Microware News

  • Microware OS-9 Overview
  • OS-9 for Power PC
  • EtherCat Master Stack
  • OS-9 for ARM
  • OS-9 Customer Letter

OS-9 for ARM


OS-9 Customer Letter

OS-9 Specifications

Services and Extensions

At the heart of Microware OS-9 lies a collection of kernel services, extensions, and industry standard APIs, which support virtually any class of peripheral for embedded systems:

  • Serial/Parallel I/O
  • USB 1.1/2.0
  • microSD Flash
  • Disk Storage I/O (SATA, SCSI, IDE)
  • PCMCIA I/O, PCI I/O, PCI Express, PCIX, compact PCI
  • SLIP and PPP client support
  • TCP/UDP/IPv4/v6
  • NFS Server and Client
  • Sample drivers and framework
  • Finished ported boot images for reference platform(s)

Customizable Exception Handling Framework

  • Isolates, contains, and cleans up after offending software
  • Customizable exception handling to extensively log, report and/or perform automated recovery exception conditions

Configuration Wizard

Menu system that automates operating system boot build for supported reference platforms:

  • GUI based configuration and build of system images
  • Point-and-click control for networking, TCP/IP configuration, graphics and debugging
  • Automatic creation of software images for target system

TECH-CHECK Diagnostic Platform

  • Unique tool for online customer support in real-time
  • Capture/send target and host system information report to customer support

Microware OS-9 Options

OS-9 add-on modules extend functionality for embedded development and run-time environments.

  • HawkEye - A GUI based software analyzer to visualize the operation of an OS-9 system and application modules.
  • XiBaseGUI - Graphics tool to enable the creation of displays, user interfaces and touch screens.
  • IPsec - Soft-crypto authentication and encryption protocol package for securing IP communications.
  • EtherCAT - Real-time, high peformance Ethernet-based fieldbus system.
  • CANbus - Control-area network for industrial and automotive systems.
  • Modbus - Serial communications bus for industrial control and automation.
  • Reliance File System - Data file protection for mission-critical embedded systems.
  • TrueFFS - Wear-leveling Flash file system for embedded systems.
  • RTS Hypervisor - Real-time hypervisor enabling simultaneous instances of real-time and general purpose operating systems on multi-core platforms.

Processor Support

Microware OS-9 offers out-of-the-box support for a broad array of processors and architectures:

  • x86/Pentium/Multi-Core
  • 68K/Coldfire
  • PowerPC
  • ARM/StrongARM
  • MIPS3000
  • MIPS64
  • SuperH (SH-3, SH-4, SH-4A)
  • ARM9/XScale


Under the Hood: The Microware OS-9 Architecture

OS-9 utilizes an advanced modular software structure that creates an optimum balance of speed and protection for the embedded systems and applications. OS-9 runs faster compared to microkernel operating systems, and offers an increased level of security compared to monolithic architectures. All modules and components that make up an OS-9 system–including the kernel, file managers, drivers and applications–are stored as logical OS-9 memory modules. Each memory module is a self-contained program consisting of module header, module body, and a Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) value. These logical software components are easy to create and manage, while ensuring high availability of the OS-9 platfom.


Real-Time, Multi-Tasking Kernel

OS-9 features a process-based, real-time kernel with POSIX thread support, complete with an extensive scheduler and inter-process communication facilities. Kernel features include:

  • Pre-emptive, priority-based, aging scheduler–assuring real-time responsiveness to interrupts and events
  • Fault tolerance with exception handling and MMU support
  • Process-based architecture with unlimited number of threads
  • Inter-process communication services: Signals, Events, Semaphores, Pipes, and Data modules
  • Tasks divided into priority-based classes
  • Tasks can dynamically change priority
  • Modular architecture based on dynamic linking
  • Able to run out of Flash or ROM with no file system requirement
  • Support for lightweight processes via the POSIX threads API allows easy portability to the OS-9 environment

Protective Boundaries

Microware OS-9 supports three types of protective boundaries:

  1. The user/system state boundary: User state code uses the processor's non-privileged instruction set, and the operating system's user-state system calls. These restrictions let the operating system contain the application within processor boundaries.
  2. Process boundaries: Each process is granted access to resources by the operating system. OS-9 prevents processes from erroneously or maliciously disturbing other processes' resources without proper authorization. If the system is using a memory management unit, OS-9 uses it to enforce memory access protection rules. If there is no MMU, OS-9 still makes an effort to enforce protection rules.
  3. User/group protection: Each process, each module, and (for most file systems) each file has an associated owner. OS-9 uses ownership and permissions to administer access to resources.
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