Thought Leadership

Embedded World next week: hear me on RTOS performance and self-testing

By Colin Walls

The largest event in the world of embedded systems takes place in Nuremberg, Germany on Tuesday-Thursday next week. Embedded World is an annual trade show with a highly-regarded technical conference. This is an annual pilgrimage for me, as I generally have papers in the conference. This year is no exception …


Mentor Embedded has a strong presence at the show, with a large booth, featuring a wide range of demonstrations, and numerous conference presentations. This year, I have two papers:

How to Measure RTOS Performance

In the world of smart phones and tablet PCs memory might be cheap, but in the more constrained universe of deeply embedded devices, it is still a precious resource. This is one of the many reasons why most 16- and 32-bit embedded designs rely on the services of a scalable real-time operating system (RTOS). An RTOS allows product designers to focus on the added value of their solution while delegating efficient resource (memory, peripheral, etc.) management. In addition to footprint advantages, an RTOS operates with a degree of determinism that is an essential requirement for a variety of embedded applications. This paper takes a look at “typical” reported performance metrics for an RTOS in the embedded industry.

Self-testing in Embedded Systems

All electronic systems carry the possibility of failure. An embedded system has intrinsic intelligence that facilitates the possibility of predicting failure and mitigating its effects. This paper reviews the options for self-testing that are open to the embedded software developer. Testing algorithms for memory are outlined and some ideas for self-monitoring software in multi-tasking and multi-CPU systems are discussed.

If you are attending the conference, please come along to my talks. If you would like a copy of my slides, please email or contact via social media.

If you are going to Embedded World, it would be great to see you. I will be at the event all day on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning. When not presenting, I am likely to be on or near the Mentor Graphics booth #4-422 in Hall 4. Do stop by and say hello.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at