ITRON Newsletter No. 38 (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

ITRON Open Seminar program announced
Results of survey on real-time OS use trends show strong ITRON support
Release schedule for the µITRON4.0 specification
Exhibit at ESEC Trade Show
ITRON-related Publications
ITRON Presentations at the TRON Project Symposium
Papers and Other Resources

ITRON Open Seminar program announced

The ITRON Open Seminar, on the theme of "The µITRON4.0 Specification and Outlook for the Next Fifteen Years," will be held for a two-day period, on Wednesday June 30 and Thursday July 1, at the Nihon Kyoiku Kaikan in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. This seminar is held once a year to present a progress report on the ITRON project, and to introduce the latest on ITRON-related implementations, applications and development tools. This will be the tenth in the series of seminars going back to the ITRON Product Seminar. This year also is the 15th year since the TRON Project (and therefore the ITRON project) got under way. To mark these milestones, the seminar is being expanded to cover two days rather than the usual one-day event.

The first day of the seminar, Wednesday June 30, will present the latest achievements of the ITRON project as in past years, then will introduce the µITRON4.0 specification and the work of the study group that is developing this specification. The second day, Thursday July 1, will focus entirely on the µITRON4.0 specification, presenting a detailed analysis broken up into several parts. Note that the two days are treated as separate seminars, with different capacity and admission fees and requiring separate application.

The morning session on the first day will begin with an overview of recent events in the project. Next is a general introduction to the µITRON4.0 specification, and to the work of the µITRON4.0 specification study group. The afternoon will begin with a panel discussion, reviewing the first 15 years of the project and looking ahead to the next 15 years. This will be followed by a session on recent ITRON-specification OS products, applications and development projects, introducing development support tools and presenting examples of system development around the ITRON-specification OS. The afternoon session will close with the customary talk by TRON Project leader Ken Sakamura. A reception will follow.

Opening Day Program

Date: Wednesday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. (reception planned after conclusion of regular program)
Place: Nihon Kyoiku Kaikan (2-6-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo)
Capacity: 250 persons
Admission (including tax):
TRON Association members: 5,000 yen
Non-members: 8,000 yen
Students: 5,000 yen
* The reception is free of charge, but requires advance registration.
Program (subject to change):
10:00 to 10:30 a.m. The Latest from the ITRON Project
Kiichiro Tamaru (ITRON Technical Committee Chairman/Toshiba Corp.)
10:30 to 12:00 noon An Overview of the µITRON4.0 Specification, and Progress of the µITRON4.0 Specification Study Group
Hiroaki Takada (ITRON Technical Committee/Toyohashi University of Technology)
1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Panel discussion: Outlook for the next 15 years
(Panel members being arranged)
2:45 to 5:15 p.m. ITRON-related products, applications and development case studies
Three ITRON-related products (eCos, PrNET, CodeWarrior) and two application and development case studies (automotive control, portable information terminal) are to be presented.
5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Special Lecture
Ken Sakamura (University of Tokyo)

The detailed exposition of the µITRON4.0 on the second day is divided into four sessions, lasting from 9:00 in the morning to 4:00 p.m. Each session will consist of approximately one hour of lecture time and 15 minutes for questions, with a general question period on the entire µITRON4.0 specification to follow the fourth session, from 4:00 p.m. Besides giving a thorough explanation of the new functions in this specification, a brief discussion of functions that are unchanged from previous versions will also be presented. The ITRON Technical Committee members involved in the µITRON4.0 specification studies will be giving the presentations, and will explain the reasons behind many of the changes. Note that the contents of the opening-day overview of the µITRON4.0 specification will not be repeated on the second day.

Second Day Program

Date: Thursday, July 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Place: Nihon Kyoiku Kaikan (2-6-2 Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo)
Capacity: 120 persons
Admission (including tax):
TRON Association members: 9,000 yen
Non-members: 13,000 yen
Students: 9,000 yen
Program (subject to change): A Detailed Exposition of the µITRON4.0 Specification
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Part 1
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Part 2
1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Part 3
2:45 to 4:00 p.m. Part 4
4:00 to 4:30 p.m. General Q&A

For the final program and information on applying for the two seminars, see the ITRON Web site or contact the TRON Association at TEL: (03)3454-3191, FAX: (03)3454-3224. We look forward to another large turnout on both days.

