Optimising the Support for Real-Time Linux


Congatec teams up with Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) to optimise the board support for Real-Time Linux

OSADL qualified Congatec’s real-time Linux implementation uses Linux kernel 4.9.47-rt37 on conga-TS170 Server-on-Modules equipped with the embedded server-class Intel Xeon processor (E3-1578L v5 @ 2.00 GHz). The COM Express Type 6 module mounted on the evaluation carrier board conga-TEVAL performed well in the tests.

Board support for Real-Time Linux

Linux and real-time Linux implementations dominate in embedded system designs, with 58% of all new projects expected to start with Open Source (OS) and nearly the same amount of projects (59%) involving real-time, as the latest surveys indicate. The products support all major real-time capable OS from both x86 and ARM technologies including first and foremost real-time Linux but also further RTOS such as VxWorks or QNX, as well as deterministic hypervisor and virtualisation technologies from vendors such as Real-Time systems.


The challenge when implementing hard real-time Linux behaviour lies in mastering all processing layers from BIOS to Linux kernel to userspace since the overall real-time capabilities are only as good as the weakest link in the chain. In addition, modern processors such as Intel’s Skylake family offer a wide range of energy-saving features that must be balanced to the requirements of real-time computing.

Executed in standardised racks, the OSADL quality assurance testifies that conga-TS170 Server-on-Modules for any real-time application. Target markets for these high-end modules for workstations and servers also provide high-end graphics include test and measurement equipment, back-end systems in medical imaging, industrial workstations as well as vision-based inspection systems and situational awareness platforms.

Joint engineering projects for new open source solutions also help us to concentrate on our own core competencies – offering competitive advantages for our customers by simplifying the use of embedded computer technology”, explains Carsten Rebmann, Director R&D at Congatec.

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