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Memfault Beyond the Launch

Getting Started With Zephyr: Bluetooth Low Energy

Mohammed Billoo January 29, 2024

In this blog post, I show how to enable BLE support in a Zephyr application. First, I show the necessary configuration options in Kconfig. Then, I show how to use the Zephyr functions and macros to create a custom service and characteristic for a contrived application.


Optimizing Real-Time Operating Systems for Efficient Edge Devices

Lance Harvie January 11, 2024

Edge computing has become a crucial technology in today's world, requiring real-time operating systems (RTOS) to provide the necessary capabilities for efficient resource management, optimal performance, and reliable operation of edge devices. Let’s have a look at the key features and benefits of RTOS for edge computing, including the challenges, solutions, best practices, and future trends.

Key Features of RTOS in Edge Environments

RTOS provides several essential features that make it...


Getting Started With Zephyr: Writing Data to EEPROM

Mohammed Billoo December 6, 20235 comments

In this blog post, I show how to implement a Zephyr application to interact with EEPROM. I show how the Zephyr device driver model allows application writers to be free of the underlying implementation details. Unfortunately, the application didn't work as expected, and I'm still troubleshooting the cause.


Getting Started With Zephyr: Saving Data To Files

Mohammed Billoo October 31, 2023

In this blog post, I show how to implement a Zephyr application to mount a microSD card, create a new file on the microSD card, and write data to it. The lessons learned from such an application can be helpful for devices out in the field that need to write data to off-board memory periodically, especially in cases where Internet access may be sporadic.


Getting Started With Zephyr: Devicetree Overlays

Mohammed Billoo September 25, 2023

In this blog post, I show how the Devicetree overlay is a valuable construct in The Zephyr Project RTOS. Overlays allow embedded software engineers to override the default pin configuration specified in Zephyr for a particular board. In this blog post, I use I2C as an example. Specifically, I showed the default I2C pins used for the nRF52840 development kit in the nominal Zephyr Devicetree. Then, I demonstrated how an overlay can be used to override this pin configuration and the final result.


Who needs source code?

Colin Walls August 31, 2023

Many developers feel that the supplying source code is essential for licensed software components. There are other perspectives, including the possibility of it being an actual disadvantage. Even the definition of source code has some vagueness.


Getting Started With Zephyr: Devicetree Bindings

Mohammed Billoo August 16, 2023

This blog post shines some light on how devicetrees are used in The Zephyr Project. Specifically, we understand the mechanisms that enable us to use nodes in the devicetree in the C source files. We use a sample provided in the Zephyr repository itself and work our way through portions of the Zephyr codebase to get insight into the mechanisms that make this possible.


Getting Started With Zephyr: Devicetrees

Mohammed Billoo July 18, 20232 comments

This blog post provides an introduction to the "Devicetree", another unique concept in The Zephyr Project. We learn about the basic syntax of a device tree and how its structure and hierarchy mirror hardware, from the SoC to the final board. We also see how hardware described in a devicetree can be referenced and controlled in the source code of a Zephyr-based application.


Getting Started with (Apache) NuttX RTOS Part 2 - Looking Inside and Creating Your Customized Image

Alan C Assis July 5, 2023

In the previous article (https://www.embeddedrelated.com/showarticle/1524.p...) we saw how to run NuttX RTOS using the SIMulator. Today we will see how NuttX's directory tree is organized and how to use the menuconfig to enable some applications, including some tricks to search and solve dependencies.

NuttX Directories organization:

If you have previously compiled the Linux kernel or the U-Boot bootloader you will see that the NuttX source tree organization is very...


Getting Started With Zephyr: Kconfig

Mohammed Billoo June 22, 2023

In this blog post, we briefly look at Kconfig, one of the core pieces of the Zephyr infrastructure. Kconfig allows embedded software developers to turn specific subsystems on or off within Zephyr efficiently and control their behavior. We also learn how we can practically use Kconfig to control the features of our application using the two most common mechanisms.


