ITRON Newsletter No. 37 (HTML Edition)

ITRON Technical Committee, TRON Association
Katsuta Building 5F, 3-39, Mita 1-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073, JAPAN
TEL: (03) 3454-3191    FAX: (03) 3454-3224

Table of Contents

About the ITRON Newsletter
ITRON Technical Committee planning to open U.S. Chapter
JCG Project gets under way
ITRON Open Seminar announced
ESS '99 System LSI Solution Fair
Additional CPU code assignments
ITRON-related Publications
Development Tools
SoftLogic ISaGRAF by Komatsu Ltd.
Recent Works on ITRON

About the ITRON Newsletter

The ITRON Technical Committee of the TRON Association issues the ITRON Newsletter bimonthly, providing information relating to the ITRON project and updates on Technical Committee work. Additions and corrections to the ITRON specifications, as well as corrections to other Technical Committee publications, are also notified through this newsletter. Other features include introductions to products developed in connection with ITRON specifications, and to publications and articles, along with announcements of events such as trade fairs and seminars.

The ITRON Newsletter appears in print form in TRONWARE (Japanese only) and in the TRON Project Journal (Japanese and English), as well as being published on the ITRON Web site. Anyone desiring to contribute an article to the newsletter is invited to contact the ITRON Technical Committee. Questions, comments or requests regarding the ITRON specifications or ITRON project should also be directed to the Technical Committee.

ITRON Technical Committee planning to open U.S. Chapter

In fiscal 1999 the ITRON Technical Committee plans to start up a chapter in the United States. The mid-range objective is to gain wider support for the ITRON project in the United States. A longer-range goal is to internationalize the effort to have the ITRON specifications accepted as a worldwide standard.

During the first fiscal year, from two to four meetings are to be held, as methods for promoting the ITRON specifications in the United States are considered. For the time being the membership requirements and dues will be the same as those currently in effect for the ITRON Technical Committee in Japan, rather than having special conditions for U.S. members. The chapter will be headed initially by James Farrell of the TRON Association U.S.A. Liaison Office.

The ITRON Technical Committee hopes to use this occasion of the U.S. chapter establishment as an opportunity to increase efforts that will bring overseas companies into the ITRON project. Those interested in joining us in the work of the U.S. chapter are urged to contact the ITRON Technical Committee.

JCG Project gets under way

The TRON Association has begun a project to develop middleware running on a µITRON-specification real-time kernel, with the aim of providing a distributed software platform for consumer electronics products and other embedded systems. The development project, known as the JCG Project, is being carried out by the ITRON Technical Committee.

One of the JCG Project objectives is to implement middleware that will enable consumer appliances running on a µITRON-specification real-time kernel to connect to networks, making them easier to operate and achieving interconnectivity among embedded systems. Another aim is to gain even wider acceptance for the µITRON specifications, laying the groundwork for more efficient software development and making available a fuller range of high-quality software components. The three main developments to be carried out are (1) a JTRON platform, (2) embedded CORBA, and (3) GUI middleware.

The JTRON platform in this development is a reference implementation of the JTRON2.0 specification released last October 1998. The JTRON2.0 specification defines three mechanisms for communication between programs running on a Java runtime environment and tasks on a µITRON-specification kernel, called Type 1, 2 and 3. The JCG Project is implementing all three methods. The implementation will make use of an existing Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for executing Java bytecode.

CORBA (The Common Object Request Broker: Architecture and Specification) already exists as a standard platform for object-oriented distributed processing, but its implementation cost and real-time performance make it less than suitable for use in small-scale embedded systems such as consumer electronics. The JCG Project is developing a software platform based on CORBA that addresses these issues.

The GUI middleware aspect of the project is developing software that can be used to build a compact and highly scalable GUI (Graphical User Interface) for implementation on a µITRON-specification OS. Not only will it be possible to select only the necessary modules in a given GUI, but the functions of each module can be optimized to specific applications.

This project is being carried out as one of the development themes in the next-generation digital applications infrastructure project sponsored by the Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan (IPA). The development is scheduled for completion by the end of fiscal 1999 (end of March 2000). After that the JCG Project results will be made available as free software. It is further planned to set up an authority for handling requests to modify the software for OEM use or to port the software to other hardware platforms.

ITRON Open Seminar announced

This year's ITRON Open Seminar will be held on Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1, at the Nihon Kyoiku Kaikan Hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward (2-6-2 Hitotsubashi). The expanded two-day schedule marks the tenth time we are holding such a seminar, going back to the ITRON Product Seminar as it was called originally.

The detailed schedule will be announced later, but the first day (June 30) will introduce the latest trends in the ITRON project, while the second day (July 1) will feature tutorials on the newest µITRON4.0 specification as well as detailed explanations of other ITRON specifications. (Last year tutorials were presented at a separate ITRON Specifications Seminar.) A reception party is planned at the conclusion of the opening day seminars. Please see the ITRON Newsletter No.38 for the detailed program and information on making application. We look forward to a large turnout again this year.

