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uCOS II Book

uCOS II Book



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Published by xjcai

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Published by: xjcai on Jul 15, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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My first book, “
 µC/OS, The Real-Time Kernel
” is now 6 years old and thepublisher has sold well over 15,000 copies around the world. When I was asked todo a second edition, I thought it would be a fairly straightforward task; a fewcorrections here and there, clarify a few concepts, add a function or two to thekernel, etc. If you have a copy of the first edition, you will notice that “
 µC/OS-II,The Real-Time Kernel
” is in fact a major revision. For some strange reason, Iwasnt satisfied with minor corrections. Also, when my publisher told me that thistime, the book would be a ‘hard cover, I really wanted to give you your moneysworth. In all, I added more than 200 new pages, and re-wrote the majority of thepages I did keep. I added a porting guide to help you port µC/OS-II to theprocessor of your choice. Also, I added a chapter that will guide you throughupgrading a µC/OS port to µC/OS-II.The code for µC/OS-II is basically the same as that of µC/OS except that itcontains a number of new and useful features, is much better commented, andshould be easier to port to processor architectures. µC/OS-II offers all the featuresprovided in µC/OS as well as the following new features:
A fixed-sized block memory manager,
A service to allow a task to suspend its execution for a certain amount of time (specified in hours,minutes, seconds and milliseconds),
User definable ‘ calloutfunctions that are invoked when:
a task is created,
a task is deleted,a context switch is performed,a clock tick occurs.
A new task create function that provides additional features,
Stack checking,
A function returning the version of µC/OS-II,
And more.
My Position: P 88
 µC/OS-II Goals
Probably the most important goal of µC/OS-II was to make it backward compatible with µC/OS (at least from anapplications standpoint). A µC/OS port might need to be modified to work with µC/OS-II but at least, theapplication code should require only minor changes (if any). Also, because µC/OS-II is based on the same core asµC/OS, it is just as reliable. I added conditional compilation to allow you to further reduce the amount of RAM (i.e.data space) needed by µC/OS-II. This is especially useful when you have resource limited products. I also addedthe feature described in the previous section and cleaned up the code.Where the book is concerned, I wanted to clarify some of the concepts described in the first edition and provideadditional explanations about how µC/OS-II works. I had numerous requests about doing a chapter on how to portµC/OS and thus, such a chapter has been included in this book for µC/OS-II.
 Intended Audience
This book is intended for embedded system programmers, consultants and students interested in real-time operatingsystems. µC/OS-II is a high performance, deterministic real-time kernel and can be embedded in commercialproducts (see Appendix F,
). Instead of writing your own kernel, you should consider µC/OS-II. You willfind, as I did, that writing a kernel is not as easy as it first looks.Im assuming that you know C and have a minimum knowledge of assembly language. You should also understandmicroprocessor architectures.
What you will need to use µC/OS-II 
The code supplied with this book assumes that you will be using an IBM-PC/AT or compatible (80386 Minimum)computer running under DOS 4.x or higher. The code was compiled with Borland Internationals C++ V3.1. Youshould have about 5 MBytes of free disk space on you hard drive. I actually compiled and executed the sample codeprovided in this book in a DOS window under Windows 95.To use µC/OS-II on a different target processor (than a PC), you will need to either port µC/OS-II to that processoryourself or, obtain one from µC/OS-II official WEB site athttp://www.uCOS-II.com. You will also needappropriate software development tools such as an ANSI C compiler, an assembler, linker/locator and some way of debugging your application.
The µC/OS Story
Many years ago, I designed a product based on an Intel 80C188 at Dynalco Controls and I needed a real-time kernel.At my previous employer, I had been using a well known kernel (let‘s call it kernel A) but, found it to be tooexpensive for the application I was designing. We then found a lower cost kernel ($1000 at the time) and started ourdesign with it. Lets call this kernel, kernel ‘B’. We spent about two months trying to get a couple of very simpletasks to run. We were calling the vendor almost on a daily basis to get help making this work. The vendor claimedthat this kernel was written in C. However, we had to initialize every single object using assembly language code.Although the vendor was very patient, we decided that we had enough of this. Our product was falling behindschedule and we really didn‘t want to spend our time debugging this low cost kernel. It turns out that we were one of this vendors first customer and the kernel was really not fully tested and debugged!To get back on track, we decided to go back and use kernel A. The cost was about $5000 for development seatand we had to pay a per usage fee of about $200 for each unit that we shipped! This was a lot of money at the time,but it bought us some peace of mind. We got the kernel up and running in about 2 days! Three months into theproject, one of our engineers discovered what looked like a bug in the kernel. We sent the code to the vendor andsure enough, the bug was confirmed as being in the kernel. The vendor provided a 90 day warranty but, that hadexpired so, in order to get support, we had to pay an addition $500 per year for ‘maintenance. We argued with thesalesperson for a few months that they should fix the bug since we were actually doing them a favor. They wouldntbudge! Finally, we gave in, we bought the maintenance contract and the vendor fixed the bug six months later! Yes,six months later. We were furious but most importantly, late delivering our product. In all, it took close to a year toget our product to work reliably with kernel A. I must admit, however, that we never had any problems with itsince.As this was going on, I naively thought, “Well, it cant be that difficult to write a kernel. All it needs to do is saveand restore processor registers”. Thats when I decided to try it out and write my own (part time at night and on
