Forums

Inexpensive and small RTOS and TCP stack for Coldfire

Started by Casey December 14, 2003
Okay, I've got the classic dilemna here.  As of Friday, we have to 
build something quickly that works well and costs little.  I have 
to put together a software solution for a small quantity (300) 
product using a Coldfire 5282.  

It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, 
converting from one to the other.  I have a couple of interrupt 
drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range.  For 
cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal 
5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram).

Netburner looks good, but $24.5k is way too steep for this 
inexpensive product.  ThreadX and NetX are the same price. 
RTXC Quadros is either free for a limited version, $17.5 or $31k.  
Obviously the free version is attractive, but not sure it will do 
what we need.  I'm looking at Sciopta right now.

Enough rambling.  Any opinions or ideas are welcome.

Thanks,

Casey



"Casey" <cclremovethispart@cox.net> wrote in message
news:ih2Db.4238$JD6.3032@lakeread04...
> > Okay, I've got the classic dilemna here. As of Friday, we have to > build something quickly that works well and costs little. I have > to put together a software solution for a small quantity (300) > product using a Coldfire 5282. > > It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, > converting from one to the other. I have a couple of interrupt > drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range. For > cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal > 5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram). > > Netburner looks good, but $24.5k is way too steep for this > inexpensive product. ThreadX and NetX are the same price. > RTXC Quadros is either free for a limited version, $17.5 or $31k. > Obviously the free version is attractive, but not sure it will do > what we need. I'm looking at Sciopta right now. > > Enough rambling. Any opinions or ideas are welcome.
If you are in the United States, engineers, fully burdened, cost your employer somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 per year. That is counting taxes, benefits, physical plant, electricity, support personnel, and what-have-you. At those rates, $24K is somewhere between 1 and 3 man-months of effort. (In order to get that $100,000 per year figure, your engineer's salary has to be somewhere SOUTH of $50K. TYPICAL corporate overhead runs 105% to 110% of salary. Some places run higher. Some places run MUCH higher. Your management can tell you the actual numbers for your company.)
John R. Strohm said...
> "Casey" <cclremovethispart@cox.net> wrote in message
> If you are in the United States, engineers, fully burdened, cost your employer > somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 per year. That is counting taxes, > benefits, physical plant, electricity, support personnel, and what-have-you.
Yeah, I know... this is not exactly a revelation.
> At those rates, $24K is somewhere between 1 and 3 man-months of effort. (In > order to get that $100,000 per year figure, your engineer's salary has to be > somewhere SOUTH of $50K. TYPICAL corporate overhead runs 105% to 110% of > salary. Some places run higher. Some places run MUCH higher. Your management > can tell you the actual numbers for your company.)
Or I could just ask the other two guys that own the company. We've been friends for about 15 years now. I'm a consultant, not an employee. I understand what you're saying, but this product won't fly if we spend $24K. That's $80 a copy for something that doesn't cost much more than that. It doesn't matter whether we spend it on tools or on an engineer (me in this case, and I cost a fair amount). If I find a functional RTOS/IP solution that's a good bit less expensive, we can build the product. Otherwise we can't. No amount of lecturing changes that. Casey I started with nothing. I still have most of it.
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 12:49:51 -0600, Casey <cclremovethispart@cox.net> wrote:
[.....]
> It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, > converting from one to the other. I have a couple of interrupt > drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range. For > cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal > 5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram).
Have you considered Nut/OS (www.ethernut.de)? It is simple, has small memory footprint, its sources are pretty well commented and it's free (BSD like licence). It is based on cooperative multitasking model but IMO it shouldn't be a problem in your application. It runs on AVR's although you should be able to port it to Coldfire in 4-5 days. Regards, /J.D. -- Jan Dubiec, jdx@slackware.pl, mobile: +48 602 101787 G&#2013266099;&#2013265930;boka wiara wymaga p&#2013266099;ytkiego rozumu i nik&#2013266099;ej wiedzy.
Jan Dubiec said...
> On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 12:49:51 -0600, Casey <cclremovethispart@cox.net> wrote: > [.....] > > It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, > > converting from one to the other. I have a couple of interrupt > > drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range. For > > cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal > > 5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram). > > Have you considered Nut/OS (www.ethernut.de)? It is simple, has small > memory footprint, its sources are pretty well commented and it's free > (BSD like licence). It is based on cooperative multitasking model but > IMO it shouldn't be a problem in your application. It runs on AVR's > although you should be able to port it to Coldfire in 4-5 days.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look. Casey
In article <1t5Db.4745$JD6.3279@lakeread04>, cclremovethispart@cox.net 
says...
> John R. Strohm said... > > "Casey" <cclremovethispart@cox.net> wrote in message > > > If you are in the United States, engineers, fully burdened, cost your employer > > somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000 per year. That is counting taxes, > > benefits, physical plant, electricity, support personnel, and what-have-you. > > Yeah, I know... this is not exactly a revelation. > > > At those rates, $24K is somewhere between 1 and 3 man-months of effort. (In > > order to get that $100,000 per year figure, your engineer's salary has to be > > somewhere SOUTH of $50K. TYPICAL corporate overhead runs 105% to 110% of > > salary. Some places run higher. Some places run MUCH higher. Your management > > can tell you the actual numbers for your company.) > > Or I could just ask the other two guys that own the company. We've > been friends for about 15 years now. I'm a consultant, not an > employee. > > I understand what you're saying, but this product won't fly if we > spend $24K. That's $80 a copy for something that doesn't cost much > more than that. It doesn't matter whether we spend it on tools or > on an engineer (me in this case, and I cost a fair amount). If I > find a functional RTOS/IP solution that's a good bit less > expensive, we can build the product. Otherwise we can't. No > amount of lecturing changes that.
Unlike you, however, any tools can be depreciated and most of their cost recovered through reduction in the company's taxes. --Gene
Casey wrote:
> It will sit between an IP network and a legacy > serial interface, converting from one to the other. > I have a couple of interrupt drivers to write that > have to respond in the 10-20 usec range.
Have you looked at the several canned solutions on the market for serial-to-TCP? A la XPort from Lantronix, Digi's version, or even SitePlayer? The first two are self-contained in an RJ-45 jack, are programmable to translate your serial interface into TCP, dev kits are in the $1000 range, and per-unit are <$50 Qty1. SitePlayer's even cheaper (8051-based, I believe), but may not be as configurable.
Casey wrote:
> Okay, I've got the classic dilemna here. As of Friday, we have to > build something quickly that works well and costs little. I have > to put together a software solution for a small quantity (300) > product using a Coldfire 5282. > > It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, > converting from one to the other. I have a couple of interrupt > drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range. For > cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal > 5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram). > > Netburner looks good, but $24.5k is way too steep for this > inexpensive product. ThreadX and NetX are the same price. > RTXC Quadros is either free for a limited version, $17.5 or $31k. > Obviously the free version is attractive, but not sure it will do > what we need. I'm looking at Sciopta right now. > > Enough rambling. Any opinions or ideas are welcome. > > Thanks, > > Casey
Try MicroC/OS-II www.ucos-ii.com. I believe a production license is under $3000. It doesn't have a built-in stack but many are available, including OpenTCP, www.opentcp.org. There are Coldfire 5272 ports available on the ucos web site that are easily adapted (if any changes are neeeded). -- Scott ExoTech R&D, Inc.
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 12:49:51 -0600, Casey <cclremovethispart@cox.net>
wrote:

