Hardware manufacturer MEN Mikro Elektronik from Nuremberg and Mainz-based software house SYSGO AG offers consistent solutions for safety-critical applications, especially for the aerospace and railway industry and for medical engineering. For this purpose, the partitionable real-time operating system PikeOS has been tested and released for an MPC5200 and a Pentium III platform based on MEN embedded system modules.

The two ESM starter kits EK6 (MPC5200) and EK5 (Pentium III) offer an ideal platform for evaluation of the ESM hardware and the PikeOS software functionality in a PowerPC or Intel environment in industrial embedded applications with high requirements.

The EK6 kit is equipped with a low-power MPC5200B CPU, soldered DRAM, flash, SRAM and graphics memory, two fast Ethernet, four COMs, USB, two CAN interfaces and graphics and is suited for an operation temperature of -40°C to +85°C. Further application-specific functions are realised in the on-board FPGA and can be dynamically adjusted during operation. Inside the kit the ESM module carrying the CPU functionality is combined with an ATX-compatible carrier card and three PCI slots so that it can be operated stand-alone or in a standard PC environment.

The EK7 kit is equipped with a ULV Pentium III or alternatively a Celeron III processor and up to 512MB DRAM, two fast Ethernet, two COMs, four USBs, graphics, audio and two CAN interfaces. The EK7 also offers the possibility to add further I/O in an FPGA. The ESM module and the ATX-compatible carrier board, which form the EK7 kit, can also be operated stand-alone or in a PC.

After testing the operability of the ESM kit and defining the functionality of the application, a carrier board for the ESM is developed and the FPGA on the ESM module is configured with the individually required IP cores.

In order to keep costs low and limit development time not only on the hardware side, MEN and SYSGO guarantee operability of the boards with a unique new operating system - PikeOS.

PikeOS is a real-time operating system supporting the principle of software partitioning. The foundation of PikeOS is a powerful microkernel, a genuine development of SYSGO AG, developed according to the highest safety standards. Therefore, PikeOS is meant to be used in safety and mission critical systems as well as standard embedded systems for which hard real-time is mandatory.

Each software partition of PikeOS can run an entire operating system such as Linux, POSIX and OSEK or native application programs. Several of these heterogeneous partitions can co-exist. Fault containment is one of the features of software partitioning, enabling the use of critical and non-critical software on the same hardware platform.

Thus, PikeOS is the ideal choice for legacy code migration, using embedded Linux in a hard real-time environment or for platform consolidation.

To support PikeOS customers, SYSGO included CODEO in the PikeOS suites. CODEO is the eclipse-based development environment from SYSGO, offering additional plug-ins for system configuration, validation and analysis as well as a comfortable application development.