Hewlett-Packard Co has released version 3.0 of its HP-RT real- time operating system that it claims is real-time enough to cope with diverting that long range missile heading towards you in your fighter jet. HP-RT is a standards-based Posix-compliant real time operating system that offers sub-100 microsecond deterministic response times. This type of operating system is necessary when the application demands absolute guaranteed response times for requests to the server, such as for a hospital system tied to a heart monitor, or a missile tracking system. In many time-sharing systems, the system must finish the current task before responding to an interrupt, which means the precise maximum time cannot be determined. For certain types of life- critical systems, this response time must be absolutely guaranteed. Hewlett-Packard claims what makes HP-RT different from other real-time operating systems is that it is fully optimized and tuned for the company’s Precision Architecture-RISC hardware systems. It was built from the ground up to be a real- time operating system, but also incorporates the best of Unix features. The system’s deterministic capabilities are written as an integral part of the system kernel, which the company says gives a much faster response time than building the real-time capabilities on top of a system kernel. The new release includes enhancements to the developer’s kit and updates to existing software packages. It includes additional Posix.1b real-time extensions, dynamic shared libraries to enable program sizes to be reduced and maintenance to be centralized, and additional development tools. Version 3.0 also supports Hewlett-Packard’s recently introduced VMEbus single-board computer, the 132Mhz 744rt, based on the new PA-7300 RISC processor (CI No 2,835) with 128Kb on-chip cache, configurable with up to 256Mb Dynamic RAM. Hewlett-Packard says HP-RT is compatible with its HP-UX Unix, which makes it easy for developers to learn and use. It supports C/ANSI C, C++, Fortran and PA-RISC Assembly, as well as Ada from third parties. HP-RT 3.0 is available now. The developer’s kit license costs $10,000 and the developer’s kit software is $1,200 including manuals.
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