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VNU Net: TimeSys to develop real-time Linux

Mar 08, 2000, 21:43 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James Middleton)

By James Middleton, VNU Net

Systems developer TimeSys last week announced plans to develop a real-time version of Linux, dubbed Linux/RT.

The Linux/RT architecture ensures that if a single real-time process crashes, the remaining concurrent processes, as well as the kernel, will continue to run. This could prove most attractive to e-businesses where server downtime means 'shop closed' time.

The kernel extension will also allow the incorporation of a proprietary layer, called RTAI (Real-Time Applications Interface), which offers high runtime performance together with a small system footprint .

According to Robin Bloor, analyst at Bloor Research, the real-time developers community has been expecting this development. He said: "This moves the whole development of a real-time Linux forward. The area of application of real-time environments is wider than many would suspect, and growing quite dramatically."

Bloor explained that real-time processing was previously associated only with mission critical systems such as telecoms, medical electronics, military systems and industrial automation. "However, it is now being applied to web servers and multimedia servers, and we predict that it will eventually embrace trading platforms on the internet," he said.

The product will be available in April from TimeSys as a free download and on CDRom for a nominal fee. A portfolio of interoperable software products is set to follow, including customisation and consulting services, a set of support tools and a real-time Java Virtual Machine.

Bloor added: "Assuming that the first version is robust enough to satisfy the stringent requirements of the real-time processing world, the question we should now be asking is whether there is any market that Linux will not enter."

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