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15 min read

What is the Cost of a Real-time Operating System (RTOS)?

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Choosing an RTOS, regardless of the cost, involves many considerations, including accommodating your specific hardware architecture, the scalability of the RTOS, response requirements, peripheral support, scheduler, services, libraries, middleware, graphical tools, and technical support. No RTOS can offer every option, nor...

22 min read

Challenges Building Safe Multicore Systems

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At the time of writing, no multicore safety critical software systems exist. That is, no system that utilizes a multi-core processor to execute multiple applications in parallel has been certified for flight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US or by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As...

3 min read

Best Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) Vendors (2020)

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Lynx Software Technologies has built and supported real-time operating systems (RTOSes) since 1988. We have witnessed hardware and embedded software technologies evolve and have supported our customers through the design, development, integration, certification, deployment, and support of software systems across...

19 min read

What Is A Separation Kernel?

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Having built both separation kernels and real-time operating systems—and supported customers using both across a wide range of industries—we are familiar with the pros and cons of each software technology, as well as their security, safety, reliability, and adaptability impact on complex system designs. Yet despite...

3 min read

Field Notes: Safety-Critical Systems Symposium 2020

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Lynx exhibited at the 28th annual Safety-Critical Systems Symposium  on February 11th to 13th 2020 in York, United Kingdom. The SSS is hosted by the UK Safety-Critical Systems Club, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness and facilitate technology transfer in the field of safety-critical systems.

4 min read

TC-16/51: Adding Bottom Up Interference Analysis for MCPs

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I hadn't heard of "bottom up" avionics certification before I read FAA's TC-16/51.  But now, looking back at it, I think the authors from Thales Avionics, including Xavier Jean, PhD, proposed a big change in perspective.  In their own words, here's their proposal to add "bottom up" analysis to aircraft safety...

26 min read

What Are the Problems with Embedded Linux?

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Linux is ubiquitous. It runs most internet servers, inside Android* smartphones, and is used on millions of embedded systems that, in the past, ran Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOSes). Linux can (and should) be used were possible for embedded projects, but while it gives you extreme choice, it also presents the risk of...

5 min read

Lynx & ENSCO Demonstrate Avionics Solutions at DSEI JAPAN 2019

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The most formidable challenges of modern avionics development programs are often centered around the safety certification process and the corresponding requirements and costs. Equally as challenging to any large development program are the design and implementation phases where the software application comes to life as it...

7 min read

Overarching Properties: An Alternative to DO-178

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Overarching Properties—an alternative design assurance approach to DO-178C—marks the biggest change in airborne software safety certification since DO-178B was unveiled in 1992. Intended to be more efficient and flexible than DO-178C, the approach was introduced as DO-178C and the Overarching Properties Initiative during ...

23 min read

What Are the Most Popular Real-Time Operating Systems?

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Lynx Software Technologies has built and supported real-time operating systems (RTOSes) since 1988. We have witnessed hardware and embedded software technologies evolve and have supported our customers through the design, development, integration, certification, deployment, and support of software systems across...

18 min read

Do You Need a Real-Time Operating System?

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Do Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOSes) consistently provide the most effective platform for realizing your embedded software system design?  Most RTOS vendors seem to think so, frequently citing RTOS benefits while rarely discussing the disadvantages.  Too often, the question "Do You Need an RTOS?" is interpreted, "Which...

9 min read

Embedded Best Practices at Arm Tech-con

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Lynx participated in this year’s Arm TechCon with a booth in the expo hall, where we demoed Lynx MOSA.ic and its components — LynxSecure®, Buildroot Linux, LynxOS-178®, and Lynx Simple Applications (which are bare-metal apps).  It was great to see people walk down the hallways and stop in the aisle to examine the...

16 min read

How to Choose a Real-Time Operating System

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Choosing an RTOS is not as simple as choosing a car.  We know about cars; we know their strengths and weaknesses and we intuitively understand compromises like performance vs practicality or luxury vs price.  We see all kinds of vehicles on the road, so the range of available cars is obvious. When choosing an RTOS, the...

11 min read

What Are POSIX Processes and Virtual Memory?

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In POSIX, an executing instance of a program is called a process.  To be conformant with the POSIX standard, processes must be kept separate through the use of memory protection.  An operating system (OS) that supports multiple processes is referred to as a “multiprocessing” OS.

It is important to understand that not all...

6 min read

Realizing modern Automotive Software Environments

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The complexity of today’s automobiles is increasing with every new model on the market.  A modern car can contain hundreds of electronic control units and with connectivity and autonomy becoming commonplace, this is increasing dramatically as we enter the 2020s.  Many of these systems up until a few years ago have safely...

5 min read

What is SR-IOV and Why is It Important for embedded devices?

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Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) is the complex name for a technology beginning to find its way into embedded devices.  SR-IOV is a hardware standard that allows a PCI Express device – typically a network interface card (NIC) – to present itself as several virtual NICs to a hypervisor.  The standard was written in...

3 min read

Multi-core cache allocation technology (CAT) demo

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This week saw LYNX’s cache partitioning feature for Lynx MOSA.ic™ demonstrated for the first time at the Collins Aerospace Embedded Computing Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cache partitioning is a new feature of Lynx MOSA.ic™ released in September 2019 and based on Intel’s Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) CPU hardware...

12 min read

What is the Cost of a Board Support Package?

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The board support package (BSP) is the glue software that allows an embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) to run on a specific target board.  Creating a BSP for your chosen board is a detailed software engineering task that takes 2 to 8 weeks.  Expect an embedded software consultant to charge $20,000 to $100,000 for...

4 min read

Field Notes: Sept 2019 Face™ TIM

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Last week I was able to spend several days at the Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) and consortium meetings.  For those who are not familiar with either the Open Group or FACE™, the Open Group is a global consortium of hundreds of tool vendors, systems...

9 min read

What Are the Benefits of POSIX for Embedded Systems?

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Lynx Software Technologies is committed to open standards. POSIX®—an open standard based on UNIX operating systems and their APIs—brings a powerful set of features and capabilities to the table for embedded application development, resulting in benefits to software vendors such as ourselves as well as to our...

4 min read

What is a Reusable Software Component?

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A DO-178B/C Reusable Software Component (RSC) is a software collection that is recognized as meeting the requirements of RTCA/DO-178B/C and that may be used on more than one project without having to regenerate certification artifacts.

The FAA grants RSC acceptance as part of a normal certification process, provided that...

8 min read

CAST-32A: Significance and Implications

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CAST-32A presents the coordinated position of avionics certification authorities regarding Multi-Core Processors (MCPs).  While today’s aerospace ecosystem could benefit from the use of MCPs, before CAST-32A was published, FAA/EASA had not yet devised a means to obtain certification credit for safety-critical software...

3 min read

Design Prevails: Protecting Systems from Meltdown and Spectre

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Meltdown and Spectre provide insight into building more resilient systems.  Less covered in the press than the vulnerabilities themselves, problems with patching, or “timelines to discovery” is that some systems were, in fact, prepared and protected— requiring no patches, recompiles, or redesigns.  Their distinguishing...