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Partner: RTEMS is being used in NASA and ESA missions, and now it runs on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
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Editor’s Note: This content is contributed by Matthew Russell (Marketing Specialist), Jeff Kubascik (Embedded Systems Engineer) at DornerWorks

Fermi Gamma-ray Space TelescopeFermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

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Can you see something moving at 2.5 million miles an hour? For the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, it’s no problem. And when the FGST captured the pulsar PSR J0002+6216 (J0002 for short) shooting through Cassiopeia at the same speed, astronomers were able to trace its path back to the supernova where it was formed, about 6,500 light-years away.

Like the other incredibly powerful telescopes instrumental in capturing the clearest image of a black hole the world has ever seen, the FGST represents decades of space-age engineering. It also represents the frontier of open source real-time technology, supported by a Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor System (RTEMS), the same technology that DornerWorks has recently ported to the Xilinx® Zynq® UltraScale+™ MPSoC.


Why choose RTEMS for your OS?

RTEMS is an open source Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) targeted for embedded systems. RTEMS has been chosen as the RTOS of choice for numerous high profile NASA and ESA missions, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Dawn Orbiter, Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and Planck space telescope.

The RTEMS kernel is multi-threaded with a flat address space. It provides a rich set of features, including POSIX APIs, symmetric multi-processing, and C++11. RTEMS also includes driver frameworks for networking, graphical, and disk devices.

It is these features and RTEMS’ reputation in the scientific and aerospace industries that make it a great fit for the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. Conversely, the heterogeneous architecture combined with a FPGA fabric provides flexible architecture that can meet the demands of scientific applications requiring substantial real time data processing or specialized interfaces.


How RTEMS was ported to the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC

DornerWorks engineers Josh Whitehead and Jeff Kubascik completed the porting effort under an open source license (BSD 2-clause). They developed a new board support layer in RTEMS to support the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC platform, targeting the Ultra96 board by AVNET.

Ultra96 - Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC development boardUltra96 - Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC development board

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From the Ultra96 board, a user can run a ticker, “hello world,” and all the other example RTEM applications included in the BSP. This new board support layer has since been accepted into the mainline RTEMS development community.


Expanding the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC Ecosystem

As a a Xilinx Premier Alliance Program Member, DornerWorks has well established experience with the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family, leveraging those devices to accelerate development on products for aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial markets, among others.

The RTEMS BSP is just a starting piece of your embedded puzzle. The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC offers many features and devices that have not yet been realized, and DornerWorks is here to enable you to solve that puzzle. But, you cannot take advantage of it unless you take the first step and schedule a meeting with DornerWorks.