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I'm interested in using a COTS board like the Wandboard for a project. On one hand I'd like to use something like Ubuntu for user interaction, sounds, TCP/IP stuff, etc. But I also need an RTOS like uC/OS-II since there are some real-time requirements. Are there any resources to help set up something like this?

I've only used multi-core processors with a single kernel before (SMP), so this is new to me. Apparently, this guy has done it, but I can find information only sparingly.

This seems like mostly a bootloader (U-Boot) task, so I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but it's the closest I could find.

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Many RTOSes (e.g. RTLinux) are organized as a underlying hard real time system under which a more traditional full-fledged kernel runs as a regular task. To run real-time tasks, they get to run in the underlying system.

The real time performance of plain Linux has gotten much better lately, check if the plain Ubuntu system is enough for your needs. If not, there is a set of real-time patches, maintained outside the vanilla Linux kernel because they are very intrusive and give sensibly worse performance for "regular use". They have been cleaned up and trickled slowly into the kernel, as long as their impact isn't too hard, but both projects advance fast, so there is no "final merge" in sight.

Also consider that perhaps your problem is that the machine is plain underpowered for the task(s) at hand... split them up, get a larger machine. That might turn out cheaper in the long(er) run than setting up/maintaining a one-of-a-kind configuration.

  • You're right about the machine being a poor fit for my needs. But I'm a bit constrained in a few ways. One is form factor. This is for a handheld device and adding a second uC and peripherals will force the board to be expanded. Second, I'm hoping to use a COTS board so that I won't have to spin my own. It could save me a ton of time and money. So I'm exploring this path first. I don't have a ton of experience building the Linux kernel... it's always seemed a little over-complicated. But I'll look deeper into the RT stuff. Thanks! – BabaBooey Apr 16 '13 at 17:41
  • There have been a few "open hardware cell phone" projects around, or you could go the way of an Android offsping running on a vanilla cellphone/tablet. Some demented souls even get full regular Linux distributions running on them... perhaps you should go shopping for something like the Raspberry Pi? – vonbrand Apr 16 '13 at 17:51

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