CE 6.0 Hard Real-Time Embedded O/S – Here’s the proof.

Windows CE is a hard real-time embedded operating system, need proof? – read on…

Dedicated Systems Experts have completed an independent real-time analysis of the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 product – here’s a link to their report.

Here’s some comments from the evaluation summary.

  • “RT-VALIDATED”, CE 6.0 R2 passed all tests without problems.
  • All protection primitives use priority inheritance, which is a major plus for achieving real-time behavior!
  • Interrupt latencies improved compared with CE 5.0.
  • Good debugging tools: also for kernel/driver debugging.
  • Very easy to install and to set-up a target (from templates).
  • New memory model gives you the same flexibility like a 32-bit general purpose OS

Here’s the hardware specification use by Dedicated Systems for the test.

– Motherboard: Chaintech 5TTMT M201 with a 33MHz PCI bus
– BIOS: Award BIOS v4.51PG
– CPU: Intel Pentium 200Mhz MMX Family 5 Model 4 Stepping 3 (with 32KB L1 Cache)
– RAM: 256 MB
– Graphic adapter: S3 trio6 TV2/DX
– Network interface card: The Realtek RTL8139C(L)
– VMETRO PCI exerciser in PCI slot 3 (PCI interrupt level D, local bus interrupt level 10)
– VMETRO PBT-315 PCI analyser in PCI slot 4.
– External and CPU internal cache was enabled during the tests, unless otherwise specified.

Having figures you can look at in a report is all very nice, but I know you want to see Windows CE doing something that shows the real-time capability, right? – Yes, of course, that’s exactly what I would be wanting to see as well!

Here’s a video (I will have some better video shortly) of the classic “Reverse Pendulum” problem with a twist. The typical reverse pendulum problem has a “stick” running along a horizontal path. The stick doesn’t stand up on its own, so you need a real-time embedded operating system to monitor how the stick is falling and then move to keep the stick balanced. In this demo Beckhoff have built a reverse pendulum that runs on two axis. The stick can fall in any direction.

The Beckhoff hardware is an Intel Celeron 1GHz, 256MB DDR-RAM, running Windows Embedded CE 6 R2 - Application: 500µs cycle-time running PLC logic and Motion Control.

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=b50f33e5-c08a-42a1-b2ad-e634de801c7c" target="_new" title="Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Real-Time Beckhoff Demo">Video: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Real-Time Beckhoff Demo</a>

I should have some more video to show soon…

- Mike

Comments (7)

  1. We had numbers demonstrating that the previous version of Windows CE (version 5.0) was meeting the hard

  2. Craig Humphrey says:

    Does this mean we’ll finally see a version of Windows Mobile that doesn’t freeze all the time?

  3. mikehall says:

    Windows CE has been a hard real-time operating system since v3.0 (released y2k). The current embedded release is version 6.0 R2. Windows Mobile 6.x is based on the Windows CE 5.0 kernel.

    Real-time deals with hardware interrupts and drivers. The measurements from DSE cover ISR/IST latencies.

    – Mike

  4. Apan says:

    I’m sorry, but are we supposed to be impressed? Or what’s the point?

  5. I presented a session at TechEd yesterday called “Windows Embedded: From Sensors to Servers” – the session

  6. mikehall says:


    The reverse pendulum is a classic real-time problem, having a dual-axis reverse pendulum clearly shows the real-time behavior of Windows CE.

    – Mike

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