Friday, April 12, 2024

Open Source IoT OS, RT-Thread Builds Smart Solutions For Embedded System Development

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RT-Thread is an open-source embedded real-time operating system (RTOS), with its rich middle-tier components and great hardware & software ecosystem, delivered great support for the Internet of Things (IoT). Till now, RT-Thread has powered over 1 Billion devices.

RT-Thread has the characteristics of very low resource occupancy, high reliability, high scalability, it can be greatly used in sensing nodes, wireless connection chips and many resource-constrained scenes, also it is widely used in the gateway, IPC, smart speakers, and many other high-performance applications.

RT-Thread is also considered as an IoT operating system with its rich middle-tier components and great hardware and software ecosystem, with almost every key basic component required for IoT devices, such as network protocols, file systems, low power management, etc. RT-Thread supports all mainstream compiling tools such as GCC, Keil, IAR, etc. The compiling toolchain is complete, user-friendly, easy to develop, and supports a variety of standard interfaces, such as POSIX, CMSIS, C++application environment, Micropython, and Javascript, easy for developers to port a wide range of applications. RT-Thread offers great commercial support to all the mainstream CPU architectures such as ARM Cortex-M/R/A, RISC-V, MIPS, X86, Xtensa, etc.

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RT-Thread Architecture

RT-Thread is mainly written in C language, easy to understand, and has great portability that supports quickly porting to a variety of mainstream MCUs and module chips. RT-Thread applies an object-oriented design method to the real-time system, which helps to build the elegant code, clear architecture, highly modularized system, as well as easy to tailor.

RT-Thread has a Standard version, Nano version and a Smart version.

For resource-constrained microcontroller (MCU) systems, developers can tailor a Nano kernel that requires only 3KB Flash, 1.2KB RAM through easy-to-use tools.

For resource-rich IoT devices, RT-Thread Standard version is recommended, which enables intuitive and fast modular tailoring through the online package management tools and system configuration tools, and the standard version can seamlessly import a wealth of software package, to achieve an android-like graphical interface and touch sliding effects, smart voice interaction effects and other more complex functions.

RT-Thread Smart is positioned as a professional high-performance micro-kernel operating system for real-time applications, to benefit the industries in Security( such as IPC Camera), Gateway, Industrial Control, On-board Device, Consumer Electronics and so on. Among the division of traditional IoT operating systems, a micro-kernel operating system is the only one that can fill the gap between traditional RTOS and large operating system Linux, achieving the best balance among real-time, cost, security, start-up speed, and so on.

The architecture of RT-Thread Standard Version is shown as follows:

RT-Thread Architecture

It includes:

Kernel Layer: RT-Thread kernel is the core part of RT-Thread, it includes the implementation of objects in the kernel system, such as multithreading and its scheduling, semaphore, mailbox, message queue, memory management, timer, etc.; libcpu/BSP (chip porting-related files/Board Support Packages) is closely connected with hardware and which consists of peripheral drives and CPU porting.

Components and Service Layer: Components are based on upper-level software on top of the RT-Thread kernel, it includes virtual file systems, FinSH command-line interfaces, network frameworks, device frameworks, and more. Using the modular design method to achieve high internal cohesion inside the components and low coupling between components.

RT-Thread software package: Running on the RT-Thread IoT operating system platform, it is a commonly-used software component for different applications, consisting of description information, source code, or library files. RT-Thread provides a package management platform where official or developer-provided packages are stored. The software package platform is an important part of the RT-Thread ecosystem that offers developers a wide selection of reusable packages. The package ecosystem is also a critical element needs to be considered by developers when choosing an operating system, the highly reusable and modularized packages would benefit developers to create the system in the shortest time.

The number of packages that RT-Thread supported has reached 300+.

RT-Thread Features

  • Designed for resource-constrained devices, the minimum kernel requires only 1.2KB of RAM and 3 KB of Flash
  • Has rich components and a prosperous and fast-growing package ecosystem
  • Elegant code style, easy to use, read, and master
  • High Scalability. RT-Thread has high-quality scalable software architecture, loose coupling, modularity, is easy to tailor and expand
  • Supports high-performance applications
  • Supports cross-platform and a wide range of chips

RT-Thread Studio IDE

Why Open Source RT-Thread IoT OS develop RT-Thread Studio IDE?

With the increasing size and complexity, more and more embedded projects began to adopt embedded operating systems, and writing and building software purely by hand has become inefficient and difficult, therefore, a one-stop integrated development environment that includes editing, compilation, and debugging features is urgently requested, to reduce the workload of software development and lower the complexity of development.

Now that there is demand, there is a motivation.

After a year of hard work, the RT-Thread Studio team released the RT-Thread Studio integrated development environment IDE in late 2019, with the intention of benefiting more developers, RT-Thread Studio is free-of-charge.

RT-Thread Features:

Highly customized and optimized software interactions

RT-Thread Studio is developed on the basis of the native Eclipse with a high degree of customization and optimization, which makes the complex interfaces and functions concise, automatic and intelligent. In RT-Thread Studio, functions are comprehensible at a glance and many operations could be done just by clicking a button, such as downloading, configuration, debugging, and so on.

Powerful bare-metal development support

RT-Thread Studio supports a full range of STM32 chips for bare-metal development and offers a one-step toolkit, which contains an intuitive project manager, intelligent auxiliary code editor, easy-to-use independent program downloader. What’s more, it supports a variety of emulators and serial console printing. All of them shorten the development time and simplify the difficulty of starting a project. In the future, more semiconductor chips will be added to RT-Thread Studio.

A variety of debuggers are supported

In addition to supporting the commonly used J-Link and ST-LINK, RT-Thread Studio now supports the wide range of DAP-LINK hardware debuggers, and more debuggers will be added soon.

QEMU simulator

QEMU is a cross-platform simulator that supports many development boards. It is convenient to validate prototype development if you don’t have a development board and hardware debugger on hand. RT-Thread Studio provides direct support to QEMU, you can easily create and use the QEMU project or select and configure the QEMU simulator through RT-Thread Studio.

A rich, reusable code resource

RT-Thread Studio internally integrates rich high-quality reusable code resources. After a simple configuration, developers can reuse a variety of components, drivers and so on, RT-Thread has more than 340 software packages, covering a variety of high-quality categories of reusable software code packs, and the number continues to grow.

Online documentation and video tutorials

RT-Thread builds an Online Tutorial Video Center, which step-by-step guides you to get started using RT-Thread Studio.

Great things in open-source are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.

Try RT-Thread on your next project!



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