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FSMLabs development kit supports Freescale SoCs

Posted: 03 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FSMLabs? RTLinuxPro development kit? Freescale? PowerQUICC III?

Software developer FSMLabs has announced support for developing and deploying hard real-time applications on Freescale Semiconductor's PowerQUICC III communications processors containing a PowerPC core. Designed into leading networking applications, PowerQUICC III SoC processors target smart packet forwarding, routing and security in core and edge devices and blades, balancing throughput, power consumption, packet performance and package cost.

The combination of FSMLabs' RTLinuxPro development kit and PowerQUICC III processors promises a mix of real-time responsiveness, standards-based openness, and enterprise software compatibility of the Linux operating system.

Software content in all types of intelligent devices is doubling year-over-year. To address this ever-increasing software load and accompanying complexity of embedded applications, device developers have moved from proprietary embedded RTOS platforms to open, enterprise-class Linux. However, even with an emphasis on application-centric software stacks, core embedded platforms still need to deliver near line-rate performance. FSMLabs said its real-time technology enables networking equipment providers and other device OEMs to meet hard real-time performance requirements; at the same time, it lets companies deploy enterprise-class Linux to support complex software stacks and workloads.

FSMLabs said it has been investing in Freescale's processor technology containing PowerPC cores. FSMLabs also pioneered the PowerPC architecture support in Linux and today claims support for over a dozen technology variants for PowerPC cores, ranging from low-power SoCs to stand-alone CPUs for high-performance blades and systems. For high-performance communications and other applications, RTLinux targets a wide range of PowerQUICC processors, including the highly integrated MPC8540 and MPC8560 PowerQUICC III devices and other processors based on the e500 core.

"FSMLabs solutions help Freescale customers deliver high-performance designs on time and within budget," said Rich Schnur, segment manager for Freescale's Digital Systems Division. "FSMLabs has pioneered real-time Linux OS solutions for PowerQUICC processors, and today RTLinux helps keep the PowerQUICC family of communications processors at the forefront of network designs."

FSMLabs offers COTS support for reference platforms that include Freescale's Application Development Systems (ADS), such as the MPC8540ADS. RTLinux can also be retargeted to support most commercial systems based on PowerQUICC processors, as well as OEM-specific custom hardware.

FSMLabs said its RTLinux enables developers to meet requirements for low-latency hard real-time responsiveness independent of application load over a wide range of system clock rates. On e500 core-based systems running at 833 MHz, the software promises less than 1.7s worst-case interrupt latency with real-time context switch worst cases of 8.5s. These measurements are computed while the standard Linux guest operating system is fully loaded and servicing heavy network traffic. By comparison, native Linux offers limited real-time performance, with response times for comparable operations measured in milliseconds, not microseconds, explained the company.

The RTLinux host/guest architecture enables developers of intelligent devices to build high-reliability systems and to support the ever-increasing software content on those devices, said FSMLabs. Application developers can take advantage of RTLinux to use standard Linux applications and services in conjunction with POSIX 1003.13 real-time code that runs in the RTLinux environment. Real-time code can migrate freely between execution in RTLinux and native Linux environments, giving customers true OS choice, said the company.

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