Forums

ThreadX and PC/104

Started by Trey Weaver September 17, 2004
We are getting ready to start a new product and we are leaning to ThreadX
for the RTOS (our second choice in montavista) .  We want to base our
architecture off of PC/104.  I wanted advice on a SBC that is PC/104 (or has
a PC/104 bus on it) that is very easy to get ThreadX, NetX and  FileX up and
running on.  The board needs to have Ethernet (that NetX will work with) and
USB.  Order of preference for processors are ARM, PowerPC and 486.

I asked EL this question and they said "There are so many PC104 boards out
there we cannot recommend a specific one".  Many RTOS including Integrity,
QNX, MontaVista give list of boards that they support right "out of the box"
but not EL.

Thanks for your help.

Trey Weaver


"Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message 
news:JvF2d.25966$ci3.621412@twister.southeast.rr.com...
> We are getting ready to start a new product and we are leaning to ThreadX > for the RTOS (our second choice in montavista) . We want to base our > architecture off of PC/104. I wanted advice on a SBC that is PC/104 (or > has > a PC/104 bus on it) that is very easy to get ThreadX, NetX and FileX up > and > running on. The board needs to have Ethernet (that NetX will work with) > and > USB. Order of preference for processors are ARM, PowerPC and 486. > > I asked EL this question and they said "There are so many PC104 boards out > there we cannot recommend a specific one". Many RTOS including Integrity, > QNX, MontaVista give list of boards that they support right "out of the > box" > but not EL.
You're getting a different answer because you're asking a question that has two different answers depending upon the OS vendor. ThreadX doesn't come with any drivers - it's a microkernel only, and therefore is not specific to anything but the CPU. MV Linux (and Integrity) not only is a kernel, but it's also a set of ported utilities and device drivers, which are specific to boards themselves (hence the list). Plus, vendors are usually evasive on recommending a specific debugger or supported hardware. Our current project is using MV Linux and it was like pulling teeth to recommend or even get a list of debuggers for PowerPC. As he told me, "I'll get in trouble if I recommend one...". ;-( -->Neil
Yeah, ThreadX is a MicroKernal but NetX is not.  Are you saying that NETx 
has the TCP/IP stacks but provides no drivers to the Pysical Layer.  Can't 
be true, how could they test it.

Trey

"Neil Bradley" <nb_nospam@synthcom.com> wrote in message 
news:10kmbhgho2s41fd@corp.supernews.com...
> "Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message > news:JvF2d.25966$ci3.621412@twister.southeast.rr.com... >> We are getting ready to start a new product and we are leaning to ThreadX >> for the RTOS (our second choice in montavista) . We want to base our >> architecture off of PC/104. I wanted advice on a SBC that is PC/104 (or >> has >> a PC/104 bus on it) that is very easy to get ThreadX, NetX and FileX up >> and >> running on. The board needs to have Ethernet (that NetX will work with) >> and >> USB. Order of preference for processors are ARM, PowerPC and 486. >> >> I asked EL this question and they said "There are so many PC104 boards >> out >> there we cannot recommend a specific one". Many RTOS including >> Integrity, >> QNX, MontaVista give list of boards that they support right "out of the >> box" >> but not EL. > > You're getting a different answer because you're asking a question that > has two different answers depending upon the OS vendor. > > ThreadX doesn't come with any drivers - it's a microkernel only, and > therefore is not specific to anything but the CPU. MV Linux (and > Integrity) not only is a kernel, but it's also a set of ported utilities > and device drivers, which are specific to boards themselves (hence the > list). > > Plus, vendors are usually evasive on recommending a specific debugger or > supported hardware. Our current project is using MV Linux and it was like > pulling teeth to recommend or even get a list of debuggers for PowerPC. As > he told me, "I'll get in trouble if I recommend one...". ;-( > > -->Neil >
"Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message 
news:hBG2d.25976$ci3.625744@twister.southeast.rr.com...
> Yeah, ThreadX is a MicroKernal but NetX is not. Are you saying that NETx > has the TCP/IP stacks but provides no drivers to the Pysical Layer. Can't > be true, how could they test it.
I don't see anything on their web site that mentions a physical layer, so it sounds like you're on your own in terms of writing one (or lifting it from somewhere). Why not email EL and ask them what ethernet chipsets they support? They design their operating system and components for specific processor architectures, network cards, and mass storage. Ask them the questions: 1) What ethernet controllers does NetX support? 2) What mass storage devices (flash / hard drives) does FileX support? 3) What processor targets does ThreadX support? EL Does not traditionally build their components for specific BOARDS. They target specific chips. And of course they have a MAC layer in house for at least one chip to make sure the stack works. But that doesn't mean they are required to distribute it. -->Neil
I have sent them email about ethernet controllers, it has been 4 days 
without a respose.  I thought I would get one here faster.

