News | May 11, 1999

Altvater Airdata Chooses Microware RTOS for Wireless Internet Development

Germany-based Altvater Airdata Systems has selected Microware Systems Corp. (Des Moines, IA) OS-9 real-time operating system (RTOS) for use in base stations designed to deliver wireless Internet services. Under the agreement, Altvater Airdata Systems will employ Microware's OS-9 RTOS during the development of infrastructure for its wireless metropolitan area network (WIMAN) digital microwave system.

Altvater Airdata customers are employing WIMAN technology to provide point-to-multipoint systems capable of delivering a wide array of wireless services. In fact, Altvater says a major US Internet service provider recently announced they are using WIMAN to deliver fast and affordable wireless service to businesses in 50 new service areas nationwide.

In the WIMAN system, connections are delivered using a cellular-type infrastructure similar to wireless voice networks. Capabilities to provide advanced security, privacy, and other applications such as Internet voice are currently being certified. Speeds are available up to 128 Kb/s with faster capabilities up to 512 kb/s arriving this year and speeds up to 2 Mb/s occurring in 2000.

Under today's agreement, Altvater will employ Microware's OS-9 RTOS during the development of the cellular-type infrastructure products.

Microware's OS-9 RTOS consists of a collection of individual modules grouped together to form an image that brings your embedded system to life. Each module in the system can be dynamically loaded, unloaded, and replaced while the system is on-line and in-use for high availability applications.

An OS-9 module consists of three pieces: a module header, which keeps track of the revision history of the module name. This patented feature of the OS-9 operating system enables module by module upgrade or replacement, an important facility for high availability and field upgradeability.

The second part of the module is the position independent, fully re-entrant data/code area. This enables functionality to be built into one module then shared by multiple others to minimize overall code size.

The third piece of the module is the cyclic redundancy check (CRC). This CRC is used by OS-9 to detect accidentally or maliciously corrupted modules, providing high reliability and security while preventing software viruses to enter the system.

From an application perspective, programming for OS-9 is very much like programming for UNIX. The native application environment incorporates a unified I/O system where accessing any kind of input/output (I/O) device by the application is done the same way (open, close, read, write). If an engineer is familiar with the ioctl call in UNIX, system configuration getting and setting is done through getstat and setstat calls identical to ioctl.

The OS-9 RTOS comes complete with a TCP/IP stack based on Berkeley Standard Distribution (BSD) version 4.4. This implementation provides a socket library that provides for simple porting and compatibility with any sockets-based utilities or applications. A remote procedure call (RPC) interface is also available with network file system (NFS) client and server for applications or environments requiring these kinds of services.

For more information on OS-9, contact Microware at 515-223-8000.