ITRON Newsletter No.28 (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

ITRON Supporters Meeting Planned for San Jose

The ITRON Technical Committee has announced plans to hold an ITRON Supporters Meeting on Wednesday, October 1, in San Jose, California. This event coincides with the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) scheduled for September 29 through October 2 in San Jose. The meeting, to be held in a hotel near the ESC site, is aimed primarily at people in the United States with an interest in ITRON. Besides filling them in on the latest development and application news, an opportunity will be given for vendors to make presentations on their ITRON-specification products or other related products. This will be the first such meeting to be held in the United States, but we hope it will be the start of a stepped-up campaign to promote the ITRON specifications there. For the latest information on the ITRON Supporters Meeting, please see here.

Also in conjunction with ESC, on Monday, September 29, Kiichiro Tamaru will give a presentation on behalf of the Japan System House Association (JASA), to which he serves as a technical advisor (Mr. Tamaru, of Toshiba Corporation, is also Chairman of the ITRON Technical Committee). He plans to talk about the embedded systems market in Japan, in the course of which he will introduce the status of ITRON-specification OS development and use.

Exhibit and Technical Seminar at MST'97

An exhibit related to the ITRON specifications will be held by the ITRON Technical Committee from November 12 through 14 (Wed.-Fri.) at the Microcomputer System & Tool Fair (MST'97), at Tokyo Big Site (the Tokyo International Convention Center in Ariake). The Technical Committee is also planning to hold one of the technical seminars that will take place alongside the trade fair. The Microcomputer System & Tool Fair is a specialized technical trade fair centering around embedded system technology and development support packages, and is put on each year by the Japan System House Association (JASA).

The Technical Seminar being held in conjunction with the trade fair is a new event this year for the purpose of introducing technical contents apart from the product introductions. The special seminar on real-time systems being planned by the ITRON Technical Committee is scheduled for Friday, November 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. It will cover three themes, "Real-time system development techniques," "Debugging systems that use an RTOS," and "Introduction to hard real-time scheduling theory." Each theme will be taken up in sessions lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Participation in the seminar is free of charge. (Documents will be on sale.) We are hoping for a good turnout.

Other ITRON-related events are planned for MST'97 as well. One of the technical seminars will be an introduction to the work of the Embedded TCP/IP Technical Committee, on Thursday, November 13. It will include an overview of the TCP/IP API specification for embedded systems, now under study in the committee. An RTOS panel discussion will also be held again this year, on Wednesday, November 12.

ITRON-specification Product Registration Update

The product listed in the table was newly registered as an ITRON-specification product since the last issue of this Newsletter and before August 1, 1997. Since this product implements the µITRON3.0 specification, a comparison with the µITRON3.0 compatibility checksheets can be viewed at the ITRON Web site. Two products, MR3210 and MR3200F, have been deregistered. The most up-to-date list of registered products is available from here.

Newly Registered Products (Jun. 1, 1997 - Aug. 1, 1997)
Specification Product Name Processor Company
µITRON3.0 MR32R M32R/D Mitsubishi Electric Semiconductor Software Corp.
* Some registered products are not supported outside Japan.
* The product name is valid only in Japan.

ITRON-related Publications

Listed in the table are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Technical Committee as of August 1, 1997. aThey are available from the publishers indicated.

The revised edition of the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook includes the latest version of the µITRON3.0 specification (Ver.3.02.02). Changes made between the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook Ver.3.00.00 and Ver.3.02.00 are listed in the ITRON Standard Guidebook 2. The changes from Ver.3.02.00 to Ver.3.02.02 are limited to organizational changes and additional explanations; they do not affect the technical specifications themselves.

The ITRON-µITRON Standard Handbook is a one-volume compilation of µITRON2.0 and ITRON2 specifications. 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 Corp. 1990 ISBN4-89362-079-7
µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook, Revised Edition Specification (Jap.) 4,000Yen Personal Media Corp. 1997 ISBN4-89362-154-8
ITRON/FILE Standard Handbook Specification (Jap.) 3,000Yen Personal Media Corp. 1992 ISBN4-89362-092-4
ITRON Standard Guidebook '92-'93 Reference work (Jap.) 3,500Yen Personal Media Corp. 1992 ISBN4-89362-197-6
ITRON Standard Guidebook 2 Reference work (Jap.) 3,500Yen Personal Media Corp. 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 can be downloaded free of charge from here.

ITRON Open Seminar a Rousing Success

The 1997 ITRON Open Seminar took place on Wednesday, July 16, at Arcadia Ichigaya in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. These seminars are held each year to give updates on project accomplishments, including the ITRON specifications, ITRON-specification OS implementations and application systems, development tools and other trends. This was the seventh time the seminar has been held. The theme chosen for the seminar was, "Expanding Applications and the Challenge of New Standards," referring to the widening range of application fields for µITRON-specification OSs and the resulting need for new standards to support these uses.

