instance, in a digital control theory, taking measurement, calculating a control action, and sending it to the peripheral device occurs instantly.
Quality of service
An RTOS can be used when a task must have a fixed service amount per time unit. In this case, service implies CPU time. However, it can be network bandwidth, disk access bandwidth or memory pages. This is crucial for applications like network services and video and audio streaming.
Applications that involve competition for resources
In some applications, tasks compete for resources like network, processors, and memory. This competition is stiffer in real-time operating systems than in general purpose operating systems. Therefore, a real-time operating system ensures that each task is allotted the necessary resources promptly.
Applications with worst-case scenarios
If there are numerous tasks that need a service, there will be a time when they will all need the service at once. Real-time operating systems are used in such applications to ensure that worst-case scenarios are given priority.
A real-time operating system can add significant advantage in these scenarios and more. If your business relies on any of these applications, an RTOS may be something to consider.