Hands-On RTOS with Microcontrollers

By Brian Amos
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  1. Section 1: Introduction and RTOS Concepts

About this book

A real-time operating system (RTOS) is used to develop systems that respond to events within strict timelines. Real-time embedded systems have applications in various industries, from automotive and aerospace through to laboratory test equipment and consumer electronics. These systems provide consistent and reliable timing and are designed to run without intervention for years.

This microcontrollers book starts by introducing you to the concept of RTOS and compares some other alternative methods for achieving real-time performance. Once you've understood the fundamentals, such as tasks, queues, mutexes, and semaphores, you'll learn what to look for when selecting a microcontroller and development environment. By working through examples that use an STM32F7 Nucleo board, the STM32CubeIDE, and SEGGER debug tools, including SEGGER J-Link, Ozone, and SystemView, you'll gain an understanding of preemptive scheduling policies and task communication. The book will then help you develop highly efficient low-level drivers and analyze their real-time performance and CPU utilization. Finally, you'll cover tips for troubleshooting and be able to take your new-found skills to the next level.

By the end of this book, you'll have built on your embedded system skills and will be able to create real-time systems using microcontrollers and FreeRTOS.

Publication date:
May 2020


Section 1: Introduction and RTOS Concepts

What is a real-time system and what are the major components that make up a real-time operating system (RTOS)? These are the questions we'll be answering in the first section of this book. This prerequisite knowledge will serve as a foundation we'll build upon with working examples and hands-on exercises in later chapters. If you're already familiar with another RTOS, you can probably skim or skip this section. 

This section comprises the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1, Introducing Real-Time Systems
  • Chapter 2, Understanding RTOS Tasks
  • Chapter 3, Task Signaling and Communication Mechanisms

About the Author

  • Brian Amos

    Brian Amos is an embedded system engineer who has been programming with FreeRTOS since 2012. He is currently a senior firmware engineer in the telecom industry creating embedded systems used in ground stations for satellite communication. In the past, he led a team of engineers creating a flexible architecture to rapidly develop high-precision laboratory test equipment. Prior to this, he worked with early mesh networked energy harvesting sensors used to help predict when industrial machinery needed maintenance.

    Browse publications by this author

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