ITRON Newsletter No. 45 (HTML Edition)

TRON Association, ITRON Committee
Katsuta Building 5th Floor, Mita 1-3-39, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
TEL: (03) 3454-3191 FAX: (03) 3454-3224

Table of Contents

Joint Standardization with OSEK/VDX Project
JCG Project Completed; Resulting Software Made Available
Survey Results on Real-time OS Use Trends
ITRON International Meeting 2000 and PR at ESC
ITRON Committee welcomes new member
Elmic Systems Inc.
ITRON-related Publications
Presentations at ESS2000 Conference
Development Tools
WindowsCE and µITRON Dual Environment (Accel-µ)

Joint Standardization with OSEK/VDX Project

At OSEK/VDX Project workshops (see ITRON Newsletter No. 43) and elsewhere, the ITRON Committee has proposed that standardization of debugging interfaces be carried out jointly with the OSEK/VDX Project. Now this proposal has been accepted by the OSEK/VDX Steering Committee. Discussions are currently taking place between the two projects on how to proceed with this work.

ITRON Debugging Interface Provisional Specification Released

The pending release of a provisional ITRON Debugging Interface specification was announced back in ITRON Newsletter No. 41, but has been delayed as some of the finer points of the specification were being worked out. Though still incomplete in some places, the work has finally reached the stage where a provisional specification can be released.

The ITRON Debugging Interface Provisional Specification defines standard interfaces by which debugging tools (debuggers, in-circuit emulators, etc.) can support a real-time kernel implementing the µITRON4.0 specification. It is the result of approximately 18 months of work by the Debugging Interface Specification WG of the µITRON4.0 Specification Study Group. Rather than requiring the addition of debugging functions to the real-time kernel, the specification defines standards for the interface between the kernel and an RTOS module. This is a module providing debugging functions, which is plugged into the RTOS debugging environment.

Remaining work includes translating the specification into English, using it as the base for joint standardization with the OSEK/VDX Project as noted above, implementing the specification for evaluation purposes, and feeding back the results of this, as well as comments on the provisional release, into a final version of the specification.

JCG Project Completed; Resulting Software Made Available

The TRON Association has completed the JCG Project, which was 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 aim of the project was to provide a distributed software platform for consumer electronics products. The development was completed on schedule at the end of fiscal 1999, with the resulting software being made available to the public free of charge.

The free software was initially made available on CD-ROM and passed out at the recent ITRON Open Seminar, but will soon be offered for download from the ITRON Project Web site as well. In addition, the TRON Association will establish a contact point for requests to modify the software for OEM use or to port it to other platforms.

Survey Results on Real-time OS Use Trends

The annual survey by the TRON Association on real-time OS use trends, focussing in part on the ITRON-specification OS, was carried out starting in November 1999 and concluding early this year. The survey results have now been made available.

Each year since 1996, questionnaires have been distributed mainly to embedded systems developers, who are asked about their involvement in embedded systems development, issues relating to real-time OS use in such systems, and criteria used in selecting a real-time OS, as well as their use of and opinions on the ITRON-specification OS. This time questionnaires, which were mailed and passed out at trade fairs, were received from 896 persons. Our sincere thanks to all those who cooperated by taking the time to respond to the survey.

The section related to real-time OS market share was revised somewhat from previous years, with separate questions on the OSs used in recently developed embedded systems and on the OS API used in those systems. The results for embedded OS API indicate that the ITRON specifications were used in 36.5% of the systems, confirming the place of ITRON in Japan as an industry standard specification. The four surveys to date indicate that the use of an ITRON-specification OS continues to rise each year, even as the percentage of systems using no OS or an in-house OS declines.

Another interesting trend emerging from the survey is the growing scale of embedded systems. Detailed results of the survey are to be made available on the ITRON Web site.

ITRON International Meeting 2000 and PR at ESC

The ITRON Committee will again be promoting the ITRON Project at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) to be held this fall in San Jose, California, and is further planning an ITRON International Meeting at the time of the conference. The purpose of the ITRON International Meeting is to present updates on the ITRON Project and specifications for interested parties in the United States and other countries.

Specifics of the venue and program are still under study as of this writing (check the ITRON Project Web site for up-to-date details), but current plans are to host the meeting on Wednesday, September 27 in a hotel near the San Jose Convention Center where ESC is to be held. Those planning to attend ESC are urged to take part in the ITRON International Meeting as well.