Using the Beaglebone PRU to achieve realtime at low cost

Fabien Le Mentec April 25, 20148 comments
Introduction

I work as an engineer in a synchrotron facility. A few weeks ago, I helped the people in charge of the power supply developments to integrate a realtime control algorithm on a prototype platform: a BeagleBone Black (BBB) running Linux. I had already worked with this board in the past, and I found it very interesting given its excellent resources versus price ratio (around 40 euros). This time, I was impressed by its realtime capabilities. I thought it would be a good idea to...


From Baremetal to RTOS: A review of scheduling techniques

Jacob Beningo June 8, 201617 comments

Transitioning from bare-metal embedded software development to a real-time operating system (RTOS) can be a difficult endeavor. Many developers struggle with the question of whether they should use an RTOS or simply use a bare-metal scheduler. One of the goals of this series is to walk developers through the transition and decision making process of abandoning bare-metal thinking and getting up to speed quickly with RTOSes. Before diving into the details of RTOSes, the appropriate first step...


From bare-metal to RTOS: 5 Reasons to use an RTOS

Jacob Beningo October 18, 20167 comments

Developers can come up with amazing and convoluted reasons to not use an RTOS. I have heard excuses ranging from they are too expensive (despite open source solutions) all the way to they aren’t efficient and use too much memory. In some circumstances some excuses are justified but there are many reasons why a developer should look to an RTOS to help with their real-time scheduling needs.

From bare-metal to RTOS Quick Links
  • Part 1: 

Mutex vs. Semaphore - Part 1

Niall Cooling April 12, 20195 comments

It never ceases to amaze me how often I see postings in forums asking the difference between a semaphore and a mutex. Probably what baffles me more is that over 90% of the time the responses given are either incorrect or missing the key differences. The most often quoted response is that of the “The Toilet Example (c) Copyright 2005, Niclas Winquist” . This summarises the differences as:

  • A mutex is really a semaphore with value 1

No, no, and no again....


Round-robin or RTOS for my embedded system

Manuel Herrera June 9, 20198 comments

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I am Manuel Herrera. I am starting to write blogs about the situations that I have faced over the years of my career and discussed with colleagues.

To begin, I would like to open a conversation with a dilemma that is present when starting a project ... must I use or not any operating system?

I hope it helps you to form your own criteria and above all that you enjoy it.

Does my embedded system need an...


Review: Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers

Steve Branam September 20, 20202 comments

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book for evaluation.

Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers: Building real-time embedded systems using FreeRTOS, STM32 MCUs, and SEGGER debug tools by Brian Amos is an outstanding book. It lives up to its name, extremely hands-on and practical, taking you from knowing nothing about RTOS's (Real-Time Operating Systems) up to building real multithreaded embedded system applications running on real hardware.

It uses the ST Micro


Modern Embedded Systems Programming: Beyond the RTOS

Miro Samek April 27, 20167 comments

An RTOS (Real-Time Operating System) is the most universally accepted way of designing and implementing embedded software. It is the most sought after component of any system that outgrows the venerable "superloop". But it is also the design strategy that implies a certain programming paradigm, which leads to particularly brittle designs that often work only by chance. I'm talking about sequential programming based on blocking.

Blocking occurs any time you wait explicitly in-line for...


Embedded Programming Video Course Teaches RTOS

Miro Samek January 20, 2019

If you'd like to understand how a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) really works, here is a free video course for you:

RTOS part-1: In this first lesson on RTOS you will see how to extend the foreground/background architecture from the previous lesson, so that you can have multiple background loops running seemingly simultaneously.:

RTOS part-2: In this second lesson on RTOS you will see how to automate the context switch process. Specifically, in this lesson, you will start building...


Getting Started With Zephyr: West Manifest Customization

Mohammed Billoo April 4, 2023
Introduction

The Zephyr Project RTOS (https://zephyrproject.org/), or simply “Zephyr” as it is known colloquially, is an increasingly popular real-time operating system due to its native support for over 450 boards and countless peripherals. When starting with any embedded software project, the first task is to start from a known baseline. This can include cloning a repository from source control, which can be the case with embedded Linux, or downloading a zip file representing a...


Memfault Beyond the Launch