ESS '99 System LSI Solution Fair

The Embedded System Solutions '99 Conference & Exhibition (System LSI Solution Fair) is being held by the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association (JEIDA) from May 12 to 14 (Wednesday to Friday) at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight). An update on the ITRON project is to be presented at the conference. Details are given on the ITRON Web site.

Additional CPU code assignments

The following additions have been made to the CPU codes returned for the get_ver system call in ITRON specifications. The remaining codes are given in the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook Revised Edition, section 4.2 (also in the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook section 7.1 and in the ITRON Newsletter No.26).

B'10001000(H'88)Motorola MPC800 Family (PowerPC 8xx)
B'10010000(H'90)ARM ARM7
B'10010001(H'91)ARM ARM7TDMI
B'10010010(H'92)ARM ARM9TDMI
B'10011000(H'98)ARM StrongARM-1
B'0001010000000000(H'1400) Motorola ColdFire 2/2M (52xx)
B'0001010000000001(H'1401) Motorola ColdFire Version 3 (53xx)
B'0001010000000010(H'1402) Motorola ColdFire Version 4 (54xx)
B'0001010000010000(H'1410) Motorola M-CORE M200 family
B'0001010000010001(H'1411) Motorola M-CORE M300 family
B'0001010100000000(H'1500) National Semiconductor CR16

Anyone developing an ITRON-specification OS that requires reference to a CPU code that has not been assigned should contact the ITRON Technical Committee.

ITRON-related Publications

Listed below are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Technical Committee as of February 1, 1999. Please contact the sources indicated to obtain copies.

The revised edition of the ITRON3.0 Standard Handbook incorporates Ver. 3.02.02 of the specification. Changes made since the earlier edition of the Standard Handbook (Ver. 3.00.00) as of Ver. 3.02.00 are given in the ITRON Standard Guidebook 2. Subsequent revisions as of Ver. 3.02.02 involve only organizational changes and additional explanations, not affecting the technical contents.

The ITRON-µITRON Standard Handbook is a one-volume compilation of µITRON (Ver. 2.0) and ITRON2 specifications. Printed editions are no longer available from Personal Media Corporation, but the entire contents are available in PDF format at the company's web site.

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.) (out of print) 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 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
ITRON TCP/IP API Specificaiton (Ver. 1.00.01) Specification (Jap.) - TRON Association 1998 -
JTRON2.0 Specification (Ver. 2.00.00) Specification (Jap.) - TRON Association 1998 -
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 -
µITRON3.0: An Open and Portable Real-Time Operating System for Embedded Systems Specification (Eng.) $40.00 U.S. IEEE CS Press 1998 ISBN0-8186-7795-3
* Prices do not include applicable taxes.
* The documents are available to TRON Association members at a special discount rate.
* Specifications issued by the TRON Association are available from the ITRON Web site.

Development Tools

Here we introduce ITRON-related development tools and middleware made available recently.

SoftLogic ISaGRAF
Komatsu Ltd.

ISaGRAF is a development and runtime tool for applications used in embedded control systems. By providing a more open and efficient development environment, it contributes to lower engineering costs.

A broad range of supported platforms

The standard package supports DOS, Windows NT, OS-9 and VxWorks. An optional development kit enables porting to other platforms. In addition to PLC functions, HMI functions can also be realized. The package has already been ported to µITRON as well as WindowsCE, InTime, RTX, QNX, OS/2, and Windows 95-RT.

An open specification

Standard IEC61131-3 programming language and flow charts are used to write applications. Function blocks are written in IEC and C languages and entered in libraries for later use.

A highly efficient application development system

Development and simulation execution take place on a Windows PC. While an application is running, online modifications, variable monitoring and change, and I/O simulation are also possible. The debugger uses graphs and icons to monitor variables, while providing a wide range of other functions such as cross-referencing and program verification.

Supports multiple languages

Systems can be developed in English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and (soon) Italian.

For more information

See for more information on ISaGRAF (in Japanese).

Recent Works on ITRON

The January 1999 issue of "Systems/Control/Information," a publication of the Institute of Systems, Control and Information Engineers of Japan (ISCIE), carries an article by Hiroaki Takada (ITRON Technical Committee/Toyohashi University of Technology) and Kiichiro Tamaru (ITRON Technical Committee chairman/Toshiba Corp.) on the topic, "Open real-time technology and the ITRON Project." The contribution is one in a featured collection of articles on FA openness. Dealing with real-time technologies required for open development of embedded systems, the article explains the basics of hard real-time scheduling theory, and introduces the application design guidelines being formulated in the ITRON project.

The March 1999 issue of the Magazine of the Information Processing Society of Japan highlights 15 years of the TRON Project with a special feature. The ITRON project is represented in an article, "The ITRON Project: On to Phase 2" written by Hiroaki Takada and Kiichiro Tamaru. The authors present an overview of the project's accomplishments to date, then go on to introduce the aims of the second phase of standardization work now under way and reveal what has been achieved so far in this effort.

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.56.

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