An Overview of Real-time Operating Systems

Walter Cedeño, Phillip A. Laplante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Over the past 25 years, advances in semiconductor manufacturing have led to smaller and faster computers, which in turn has stimulated the development of "smarter" laboratory devices that can control complex networks of devices and process large amounts of data fast and reliably. As more functionality is pushed down to laboratory devices and personal computers, the sophistication needed to manage external resources, events, and information grows. In some cases, only real-time operating systems (RTOSs) can meet the time and resource constraints of such systems. Whether you write your own software for lab automation, write middleware to help communicate between programs, or use off-the-shelf software, it is beneficial to know when a RTOS is an appropriate platform for your application. This paper provides an overview of RTOSs, the criteria needed for their evaluation, and examples of typical RTOSs. Our main purpose is to enable the reader to understand basic concepts of real-time systems and to stimulate further investigation into their unique properties in the context of laboratory automation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalJALA - Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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