ITRON Committee welcomes new member

The ITRON Committee was joined in June of this year by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. as a full member, and by Elmic Systems Inc. as an observer member. See the ITRON Web site for a complete, up-to-date list of ITRON Committee members.

Elmic Systems Inc.

Elmic Systems supplies a wide range of products as an embedded systems solutions provider, from real-time operating systems to middleware and embedded applications. The company's system-building services extend to hardware and driver development as well. In the middleware field, it boasts major accomplishments in the area of TCP/IP and ISDN protocols; recent development projects include embedded middleware for such leading-edge applications as Bluetooth and VoIP. Another area of proficiency is in system accelerators, notably its Accel-µ system combining Windows and µITRON to bring real-time performance to a Windows environment, and its Kasago TCP/IP high-speed TCP/IP protocol stack. Elmic's embedded system-building is backed up by such technology.

ITRON-related Publications

Listed below are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Committee as of April 1, 2000. Please contact the sources indicated to obtain copies.

The revised edition of the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook contains the latest version of the µITRON3.0 specification (Ver. 3.02.02). The changes made between the old version of the µITRON3.0 Standard Handbook (Ver. 3.00.00) and Ver. 3.02.00 are detailed in the ITRON Standard Guidebook 2. The changes from Ver. to 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 the µITRON Ver. 2.0 and ITRON2 specifications. Printed editions are no longer available, but the entire contents are available from the publisher's Web site.

The ITRON Standard Guidebook 2 is written with µITRON3.0 in mind. 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.) 4,000 yen Personal Media Corp. 1997 ISBN4-89362-154-8
µITRON4.0 Specification Specification (Jap.) 5,000 yen (incl. tax) TRON Association 1999 -
ITRON Standard Guidebook '92 - '93 Reference work (Jap.) 3,500 yen Personal Media Corp. 1992 ISBN4-89362-197-6
ITRON Standard Guidebook 2 Reference work (Jap.) 3,500 yen Personal Media Corp. 1994 ISBN4-89362-133-5
ITRON TCP/IP API Specification (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.) 12,000 yen TRON Association 1989 -
ITRON2 Specification Ver Specification (Eng.) 15,000 yen 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 IEEE CS Press 1997 ISBN0-8186-7795-3
JTRON2.0 Specification (Ver. 2.00.00) Specification (Eng.) - TRON Association 1999 -
*Prices do not include applicable taxes unless otherwise indicated.
*The documents are available to TRON Association members at a special discount rate.
*English-language specifications issued by the TRON Association are available from the ITRON Web site.

Presentations at ESS2000 Conference

A presentation updating recent developments in the ITRON Project and giving an overview of the TRON GUI specification was made at the Conference part of ESS2000 this past June. The presenters were ITRON Committee Assistant Secretary Kenji Kudoh of Fujitsu Device Limited, and Akira Matsui of Personal Media Corporation. TRON Project Leader Ken Sakamura was another featured speaker at the Conference, talking on advances in information technology and hopes for the future. The exhibition part of ESS2000 included a TRON Association booth, with exhibits centering around the ITRON specifications.

ESS2000 (Embedded System Solution: System LSI Solution Fair) took place at Tokyo Big Sight from June 7 to 9 (Wed.-Fri.), sponsored by the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association.

Development Tools

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

WindowsCE and µITRON Dual Environment (Accel-µ)
Elmic Systems Inc.

Elmic Systems has enabled the coexistence of Windows(R)CE(*1) and µITRON(*2) operating systems in the same environment with its recently developed Accel-µ(*3). Using Accel-µ, an existing system built on a µITRON-specification OS can readily be made to coexist on a Windows(R)CE-based system. Systems are built on the µITRON3.0-specification OS shipped with Accel-µ. A communication driver is then used to pass data between this system and one running on Windows(R)CE. It currently runs on Hitachi, Ltd.'s SH3 processor, with plans to support the SH4 and also Intel's x86 CPU series.


For more information:

Elmic Systems Inc.
TEL 045-664-5171

*1: Windows(R)CE is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp.
*2: µITRON is an abbreviation for Micro Industrial TRON.
*3: Accel-µ technology-related patents are pending.
Other product names appearing above are registered trademarks of their respective companies.

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.64.

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