Results of survey on real-time OS use trends show strong ITRON support

The TRON Association has compiled the results of its survey on real-time OS use trends and the ITRON-specification OS, conducted from last November through early this year. These results are being sent to all those who participated in the survey and will be made available from here.

Similar surveys have been carried out since the year before last, attempting to gauge the extent of real-time OS use in embedded systems, and to determine trends relating to the ITRON-specification OS. Questionnaires are directed mainly at software engineers working in the embedded systems field. Responses this time around were received from 678 persons, up 50 percent from the previous year. We sincerely appreciate this fine cooperation on the part of all those who participated.

The questionnaire asked the respondents about three recent major projects in which they have been involved. They were asked to indicate the application field, the system scale, and the OS used in each case. Of the systems appearing in the survey, approximately 31 percent incorporated an ITRON-specification OS, including 19 percent using commercial OSs and 12 percent using an in-house ITRON-specification OS. Another 26 percent of the systems used a commercial OS other than ITRON, 17 percent used an in-house OS based on original specifications, and the remaining 28 percent used no OS. Comparing these results with previous surveys, the percentage of systems incorporating an ITRON-specification OS continues to rise, but at a slower pace than before. Further surveys will be needed before a definite trend can be perceived here.

Other questions asked in the survey sought to determine the problems with a real-time OS, the selection criteria, the main advantages and shortcomings of using an ITRON-specification OS, awareness of ITRON-specification OS activities, and wishes for the project. These results will prove useful in shaping the future directions of the ITRON project. A further area included in this survey is the extent of GUI use in embedded systems. Please visit the ITRON Web site for a detailed summary of the survey results.

Release schedule for the µITRON4.0 specification

Work on the µITRON4.0 specification began officially when the ITRON Technical Committee formed a kernel specification working group in April, 1998 to research the next-generation µITRON real-time kernel specification. As of this writing, the contents have mostly been decided and only need to be formalized as a specification.

A draft of the specification is to be released in early May and opened for public comments for a period of around one month. The kernel specification WG will consider the comments in the first part of June, and hope to have a final version of the specification available for release at the ITRON Open Seminar planned for June 30 and July 1.

The draft of the µITRON4.0 specification will be made available on the ITRON Web site. Interested parties are invited to read the specification and make comments. The place to send comments will also be announced on the Web site. The final version will likely be available from the ITRON Web site as well.

Exhibit at ESEC Trade Show

At the 2nd Embedded Systems Expo & Conference in TOKYO '99 (ESEC '99) scheduled for July 7 to 9 (Wednesday to Friday) at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight), the ITRON Technical Committee will present an exhibit promoting the ITRON specifications. ESEC, organized by Reed Japan and supported by the TRON Association, consists of both an exposition and conference. This year will be the second time the event is held.

ITRON-related Publications

Listed below are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Technical Committee as of April 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.

ITRON Presentations at the TRON Project Symposium

TEPIA Hall in Tokyo's Minato Ward was the site of the 15th TRON Project Symposium, on Thursday March 11. Marking the 15th year of the TRON Project, the symposium consisted of presentations on each of the TRON subprojects, two of which relate to ITRON. Hiroaki Takada (Toyohashi University of Technology), secretary of the ITRON Technical Committee, gave a presentation updating progress in the ITRON subproject and centering around the ITRON4.0 specification. The JTRON specification was introduced in a presentation by Shinobu Nemoto of Aplix Corporation, "An Implementation of JTRON Specification."

An exhibit of TRON Project technology, TRONSHOW '99, was held in parallel with the symposium, from March 10 to 12 (Wednesday to Friday). Exhibits related to the ITRON subproject were given by Aplix Corporation, Metrowerks K.K., and Yokogawa Digital Computer Corporation, among others.

Papers and Other Resources

As many of you already know, the ITRON Web site is a good place to look for materials on the ITRON project. They are found in the "Document Archive" section, which includes the following and other resources, most of them in PDF format.

In addition to materials like the above, the ITRON specifications issued by the TRON Association are available there, as well as ITRON Newsletter back numbers, reports on past standardization activities, the results of surveys on real-time OS use trends and many other resources relevant to the ITRON project.

The ITRON Technical Committee plans to continue making use of the ITRON Web site as a source of information on the project. They would be pleased to hear your ideas, and welcome your questions and suggestions about the Web site.

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.57.

- Back to the list of ITRON Newsletter (English Version)
- Back to ITRON Home Page (in English)