Enabling technology

Altreonic’s approach shines in the context of novel and daring applications where scalability, distributed operation, high reliability and real-time are dominant requirements.

OpenComRTOS is an enabling technology and thanks to its small footprint it combines performance and low power.

Application domains

· Robotics

· Autonomous systems

· Machine control

· Parallel DSP systems

· Many-core platforms

· Fault Tolerant systems

· Measuring and sensing

Open Licensing

Customers want to reduce their risks and be able to verify and certify their products. Beyond the Open Source model, an Open License not only delivers source code, but also the formal models, design documents, test suites and the right to use and modify, even to resell. This is innovation as well.

KISS revisited

Keep it Simple but Smart,  which means that a complex solution is a problem not well understood. On the other hand finding a simple solution can require quite a lot of hard thinking.”

Unexpected benefits of going formal

“Altreonic has first hand experience that its methodology delivers. While we have a 20 years experience in real-time embedded systems and in particular in developing and selling the highly successful Virtuoso RTOS (acquired by Wind River in 2001), it was still a mind opening experience when we developed a new RTOS from scratch, whereby a systematic methodology was followed. Moreover, we found that using formal methods was not that hard and could be done with a small but dedicated team.

The abstraction provided by the formal tools allowed us to completely rethink the architecture without getting lost in the details of the implementation. The result was astonishing. The code size for example is 5 to 10 times less than the equivalent functionality of a traditionally designed RTOS. We can easily fit all functionality and more in 5 to 10 Kbytes per node. In addition, OpenComRTOS is much more portable, scalable and safer. It can also transparently support heterogeneous, many-core or networked target systems, which also enables a new way of looking at fault tolerance.

Sometimes, people tell us that small code size is not that important anymore as memory is cheap. They seem to forget that memory speed hasn’t kept up with processor technology. Less code and less data also means less power consumption  and higher performance. The transparent parallel/distributed operation also makes it easier to use multiple cores at lower frequency, further reducing power consumption.

The lesson to remember is that rigorous engineering doesn’t need to be more expensive. It does not only provides more trustworthy products, it can also make them more cost-efficient and less taxing on the environment. Good engineering has always been about resource management.”

Eric Verhulst, CEO/CTO of Altreonic.