TRON News Items August '99

ITRON-Based Environment Developed for Running Windows CE

Elmic Systems Inc., a Yokohama-based systems house founded in 1977, has announced that it has successfully developed a micro-ITRON3.0-based software environment in which Microsoft Corporation's Windows CE operating system can be run as a ITRON single task together with micro-ITRON applications. Called "Accel-myu" ('myu' is written with the Greek character for 'm'), the system uses a module called Accelerator Tool that allows data to be passed between the ITRON-based real-time operating system and Windows CE.

There are two advantages to this system, which does not require modifications to Windows CE. First, the delay time between the occurrence of an interrupt and the startup of a handler inside Accel-myu is on the order of 0.5 microseconds, which is considerably faster than Windows CE. Second, the micro-ITRON3.0-based environment allows Windows CE to interface with a vast array of ITRON-based equipment that has been manufactured in Japan. As a result, thanks to micro-ITRON, Windows CE-based personal digital assistants can expect a speed boost and greater connectivity in environments where there are lots of ITRON-based appliances.

Deliveries of the Accel-myu, which will be sold both in the form of executable code and source code, are scheduled for the end of September 1999. At the time of this writing, pricing is undecided, and the software runs only on the Hitachi SH-3 processor. However, within several months Elmic is planning to port the system to the Hitachi SH-4, Motorola PowerPC, and StrongARM microprocessors.

Japanese Legislators Discuss ITRON with U.S. Software President

A report surfaced in TRON news sources in August that four leading Japanese politicians, all members of the Liberal Democratic Party, met the president of Accelerated Technology Inc., a U.S. embedded systems software maker, to discuss promoting the very successful ITRON standard in the U.S. ATI President Neil Henderson met Japanese Diet Representatives Koji Omi, Yoshiaki Harada, Taro Kono, and Hiroyuki Hosoda on August 9, 1999, in the Nagatacho area of Tokyo, where they discussed the need for standardization in the field of embedded systems.

The meeting between the Japanese legislators and Mr. Henderson was arranged by Mr. Dan Harada, who runs the Nagatacho Forum, a lobbying organization that represents Fortune 500 clients from Australia, Europe, and North America. After the meeting, Mr. Henderson reported that "(the Japanese legislators) wanted to know how TRON, a Japanese standard, could aid in other parts of the world. They were also interested in learning how they could help the expansion of the standard." Since the TRON Project is actually a joint project between academia and industry that receives very little direct support from the Japanese government, this desire on the part of Japanese legislators to see the TRON Architecture spread to other areas of the world is very noteworthy.

ATI, which is headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, was founded in August 1990 and is listed as an "Inc. 500" company. The company already supplies its own real-time operating operating system (RTOS) called Nucleus as an open-source, royalty free kernel to embedded systems developers. In addition, ATI offers networking software, development tools, and support products. ATI said, "The company expects to release a micro-ITRON version of their [RTOS] software in September. A full complement of ATI’s products including networking, WWW browser/server, graphics facilities, and file system will soon conform to the ITRON standard in the first quarter, 2000."