Nematron's HyperKernel is the first real-time subsystem that allows Windows NT/2000 to be used as a real-time operating system.
Until now, developers of true deterministic real-time operating system (RTOS) applications have been constrained by the limited resources available for their proprietary RTOS environments. Essential tools, software, and support are typically scarce, adding to the cost of development and delaying time-to-market.
Windows NT/2000, on the other hand, is the industry-standard operating system and application development environment, but it lacks the critical RTOS tools and capabilities that deterministic real-time applications need.
Introducing HyperKernel for Microsoft Windows NT/2000. HyperKernel is a set of extensions and APIs for Windows NT/2000 which provides real-time operating system (RTOS) capabilities and application development tools. HyperKernel allows developers to leverage the benefits of the rich Windows development environment, with thousands of off-the-shelf resources, to create deterministic real-time in less time and at lower cost.
HyperKernel is an essential tool for everyone who develops real-time systems in:
- Office automation/computer peripherals
- Industrial automation
- Transportation control systems
- Medical instrumentation
- Test & measurement instruments
- Consumer electronics
HyperKernel is a self-contained execution environment; HyperKernel threads run within a HyperKernel environment and are not subject to scheduling delays in Windows NT/2000. In fact, the Windows NT/2000 scheduler is totally unaware of HyperKernel threads. HyperKernel has its own scheduler, its own set of services, and its own internal kernel.
HyperKernel operates at the highest privilege level of the microprocessor in conjunction with Windows NT/2000 to achieve deterministic performance. Preemptive access to the full range of Windows NT/2000 user applications is maintained. The HyperKernel real-time applications run in conjunction with all Windows NT/2000 applications to maintain deterministic performance independent of other Windows-based applications. This architecture guarantees the performance of the HyperKernel application while supporting all other concurrent Windows NT/2000 applications.
HyperKernel is a real-time subsystem designed to create a deterministic real-time Microsoft Windows NT/2000 system on an Intel-based microcomputer.
To validate the real-time deterministic bounds of the HyperKernel, a series of tests was performed to quantify the interrupt and timer latency using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) PC hardware and test software. The results of testing various Pentium systems from different PC suppliers shows that the HyperKernel provides a very deterministic RTOS for Windows NT/2000, even on a heavily loaded NT/2000 system. The testing was done to simulate an idle NT/2000 system, an active NT/2000 system. and an extremely over-stressed NT/2000 system.
Interrupt latency is a key indicator of the robustness of a real-time NT/2000 system. The latency ranged from a low of 11 µsec on a Pentium II 266MHz running just the HyperKernel application to a high of 37 µsec on an over-stressed 100MHz Pentium.
The test procedures employed standard third-party testing tools to generate the test environments. Test programs developed by Nematron are available for use by our customers for product validation.
A free evaluation version of HyperKernel 5.5 is available for download at nematron.com/Demos.