What Is A Real-Time Operating System?A real-time operating system (RTOS) is a specific type of operating system designed to manage multiple requests and processes within a set, predefined time constraint. Unlike standard operating systems, an RTOS prioritises tasks based on their urgency rather than their availability. This makes them an essential component in systems where timing is critical, such as aviation software, industrial control systems, or medical equipment. They ensure system responses are both predictable and quick, adhering to strict deadlines to prevent potentially disastrous consequences. The key characteristics that define every RTOS are:
- High performance: An RTOS must be able to handle tasks within a specific time frame, meeting the deadlines with minimal delay.
- Determinism: Repeated inputs in the system must result in the same output.
- Priority-based scheduling: Tasks are assigned a priority level, and the RTOS ensures that high-priority tasks are executed first.
- Small footprint: A ROTS weighs significantly less than a regular OS.
- Safety and security: It is integral for an RTOS to have a high level of security and reliable safety features.
- Timing information: RTOS must provide accurate timing information to ensure the correct execution of time-critical tasks.