Date: Wednesday, July 16, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Arcadia Ichigaya (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Recent ITRON Trends
Kiichiro Tamaru (Toshiba Corp.)
10:30 - 12:00 noon Toward ITRON Hard Real-Time Support
Hiroaki Takada (Univ. of Tokyo)
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Invited Speech: "Introduction to OSEK/VDX Project"
Uwe Kiencke (Univ. of Karlsruhe)
2:00 - 3:10 p.m. Panel Session: "Car electronics applications and standardization"
Chair: Kiichiro Tamaru (Toshiba Corp.)
Uwe Kiencke (Univ. of Karlsruhe)
Shigeru Oho (Hitachi, Ltd.)
Hiroaki Takada (Univ. of Tokyo)
3:15 - 4:45 p.m. ITRON Application Case Studies, etc.
  • "The Value of Open Standards for Embedded Software"
    Thomas Barton (Cygnus Sulutions)
  • "A µITRON-specification OS by a U.S. OS Vendor: MultiTask!"
    Hiroyuki Katoh (AI Corp.)
  • "ITRON Application to Space Vehicles"
    Hiroki Hinohara (NEC Corp.)
  • "Case Study of an FM Radio Text Multiplexing System Using MR30"
    Miho Kinoshita (Mitsubishi Electric Semiconductor Software Corp.)
4:45 - 5:30 p.m. Special Speech: "Toward HFDS Realization"
Ken Sakamura (Univ. of Tokyo)

The morning session featured an introduction to the latest ITRON trends based chiefly on the results of a survey on ITRON-specification OS application, and a report on the work of the ITRON Hard Real-time Support Study Group. After lunch, attention turned to car electronics applications as one of the main areas of emphasis in the ITRON project today. Uwe Kiencke, chairman of the European OSEK/VDX project for standardization of real-time OSs used in automotive control, introduced that project and took part in a panel discussion on car electronics applications and standardization. As in past years, the seminar then focussed on µITRON-specification OS development and application case studies, and closed with a speech by Ken Sakamura.

The seminar was well received by the approximately 160 persons who turned out for it. Since this was more than the hall is meant to hold, some of the participants were forced to sit in folding chairs with no desk, for which we apologize. Details of some of the presentations will be published in TRONWARE No.47.

We were expecting this seminar to end up well in the red because of the cost of inviting guest speakers from overseas and the simultaneous translation fees. Fortunately, we received generous financial support from the companies listed below, which are vendors of tools and other related products who support the ITRON project. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our deep appreciation for their sponsorship.

ITRON Open Seminar Sponsors (listed alphabetically)
Advanced Data Controls Corp.
A.I. Corporation
Alsys KKE
ANDOR System Support Co., Ltd.
Cats Co., Ltd.
ERG CO., Ltd.
Nihon Cygnus Solutions
Personal Media Corp.
Sophia Systems Co., Ltd.

Next year we plan to hold another ITRON Open Seminar around the same time period. Anyone with suggestions to make regarding the kind of seminar and how it is organized is invited to contact the ITRON Technical Committee.

Newly Registered Products

Products recently registered with the TRON Association are introduced here. In this issue we highlight the RX116, RX136, RX320, RX423, and HI8-2600 OSs, which were left over from the previous issue due to lack of space. In the next issue of the Newsletter we will introduce the MR32R.

RX Series Real-time OS for the NEC V Series 16-bit Microprocessor
ERG CO., Ltd.

The RX Series consists of four products, RX116 (for V20, V30, V40, V50, V20HL, V30HL, V40HL, V50HL), RX 136 (for V33A and V53A), RX320 (for V25, V35, V25+ and V35+), and RX423 (for V55PI).

* RX116 Features

* RX136 Differences from RX116

* RX320 Differences from RX116

* RX423 Differences from RX116

Hitachi, Ltd.

* Product Overview

HI8-2600 is a µITRON-specification real-time OS for the H8S Series single-chip microcomputer.

* Product Package

* Features

For more information, contact:

Hitachi, Ltd.
Semiconductor & Integrated Circuits Division
6-2, Ohtemachi 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100
Tel.: +81-3-5201-5022
FAX: +81-3-5200-5561

Other ITRON-related Products

Here we look briefly at ITRON-related development tools and middleware made available recently.

CARDtools; Simulation/Design Tool for Real-Time Software
ANDOR System Support Co., Ltd.

An embedded system must be able to accept and process requests from multiple external events in real time. In other words, it is a "time-bound system" with the obligation to act under specific time constraints. Failure to complete its processing within the required time can have fatal results (confusion or accident). The responsibility to the public can therefore be major.

In designing software for embedded systems, not only the processing itself (algorithms) by also timing deadlines have to be taken into account, creating an extra burden on the software developer beyond that of conventional software.

CARDtools provides powerful support for embedded system software design under these severe conditions. When this product is used for ITRON-specification OS application development, the timing risk can be avoided at an early stage in the design process.

These are some of the main functions.

The long-awaited PC version of CARDtools was released in July. It is an ideal design support tool for developing applications that take advantage of an ITRON-specification OS. The vendor offers monthly seminars for those interested.

For more information, contact:

ANDOR System Support Co., Ltd.
2-15-8 Minami-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141
Tel.: 03-3450-8101
FAX: 03-3450-8109

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.47 and TRON PROJECT JOURNAL No.48.

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