iTron: What is it?
TRON (more specifically iTron) is an open real-time operating system kernel design, which is the acronym for “The Real-Time Operating system Nucleus.” The system was started by Dr. Ken Sakamura at the University of Tokyo in 1984. Its goal is to create computer architecture and networking to provide for whatever needs a certain user maybe have.
The iTron architecture is unique in that it does not have source code for the kernel, but instead is a “set of interfaces and design guidelines”1 for creating the kernel. This allows different users (be that companies or individuals) to create their own versions of the operating system, based on the different needs that a certain user will need.
TRON framework has different architecture for the different computing units it supports. iTron is architecture used for real-time operating systems for embedded systems and is the most popular use of TRON. A sub-project of iTron is jTron that allows the system to use the Java platform. Other sub-architectures include bTron, which is a business aspect of the system used on personal computers, workstations, and PDA’s; cTron, that is the central and communications branch of TRON, mTron, used for intercommunication between the different TRON components, and sTron, that is the hardware implementation of a real-time kernel.
When talking about the most famous version of TRON, iTron, is necessary to understand what makes a good real-time kernel, and have a basic understanding of what it actually does. A real-time kernel, also known as a “real-time executive” or “real-time operating system,” can be looked at as a stripped down, minimal operating system that handles multiple tasks at very high speeds in order to respond quickly to external inputs.
When working correctly a real-time kernel manages different tasks in an order that can change according to the “priority level” set for each task. When a task with a higher priority is initiated, the kernel must be able...