ITRON Newsletter No.23 (HTML Edition)

ITRON Technical Committee, TRON Association
Katsuta Building 5F, 3-39, Mita 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108, JAPAN
TEL: (03) 3454-3191    FAX: (03) 3454-3224

Survey on ITRON Use Trends

Each year the TRON Association conducts surveys to gauge the extent to which TRON Project technology is known and used in the industry. For fiscal 1996 it was decided to focus the survey on ITRON, and to target mainly engineers involved with embedded systems. The survey was carried out by mail and other means during November and December 1996. The results should prove useful in promoting the ITRON specifications and in planning the future directions of the project.

This year for the first time the Internet was also used as a means of conducting the survey among a broader audience. A survey form was made available on the ITRON Home Page, which could be filled in and sent directly via the Internet. The survey results are being made available by the same means.

Formation of the ITRON Hard Real-Time Support Study Group

In ITRON Newsletter No.22 we noted that the ITRON Technical Committee is turning its attention to middleware standardization. One of the themes for consideration is that of kernel functions geared to middleware provision, and especially functions that support middleware with hard real-time performance. The ITRON Hard Real-Time Support Study Group (HRT Study Group) was formed to study these functions, beginning its work in October 1996.

The first task of the new study group will be to survey the studies that have been made to date in the field of hard real-time performance and then to determine the support requirements, which they hope to complete by the end of March 1997. Anyone wishing to take part in this research is invited to contact the ITRON Technical Committee. Results of the committee's work will be introduced at ITRON Open Seminars and other venues.

ITRON-specification Product Registration Update

The product listed below was newly registered as an ITRON-specification product since the last issue of this Newsletter. Previously registered products are listed here.

Newly Registered Products (Apr. 1, 1996 - Oct. 1, 1996)
Specification  Product Name  Processor  Company
µITRON2.0 RX78K/IV 78K.IV Series NEC

ITRON-related Publications

Listed below are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Technical Committee as of October 1, 1996. The ITRON-µITRON Standard Handbook is a one-volume compilation of µITRON (Ver 2.0) and ITRON2 specifications. Each of the publications below can be obtained directly from the sources indicated.

The latest version of µITRON3.0 is Ver 3.02.00. Changes made since the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook was released (Ver 3.00.00) are noted in Newsletter No.5 and No.11, as well as in ITRON Standard Guidebook 2.

The ITRON Standard Guidebook 2 deals primarily with µITRON3.0. The earlier ITRON Standard Guidebook '92-'93 remains as a valuable reference for use with the µITRON (Ver 2.0) and ITRON2 specifications, even though the dates in its title are now past.

ITRON-related Publications
Name Type Price Publisher Issued ISBN No.
ITRON-µITRON Standard Handbook Specification (Jap.) 4,800Yen Personal Media Co. 1990 ISBN4-89362-079-7
µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook Specification (Jap.) 4,000Yen Personal Media Co. 1993 ISBN4-89362-106-8
ITRON/FILE Standard Handbook Specification (Jap.) 3,000Yen Personal Media Co. 1992 ISBN4-89362-092-4
ITRON Standard Guidebook '92-'93 Textbook (Jap.) 3,500Yen Personal Media Co. 1992 ISBN4-89362-197-6
ITRON Standard Guidebook 2 Textbook (Jap.) 3,500Yen Personal Media Co. 1994 ISBN4-89362-133-5
µITRON Specification Ver Specification (Eng.) 12,000Yen TRON Association 1989 -
ITRON2 Specification Ver Specification (Eng.) 15,000Yen TRON Association 1990 -
µITRON3.0 Specification Ver 3.02.00 Specification (Eng.) - TRON Association 1994 -
- Prices do not include consumption tax.
- The documents are available to TRON Association members at a special discount rate.
- English-language specifications are distributed free of charge from here.

Report on the Embedded Systems Conference

As reported in ITRON Newsletter No.21, the ITRON Technical Committee took part in the Embedded Systems Conference West, held at the San Jose Convention Center (San Jose, California) from September 16 through 19. The Committee sponsored a paper on ITRON specifications and introduced the project in the accompanying trade show. In addition, Hiroaki Takada of the University of Tokyo presented a seminar lecture on "Realization Techniques of Compact and Low-Overhead Real-Time Kernels for Single-Chip MCUs," which included an introduction to the µITRON specifications. Originally a presentation on the µITRON specifications was planned for a free technical session, but there were no such sessions at the 1996 conference.

The TRON Association booth in the trade show included panels introducing the ITRON specifications. The specifications themselves and other documents were also on display. An HTML version of the µITRON3.0 specification (English-language edition) was shown on a personal computer screen at the booth. Visitors could also view the ITRON home page, ITRON Newsletter and other Web pages. Again this year there were "We Support ITRON Specifications" placards on display at individual company booths. A total of 15 booths displayed the 20 cm x 20 cm self-standing placard, featuring the ITRON logo and designed to boost the visibility of the ITRON specifications.

The ITRON Technical Committee plans to participate at the next Embedded Systems Conference West, scheduled for September 29 through October 3, again at the San Jose Convention Center. In April the Embedded Systems Conference East will be held on the East Coast.

Further details are given in an article by Hiroaki Takada in the TRON Project Journal No.46.

New Products

Here we introduce the latest ITRON-specification product registered since our last issue.

RX78K/IV real-time OS for the 78K/IV Series
NEC Corporation

Product overview

The RX78K/IV is a real-time OS implementing Ver 2.01 of the µITRON specification, for NEC's 78K/IV Series 16-bit single-chip microcontroller.


The main features of the RX78K/IV OS are listed below.


The following functions are supported in the RX78K/IV OS.

Recent Works on ITRON

The September 1996 issue of the Journal of the Information Processing Society of Japan carries an analysis by Atsushi Kawai and Yoshitaka Nishiyama of Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., entitled, "Programming Environments for Embedded Systems." The authors introduce trends in systems supporting development of software for embedded RISC processor systems. In the section on real-time embedded system OSs, they introduce the ITRON specifications.

The September 1996 issue of VLSI Report has an article on "Real-time OSs and Related Tools" introducing recent trends in this field. A considerable portion of the article is devoted to ITRON.

Both of the above articles are in Japanese.

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.42 and TRON PROJECT JOURNAL No.46.

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