comment on this article

Hard and soft

How a real time extension helps harden up the Windows operating platform. By Graham Pitcher.

Windows, for all of its features, has one crucial shortfall which prevents its wider use in industry. That shortfall is its inability to support hard real time operation.
Because Windows is a general purpose operating system, it does not allow applications or kernel level drivers to mask interrupts completely and to gain control over the operating system. Dale Fittes, real time specialist with Hitex, said: “Depending upon hardware, interrupt latencies under Windows can exhibit very good values – averaging in the microseconds. However, worst case interrupt latencies are unbounded and can exceed hundreds of milliseconds. These unbound latencies mean deterministic response time is not guaranteed, which makes standard Windows operating systems unacceptable for real time use.”
Yet there are a lot of companies who would like to use Windows based pcs as control platforms. And you can understand the attraction of the environment; not only is there a multitude of software available, there is also an extensive range of add on hardware. The combination of hardware and software can allow companies to tailor a system precisely to their needs. And there are a lot of developers out there who work entirely with Windows.
But the issue of Windows’ lack of hard real time support remains.

Graham Pitcher

Related Downloads
13042\Hard and Soft.pdf

Comment on this article

This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

What you think about this article:

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Protected spaces

Embedded systems developers are looking to container technology to try and ...

A critical issue

With more cyber-attacks than ever on critical infrastructure, how can utilities ...

Circuit protection

Circuit protection is designed as an intentional weak link which can combat ...

The changing face

A year of seismic social and political change 1968 saw anti-Vietnam war ...

Life without GitHub?

The software development platform and code sharing repository GitHub celebrates ...

Ensuring security

Silicon Labs’ CSO, Sharon Hagi, talks to Neil Tyler about security and product ...

Carrying the day

The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers are intended to provide the UK’s armed ...