Adaptive Real-Time

(Soft HArd Real-time Kernel) ver. 1.5.3


S.Ha.R.K. is a free real-time kernel developed at the Scuola Superiore S. Anna of Pisa. The main feature that distinguishes S.Ha.R.K. with respect to other real-time kernels is its high configurability. The user can combine different scheduling policies to comply with specific application requirements. Such a flexibility also applies to resource access protocols and aperiodic service algorithms. Each policy is implemented as a scheduling module that can be selected at system initialization to work in combination with the others modules according to a multi-level scheduling architecture. An application can be developed independently from a particular system configuration, so that new modules can be added or replaced in the same application, to evaluate the effects of specific scheduling policies in terms of predictability, overhead, and performance.

The kernel supports several I/O peripheral devices, including network cards, frame grabbers, and data acquisition boards. S.Ha.R.K. includes a Linux 2.6 Emulation Layer designed to easily reuse the device drivers supported by the kernel release 2.6 of Linux. A bandwidth control mechanism is provided to guarantee that any device driver running within the Emulation Layer cannot break the system real-time constraints, while achieving the fully functionality of devices.

S.Ha.R.K. is fully compliant with almost all the POSIX 1003.13 PSE52 specifications, which simplifies the porting of application code developed for other POSIX compliant kernels.

S.Ha.R.K. is currently adopted in several Universities all over the world as a research platform for studying and teaching real-time systems and real-time communications.

Main related publications

Tullio Facchinetti, Giorgio Buttazzo, Mauro Marinoni, and Giacomo Guidi, "Non-Preemptive Interrupt Scheduling for Safe Reuse of Legacy Drivers in Real-Time Systems", IEEE Proceedings of the 17th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems (ECRTS 2005), Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July, 2005.

Paolo Gai and Giorgio Buttazzo, "An Open Source Real-Time Kernel for Control Applications", Proceedings of the 47th Italian Conference of Factory Automation (ANIPLA 2003), Brescia, Italy, November 21-22, 2003.

Paolo Gai and Giorgio Buttazzo, "Mutual exclusion in operating systems with application defined scheduling", Proceedings of the International Workshop on Advanced Real-Time Operating Systems Services (ARTOSS 2003), Porto, Portugal, July 1, 2003.

Paolo Gai, Luca Abeni, Massimiliano Giorgi, Giorgio Buttazzo, "A New Kernel Approach for Modular Real-Time Systems Development", IEEE Proceedings of the 13th Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems, Delft, The Netherlands, June 2001.

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