Browse Prior Art Database

Developing Embedded System Control Programs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118176D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 84K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Regan, D: AUTHOR

Abstract

Many modern complex computer systems use common industry standard UNIX* operating systems and workstations for their non-real-time components and specialized coprocessors for their real-time components. The UNIX host is typically used to present an interface to human operators and for batch operations such as database lookup while the coprocessors are typically used for the time-critical movement of communications data or for controlling complex hardware.

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Developing Embedded System Control Programs

      Many modern complex computer systems use common industry
standard UNIX* operating systems and workstations for their
non-real-time components and specialized coprocessors for their
real-time components.  The UNIX host is typically used to present an
interface to  human operators and for batch operations such as
database lookup while  the coprocessors are typically used for the
time-critical movement of communications data or for controlling
complex hardware.

      The run-time operation of such systems usually use carefully
designed protocols of communication between processes on the UNIX
host and processes running on the coprocessor.  Designing such
protocols is a  painstaking and time-consuming business and some
phases of operation of  such systems---such as initialization and the
diagnostic phases---would  better be served by an approach that
allowed for the rapid development of  software to control the
embedded system.

      The approach described permits the development of software for
controlling embedded software that can be used during initial
development through the systems live operation and during diagnosis
when problems are being investigated.

      There is first developed, for a given coprocessor, a pair of
communicating processes that provide access for processes on the
coprocessor to the standard file input/output facilities of the UNIX
host.  One process resides on the UNIX host and thus has access to
its file system.  The other process is implemented as a library that
is linked with coprocessor tasks and provides a set of routines that
give access to the UNIX file facilities.  When one of the library of
routines is called, the library process uses a communication protocol
to cooperate with the UNIX process to access UNIX files.  The set of
routines supported should be:
  1.  printf function to allow parameterized string data to be
       written to the standard output stream of the UNIX process.
  2.  gets function to allow the coprocessor task to input a
       line of string data from t...