Enea combines RTOS and Linux in distributed systems platform

Enea Embedded Technology—a subsidiary of Enea Data AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden—just announced what it calls "the first integrated software platform for high-availability telecom and datacom systems that combines embedded Linux with a hard real-time operating system [RTOS]."

By Control Engineering Staff August 12, 2004
Enea Orchestra helps OEMs implement distributed, fault-tolerant software solutions across various processors.

Enea Embedded Technology —a subsidiary of Enea Data AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden—just announced what it calls “the first integrated software platform for high-availability telecom and datacom systems that combines embedded Linux with a hard real-time operating system [RTOS].” Named Enea Orchestra , the platform reportedly provides a seamless link between open-source Linux and Enea’s OSE RTOS. The platform includes Metrowerks ’ integrated development environment (IDE) to simplify the full range of product development.

High-availability communication applications typically need a hybrid solution using two operating systems (OSs): a Linux OS handling the server-based IT component and a hard RTOS handling the time-critical embedded component. Enea’s approach lets the two systems synchronize activities and quickly respond to fault conditions.

“Linux provides an excellent operating environment for hosting high-level telecom and datacom applications and management services,” says Adrian Leufven, Enea vice president, marketing. “But in a distributed system, Linux lacks the full suite of high-availability and carrier-grade attributes needed to provide time-critical services like control, fault notification, hot swap, and dynamic discovery.”

Orchestra consists of five integrated parts: Linux, OSE RTOS, OSE Gateway, Enea’s Polyhedra database, and various Metrowerks development technologies—including Platform Creation Suite, CodeTest analysis tools, a Power Tap debug probe, and CodeWarrior development environment.

OSE Gateway provides the bridge between OSE and Linux. Unlike other hybrid solutions, using TCP/IP to link multiple OSs at the process level, OSE Gateway enhances RT responsiveness with a gateway “daemon” that maps OSE services directly into the Linux space, says Enea. It makes Linux processes look like OSE processes. It also provides built-in fault detection and response mechanisms that enable the system to recognize, respond, and recover from faults more quickly and reliably.

OSE RTOS is memory-protected and optimized for this type of application. It uses the host processor’s hardware memory management facilities to provide a firewall that prevents corruption between kernel and application processes. Enea’s Polyhedra database is a secure, fault-tolerant data repository for embedded system applications. The relational database management system (RDBMS) has a small code footprint and uses a memory-resident design that reportedly boosts performance by an order of magnitude compared to conventional RDBMSs, according to Enea.

Enea Orchestra is available now via subscription in two product packages: Applications Development Suite (ADS) and Platform Development Suite (PDS). Both packages are required—ADS for all developers and PDS for platform (board and OS bring up) developers. The “principal subscription” price is $9,995 for ADS and $4,995 for PDS. Also, an Orchestra evaluation kit is available for a one-time price of $5,000, containing all necessary software/hardware (including evaluation boards).

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com