embOS (Real Time Operating System)

embos_image0Real time operating system

embOS is a priority-controlled real time operating system, designed to be used as foundation for the development of embedded real-time applications. It is a zero interrupt latency*, high-performance RTOS that has been optimized for minimum memory consumption in both RAM and ROM, as well as high speed and versatility. Throughout the development process of embOS, the limited resources of microcontrollers have always been kept in mind. The internal structure of embOS has been optimized in a variety of applications with different customers, to fit the needs of different industries. embOS is fully source-compatible on different platforms (8/16/32 bits), making it easy to port applications to different CPUs. Its’ highly modular structure ensures that only those functions that are needed are linked, keeping the ROM size very small. Tasks can easily be created and safely communicate with each other using a complete palette of communication mechanisms such as semaphores, mailboxes, and events. Interrupt Service Routines (ISRs) can also take advantage of these communication mechanisms.

* High priority interrupts are never disabled by embOS.

Further Details:

Supported CPUs
embOS has been ported to a variety of CPUs and development environments. We constantly add new devices to the list.
For various processors, embOS is also available for download as full functional trial version. All trial versions contain a complete ready to go start project, the users manual and embOSView tool which can also be downloaded separately from our download page. Of course there are some limitations for the trial version: Using the trial version in a product is not allowed. The trial version of the embOS libraries run without a time limit with a maximum of three tasks. If your application creates more than three tasks, embOS stops after a time limit of 12 hours. Customer support is not included. To check if a embOS trial version is available for the processor you use, please check out the list of supported processors.
embOSView is a very helpful tool for analysis of the running target application in real time. It displays the state of a running application using embOS. All communication is done from within the communication interrupt routines. This means that the communication is none intrusive if embOSView is not connected and minimum intrusive while embOSView is connected. In the profiling build, embOS collects precise timing information for every task, which enables embOSView to show the CPU load.
The embOS plug-in for the IAR Embedded Workbench™ provides embOS awareness during debugging sessions. The state of several embOS objects such as the tasks, resource semaphores, mailboxes, or timers can be inspected.
embOS can be used in any application from battery-powered, single chip products to systems demanding ultra-fast response, flexibility and multiple tasks. Typical fields are: Industrial equipment Test and Measurement equipment Telecommunication Medical equipment Consumer electronics…
  • kernel size (ROM) 1100 – 1600 byte*
  • kernel RAM usage 18 – 25 byte *
  • kernel CPU usage at 1 ms Interrupts with 10MHz M16C : less than .3%
  • RAM usage mailbox 9 – 15 byte *
  • RAM usage binary and counting semaphore 3 byte
  • RAM usage resource semaphore 4 – 5 byte *
  • RAM usage timer 9 – 11 byte *
  • RAM usage event 0
  • Basic time unit (One Tick) Default 1 ms, can be configured, Min. 100 µs (M16C@10MHz)*
  • task activation time independent of no. of tasks(e.g. typ. 12 us M16C@10MHz)
  • zero interrupt latency
  • No. of tasks : Unlimited (by available RAM only)
  • No. of mailboxes : Unlimited (by available RAM only)
  • No. of semaphores : Unlimited (by available RAM only)
  • No. of s/w timers : Unlimited (by available RAM only)
  • Max. no. of priorities : Unlimited
  • Max. no. of tasks with identical priorities (Round robin scheduling) Unlimited

* Depends on CPU, compiler and library model used

embOS is available as library or source code; the source code version includes libraries and the source code of the libraries. Both versions come with ready to go start projects, BSPs and embOSView. Different builds of libraries are also included: Release/stack check build, typically used in the release build of the application program; Debug/profiling build typically used in the development phase. The libraries offer the full functionality of embOS including all supported memory models of the compiler, the debug libraries and the source code for idle task and hardware initialization. However, the libraries do not allow source-level debugging of the library routines and the kernel. The full source version provides the ultimate options: embOS can be recompiled for different data sizes; different compile options give full control of the generated code, making it possible to optimize the system for versatility or minimum memory requirements. The entire system can be debugged and modified.


  • Preemptive scheduling: Guarantees that of all tasks in READY state, the one with the highest priority executes, except for situations where priority inversion applies.
  • Round-robin scheduling for tasks with identical priorities.
  • Preemptions can be disabled for entire tasks or for sections of a program.
  • Thread local storage support.
  • Thread safe system library support.
  • No configuration needed
  • Unlimited priorities: Every task can have an individual priority => the response of tasks can be precisely defined according to the requirements of the application.
  • Unlimited number of tasks (limited only by available memory).
  • Unlimited number of event flags.
  • Unlimited number of semaphores (limited only by available memory).
  • Unlimited number of message queues (limited only by available memory).
  • Unlimited number of mailboxes (limited only by available memory).
  • Size and number of messages can be freely defined.
  • Unlimited number of software timers (limited only by available memory).
  • Mutexes with full priority inheritance.
  • Time resolution tick can be freely selected (default is 1ms).
  • High resolution time measurement (more accurate than tick).
  • Power management: Unused CPU time can automatically be spent in halt mode, minimizing power consumption.
  • Full interrupt support: Most API functions can be used from within the Interrupt Service Routines (ISRs).
  • Nested interrupts are permitted.
  • Start application and projects (BSPs) for an easy start.
  • High precision per task profiling.
  • Very fast and efficient, yet small code.
  • Minimum RAM usage.
  • Core written in assembly language.
  • All API functions can be called from C /C++/assembly.
  • Initialization of microcontroller hardware as sources.
  • BSP for any unsupported hardware with the same CPU can easily be written by user.