Design of a next-generation real-time software architecture for consumer appliances

Timeframe : 2015 - present

The main goal of the project is the design of a platform-independent firmware architecture for distributed, real- time control systems with a flexible user interface and high-level control algorithm programming capabilities, supporting the following main features:
  • Modular construction and interface between system components, designed according to the model–view controller (MVC) paradigm, suitably extended to support remote I/O points and real-time communication between the controller and the model.
  • System integration based on an open-source real-time operating system for local scheduling and communication, a real-time network (either CAN or Ethernet-based) between the local real-time communication module and the remote I/O points, and a communication infrastructure, for data exchange between the user interface and the control module.
  • The communication infrastructure between the user interface module and the control module poses several unique research and design challenges because it shall be independent from the communication medium, which can be shared memory (on single- and multi-core concentrated systems) or a communication network (on distributed systems). At the same time, it should also be able to coexist with the real-time network mentioned previously on low-cost systems, in which deploying two separate networks would be economically disadvantageous. Furthermore, both features shall not come at the expense of hard real-time properties.

Keywords: Real-time operating systems, Open-source operating systems, Embedded systems

Financial support by: Private company

Coordinator of the IEIIT unit in the project: Ivan Cibrario Bertolotti