ITRON Newsletter No. 49 (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

About the ITRON Newsletter
µITRON4.0 Validation Specification (Draft) released
Incorporation of memory protection in the µITRON specification
Three new ITRON Committee members welcomed
ITRON-specification Product Registration Update
ITRON-related Publications
Lectures at Conferences and Seminars
New Products

About the ITRON Newsletter

The TRON Association's ITRON Committee issues this newsletter bimonthly to provide the latest information on the ITRON specifications and to give updates on committee activities. The newsletter is used to inform the public of additions and changes to ITRON specifications, and of corrections in publications issued by the ITRON Committee. It also introduces products, books and other writings related to the ITRON specifications, and announces events such as seminars and trade fairs.

The ITRON Newsletter appears in print form in TRONWARE magazine (Japanese only), and can also be read on the ITRON Web site (English and Japanese). Those wishing to contribute articles to the newsletter are invited to contact the ITRON Committee. The committee also welcomes your questions and comments about the ITRON Project.


The ITRON Committee as of this writing was making plans to appear at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), held in San Francisco from Monday, April 9 to Friday, April 13. As in past years, the main purpose is to promote the ITRON specifications.

This year we are pleased to share a section of the Accelerated Technology booth, as well as making use of the presentation spaces in both the Accelerated Technology and US Software booths to give live introductions of the ITRON specifications. Also planned for the week of the conference is a meeting of the committee preparing to set up a North American chapter of the ITRON Committee.

µITRON4.0 Validation Specification (Draft) released

As reported in ITRON Newsletter No. 42, the ITRON Committee has been preparing to institute a validation system for the µITRON4.0 specification by drawing up a µITRON4.0 validation specification. This work has now been reached the point of releasing the µITRON4.0 Validation Specification (Draft).

Validation testing will be carried out to certify whether a real-time kernel implemented on the ITRON specification meets the specified requirements. This is considered necessary for assuring portability of software designed to run on an ITRON-specification kernel. Such portability is becoming increasingly important as the ITRON specifications gain international standing. The draft specification released at this time defines the items to be tested for confirming whether an implementation conforms to the specification, and the test procedures to be followed. It is applicable to the µITRON4.0 standard profile and automotive control profile. Note that the validation specification only specifies the minimum test items for determining conformity to the specification; it is not intended to guarantee kernel quality.

The ITRON Committee is currently studying how best to implement the µITRON4.0 specification validation system. The approach likely to be adopted is that of self-declaration, whereby vendors report that they have conducted the specified testing. As soon as a decision has been made on the method, the validation system will be put into effect.

Incorporation of memory protection in the µITRON specification

The ITRON Committee has decided to study ways of incorporating memory protection in the µITRON specification, and has begun laying the groundwork for the studies by surveying the present situation and needs.

In the small-scale systems to which most commercial implementations of the µITRON specifications have been made to date, there is little need for a kernel memory protection mechanism since the software code size is small and the software is unlikely to be changed after the product ships. Memory protection has up to now been seen as adding needless overhead, and so there was no provision made for it in the µITRON4.0 specifications.

More recently, however, as embedded software has grown in scale and complexity, and products have emerged that download and run software on a network, the need has increased for a memory protection scheme even in the application fields of the µITRON4.0 specification, in order to assure reliable and stable system operation. At the same time, incorporation of memory protection cannot be allowed to increase overhead, which means that a different approach must be taken than that used in achieving memory protection in a general-purpose OS.

Against this background, the ITRON Committee considers the introduction of a memory protection mechanism in the µITRON4.0 specification to be a matter for urgent attention. As a preliminary stop on the way to standardization, the committee has begun surveys to determine the kind of protection mechanism required and the current status of MMU implementation for various processors. The approach to be taken in developing a standard is still under study, but it is likely that a study group will be formed of ITRON Committee members, due to the need for achieving quick results.

Three new ITRON Committee members welcomed

As of January 2001, the ITRON Committee is joined by three new observer members: RICOH Co., Ltd., Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd., and CATS CO. LTD. The up-to-date membership list is given on the ITRON Web site.

ITRON-specification Product Registration Update

The following product was registered with the ITRON-specification product registration system in the period since our last Newsletter up to February 1, 2001. See the ITRON Web site for the complete, up-to-date list of registered products.

Products Newly Registered in the ITRON-specification Product Registration System (from December 1, 2000 to February 1, 2001)
Specification Product Processor Company
µITRON3.0 TR19 TX19 Family Toshiba Corp.
*Registration of a product with the ITRON Committee implies no guarantee of conformance to the ITRON specifications or of product quality.
*Some registered products are not supported outside Japan.
*The product names are valid only in Japan.

ITRON-related Publications

Listed below are the publications prepared and issued by the ITRON Committee as of February 1, 2001. 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 -
JTRON2.1 Specification (Ver. 2.01.00) Specification (Jap.) - TRON Association 1998 -
ITRON Debugging Interface Specification (Ver. 1.A0.00 provisional specification) Specification (Jap.) - TRON Association 2000 -
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.

Lectures at Conferences and Seminars


ITRON Committee chair Kiichiro Tamaru (Toshiba Corporation) gave a presentation on recent developments related to the ITRON specifications at the Embedded Future Session of MPC2001 (Marubun Partner's Conference 2001), on Friday, February 16 in Tokyo. Around 100 participants attended the talk, which took place from 3:30 to 4:10 p.m. The TRON specifications were promoted at the exhibition part of the conference as well.

New Products

Products recently registered with the ITRON-specification product registration system are introduced here.


Toshiba Corporation


TR19 is a real-time OS implementing the µITRON3.0 specification for the Toshiba TX System RISC microcontroller TX19 Family.

The TX19 is a RISC processor developed by Toshiba on the MIPS R3000A architecture, to which Toshiba added the MIPS16 ASE (Application Specific Extension).


For more information

Further details about this product are available at the following Web page:

! This newsletter is a special edition for WWW of the one appeared in TRONWARE vol.68.

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