The most important industrial fields that can benefit from adaptive real-time technology include Consumer Electronics, Industrial Automation, and Telecommunications.
Consumer Electronics (CE) products range from miniature cameras and MP3 players to advanced media servers and large displays. Mainly driven by Moore’s law, the evolution in the CE industry is very fast. The software content, measured in ROM size, grows one order of magnitude every 6 to 7 years. To keep up with this speed, the industry moves to families of products based on retargetable platforms: systems on chip that allow media streaming and featurization.

In the area of Industrial Automation there is a trend to search distributed solutions and to prepare hardware and software for connecting the general plant actuators, sensors and the controllers. Distributed solutions give a natural automation condition to common industrial needs as usually such plants are physically and topologically distributed. At the same time, there is an increase of demands for new options and improvements in the automation results, fetching more control of plant secondary data. This imposes a continuous increment in processing power and memory capacity that requires adaptivity at different levels of system operation.

Embedded systems for telecommunications applications are mainly targeted to the interfaces between communication technologies and to coding/decoding operations. They may be considered real-time as they have timeliness requirements for some of the critical operations they must perform. The referred systems are microprocessor based platforms, often integrating a second processor (e.g., a DSP) devoted to specific functions, like MPEG coding. Depending on the system, a proprietary kernel can be used or a real-time operating system, (e.g. iRMX). Currently Linux starts to become the adopted operating system. The verification of real-time behavior is made by the experimental inspection of the timeliness requirements at the development phase and at the operation phase by in-situ monitoring.

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