3weekends). It took me about a year to get the kernel to be just as good (and in some ways better) than kernel A. Ididnt want to start a company and sell it because there were already about 50 kernels out there so, why have anotherone?I then thought of writing a paper for a magazine. I first went to the “C Users Journal (CUJ)” (the kernel waswritten in C) which, I had heard, was offering $100 per published page when other magazines were only paying $75per page. My paper had 70 or so pages so, that would be a nice compensation for all the time I spent working on mykernel. Unfortunately, the article was rejected! There were two reasons. First, the article was too long and themagazine didnt want to publish a series. Second, they didnt want to have another kernel article.I then decided to turn to Embedded Systems Programming (ESP) magazine because my kernel was designed forembedded systems. I contacted the editor of ESP (Mr. Tyler Sperry) and told him that I had this kernel I wanted topublish in his magazine. I got the same response from Tyler as I did from the C Journal: “Not another kernelarticle?” I told him that this kernel was different, it was preemptive, it was comparable to many commercial kernelsand that he could put the source code on the ESP BBS (Bulletin Board Service). I was calling Tyler two or threetimes a week (basically begging him) until he finally gave in (he was probably tired of having me call him) anddecide to publish the article. My article got edited down from 70 pages to about 30 pages and was published in twoconsecutive months (May 1992 and June 1992). The article was probably the most popular article in 1992. ESP hadover 500 downloads of the code from the BBS in the first month. Tyler may have feared for his life because kernelvendors were upset that he published a kernel in his magazine. I guess that these vendors must have recognized thequality and capabilities of µC/OS (was called µCOS then). The article was really the first that exposed the internalsof a real-time kernel so, some of the secrets were out.Just about the time the article came out in ESP, I got a call back from Dr. Bernard Williams at R&D Publications(publisher of CUJ), 6 months after the initial contact with CUJ. He had left a message with my wife and told herthat he was interested in the article!??! I called him back and told him something like: “Dont you think you are alittle bit late with this? The article is being published in ESP.” Berney said: “No, No, you dont understand,because the article is so long, I want to make a book out of it.” Initially, Berney simply wanted to publish what Ihad (as is) so the book would only have 80 or so pages. I said to him, “If I going to write a book, I want to do itright.” I then spent about 6 months adding contents to what is now know as the first edition. In all, the book hadabout 250 pages to it. I changed the name of µCOS to µC/OS because ESP readers had been calling it Mucuswhich didnt sound too healthy! Come to think of it, maybe it was a kernel vendor that first came up with the name.Anyway,
 µC/OS, The Real-Time Kernel
was then born. Sales were somewhat slow to start. Berney and I projectedthat we would sell about 4000 to 5000 copies in the life of the book but at that rate, we would be lucky if it sold2000 copies. Berney insisted that these things take time to get known so, he continued advertising in CUJ for abouta year.A month or so before the book came out, I went to my first Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Santa Clara,CA (September 1992). I then met Tyler Sperry for the first time and I showed him the first draft copy of my book.He very quickly glanced at it and said something like: “Would you like to speak at the next Embedded SystemsConference in Atlanta?” Not knowing any better, I said “Sure, what should I talk about?” He said what about“Using small real-time kernels?I said “Fine”. On the trip back from California, I was thinking “What did I getmyself into? Ive never spoke in front of a bunch of people before! What if I make a fool of myself? What if whatI speak about is common knowledge? Those people pay good money to attend this conference.” For the next sixmonths, I prepared my lecture. At the conference, I had about 70+ attendees. In the first twenty minutes I musthave lost one pound of sweat. After my lecture, I had a crowd of about 15 or so people come up to me and say thatthey were very pleased with the lecture and liked my book. I got re-invited back to the conference but could notattend the one in Santa Clara that year (i.e. 1993). I was able to attend the next conference in Boston (1994) and Ihave been a regular speaker at ESC ever since. For the past couple of years, I’ve been on the conference AdvisoryCommittee. I now do at least 3 lectures at every conference and each have average attendance of between 200 and300 people! My lectures are almost always ranked amongst the top 10% of the conference.To date, we sold well over 15,000 copies or
 µC/OS, The Real-Time Kernel
around the world. I received andanswered well over 1000 e-mails from the following countries:In 1995,
 µC/OS, The Real-Time Kernel
was translated in Japanese and published in a magazine called
inJapan. µC/OS has been ported to the following processors:Analog Devices AD21xxAdvanced Risc Machines ARM6, ARM7Hitachi 64180, H8/3xx, SH seriesIntel 80x86 (Real and PM), Pentium, Pentium-II, 8051, 8052, MCS-251, 80196, 8096

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