> >Okay, I've got the classic dilemna here. As of Friday, we have to >build something quickly that works well and costs little. I have >to put together a software solution for a small quantity (300) >product using a Coldfire 5282. > >It will sit between an IP network and a legacy serial interface, >converting from one to the other. I have a couple of interrupt >drivers to write that have to respond in the 10-20 usec range. For >cost reasons, the software footprint is restrained to the internal >5282 memory only (512k flash, 64k ram). > >Netburner looks good, but $24.5k is way too steep for this >inexpensive product. ThreadX and NetX are the same price. >RTXC Quadros is either free for a limited version, $17.5 or $31k. >Obviously the free version is attractive, but not sure it will do >what we need. I'm looking at Sciopta right now. > >Enough rambling. Any opinions or ideas are welcome. > >Thanks, > >Casey > >
If you haven't already, you should check out CMX and their stack (www.cmx.com). I haven't used their comm software, but I had a good experience with the CMX RTOS a few years back. It could be configured to be very small, was relatively inexpensive and the support was good. Jim McGinnis
Jim McGinnis said...
> Casey wrote: > > > > >Okay, I've got the classic dilemna here. As of Friday, we have to > >build something quickly that works well and costs little. I have > >to put together a software solution for a small quantity (300) > >product using a Coldfire 5282. > > > > <snip> > > > >Enough rambling. Any opinions or ideas are welcome. > >
> If you haven't already, you should check out CMX and their stack > (www.cmx.com). I haven't used their comm software, but I had a good > experience with the CMX RTOS a few years back. It could be configured > to be very small, was relatively inexpensive and the support was good.
Thanks, Jim. I'm looking at it now. Casey