Segger Microcontroller in Germany has launched an all-in-one embedded software stack that it says will help address the chip shortage.
The emPower OS is based around the company’s embOS real time operating system but combines all the other core components such as GUI and File System and communication software with modules for TCP/IP, USB Device, USB-Host and Modbus, as well as an IoT Toolkit, security and data compression.
This allows developers using ARM and RISC-V based microcontrollers to easily move between a thousand different thousand hardware platforms as it removes dependencies on vendors, vendor-specific toolchains, and vendor-specific software libraries and also minimizes other risks that can occur independently of the chip shortage in the development process.
MikroE in Serbia last week launched a range of standardised microcontroller modules to enable the same type of portability in hardware.
The emPower OS is optimized for a small memory footprint, making it easier to move between different devices and eliminating the need for expensive external memory to keep the cost of the embedded computing system to a minimum.
The hardware support enables abstraction of the application from the microcontroller so that developers can quickly switch the hardware without completely rewriting the software. The software development is simplified to merely switching a few drivers, adapting the remaining direct hardware accesses and testing functionality.
"Because of the chip crisis, many industrial companies are rethinking their software development processes – how to break dependencies and gain flexibility,” said Ivo Geilenbrügge, CEO of Segger. "emPower OS offers the flexibility to prevent production downtime."
This also addresses other challenges such as the change in software support. Segger points to Microchip’s purchase of the Micrium realtime operating system to support its own microcontroller chips rather than those of its competitors.
The OS is offered as source code under a perpetual license model with a one-time cost without royalties and the customer always owns the product license. As part of the Embedded Studio PRO package, the emPower OS is also offered as object code.
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