I have the processors.

Thanks,
Trey

"Neil Bradley" <nb_nospam@synthcom.com> wrote in message 
news:10kmoblrda17e8d@corp.supernews.com...
> "Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message > news:hBG2d.25976$ci3.625744@twister.southeast.rr.com... >> Yeah, ThreadX is a MicroKernal but NetX is not. Are you saying that NETx >> has the TCP/IP stacks but provides no drivers to the Pysical Layer. >> Can't be true, how could they test it. > > I don't see anything on their web site that mentions a physical layer, so > it sounds like you're on your own in terms of writing one (or lifting it > from somewhere). Why not email EL and ask them what ethernet chipsets they > support? > > They design their operating system and components for specific processor > architectures, network cards, and mass storage. Ask them the questions: > > 1) What ethernet controllers does NetX support? > 2) What mass storage devices (flash / hard drives) does FileX support? > 3) What processor targets does ThreadX support? > > EL Does not traditionally build their components for specific BOARDS. They > target specific chips. > > And of course they have a MAC layer in house for at least one chip to make > sure the stack works. But that doesn't mean they are required to > distribute it. > > -->Neil >
"Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message 
news:s0K2d.10993$n%3.796517@twister.southeast.rr.com...
>I have sent them email about ethernet controllers, it has been 4 days >without a respose. I thought I would get one here faster.
Try giving them a call. Their sales team is really responsive. FWIW, I used ThreadX on our last embedded product and never had a single issue (ARM Thumb based). They'd be on the top of my list for any embedded project. -->Neil
>> "Trey Weaver" <noemailtome@thanks.com> wrote in message >> news:hBG2d.25976$ci3.625744@twister.southeast.rr.com... >>> Yeah, ThreadX is a MicroKernal but NetX is not. Are you saying that >>> NETx has the TCP/IP stacks but provides no drivers to the Pysical Layer. >>> Can't be true, how could they test it. >>
I have used ThreadX/NetX successfully on a couple of platforms, porting hardware has never been an issue. All Threadx needs is a single timer/regular interrupt and most chips have one of these on chip anyway. The timer is only needed for pre-empting tasks so for the initial development I have sometimes ignored it. The only time I had any significant work porting was when I was changing both the Chip (SH3 to SH2) and the compiler (Greenhills to GNU) and I couldn't wait for EL to make the change - that took less than a week and the EL support was great.
>> >> EL Does not traditionally build their components for specific BOARDS. >> They target specific chips. >> >> And of course they have a MAC layer in house for at least one chip to >> make sure the stack works. But that doesn't mean they are required to >> distribute it. >>
EL usually supply a "RAM Driver" with their system that simulates 2 separate systems as tasks within a single CPU and simply passes messages via REM buffers. It gives a basic driver core and is easy to expand for any hardware. I have done 3 different drivers so far and it usually takes a couple of days (after I've read the MAC and PHY documentation) to get the basic functions working. Even the first one, when I was still learning about Ethernet and TCP only took 4 or 5 days to get sending and receiving packets. Adding all the bells and whistles (link control - selecting 10/100, duplex, multicast, etc. was done in stages but I don't think any of them took more than 3 weeks or so, while we were debugging hardware too usually. Stan Katz Control Technology Corp.