UK designer creates open source RTOS

An open source real-time operating systems (RTOS) has been developed by a UK-based engineer.

“As a professional embedded systems developer working in the UK, I started writing the OS a while back in my spare time,” said designer Kelvin Lawson.

“Over time I have added various RTOS facilities and eventually it reached the stage where I realised it could be useful to the general public so I opened up the source code,” said Lawson.

Called Atomthreads, the RTOS has been released under the BSD licence and is intended for commercial use without royalties.

An initial port is available for the Atmel AVR/ATmega architecture, with additional ports in development including 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit architectures.

“I intend to support several CPU architectures but for the first release focused on the ATmega/AVR in order to prove its lightweight credentials,” said Lawson.

“Ports to other architectures are in development, with the next addition likely to be ARM7,” added Lawson.

The aim was to provide real-time threading support and standard RTOS features within a few small, highly portable files.

“Embedded systems developers considering other open source operating systems but who do not need or already have their own IP stack, file systems and other components can benefit from the reduced complexity and effort of integrating only a simple scheduler library,” said Lawson.

Similarly developers who might otherwise roll their own in-house scheduler can save both development and validation time by dropping in this ready-made and fully validated scheduler library.

Download the source code for free and obtain further information

See: Open source engineering blog


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