Five Things You Need To Know Before Selecting An RTOS

What to consider in selecting an operating system for any embedded device.


Almost any embedded device is likely to need an operating system of some description. Making the decision to use an OS, selecting it and planning its deployment are all challenging. In this paper, we will take a detailed look at the 5 key issues facing an embedded developer, who is considering the selection of an OS:

1. Does the design need an operating system at all? Some designs might appear to need an OS, but can be efficiently implemented in other ways. In other cases, an OS might seem like overkill, but turns out to be a good design choice.

2. Why is a custom implementation rarely a wise choice? An implementation of an OS that is “perfectly matched” to the application, may not be as optimal as it appears.

3. RTOS or Linux? An optimal choice is one that meets the needs of your design, provides a path forward, yet can live within system constraints.

4. How do you compare performance of different RTOS products? The data sheets are not enough!

5. What about multicore? How does this impact OS selection? As multiple cores are increasingly common, this architecture must have a significant influence on OS utilization. Does your design require multiple OSes?

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