Electronic Systems Design Seminar

A Small-Memory Real-Time Microkernel

Professor Kang G. Shin
Real-Time Computing Laboratory
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
of Michigan


Monday, February 10, 2003, 4:00pm-5:00pm
540AB Cory Hall (DOP Center Classroom)




EMERALDS (Extensible Microkernel for Embedded, ReAL-time, Distributed Systems) is a real-time microkernel designed for small-memory embedded applications. These applications must run on slow (15-25MHz) processors with just 32-128 Kbytes of memory, either to keep production costs down in mass-produced systems or to keep weight and power consumption low. To be feasible for such applications, the OS must not only be small in size (less than 20 kbytes) but also have low-overhead kernel services. Unlike commercial embedded OSs which rely on carefully-optimized code to achieve efficiency, EMERALDS takes the approach of re-designing the basic OS services of task scheduling, synchronization, communication, and system call mechanism by using characteristics found in small-memory embedded systems such as small code size and a priori knowledge of task execution & communication patterns. With these new schemes, the overheads of various OS services are reduced 20-40% without compromising any OS functionality.


This work is done jointly with Khawar M. Zuberi and Babu Pillai.


Kang G. Shin is the Kevin and Nancy O’Connor Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the Real-Time Computing Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. His current research focuses on QoS-sensitive networking and computing as well as on embedded real-time OS, middleware and applications, all with emphasis on timeliness and dependability.

He has supervised the completion of 42 PhD theses, and authored/coauthored over 500 technical papers and numerous book chapters in the areas of distributed real-time computing and control, computer networking, fault-tolerant computing, and intelligent manufacturing. He has co-authored (jointly with C. M. Krishna) a textbook “Real-Time Systems,” McGraw Hill, 1997. 

He received the B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea in 1970, and both the M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York in 1976 and 1978, respectively. From 1978 to 1982 he was on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. He has held visiting positions at the U.S. Airforce Flight Dynamics Laboratory, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Computer Science Division within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley, and International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, CA, IBM T. J.Watson Research Center, Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and HP Research Laboratories.


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