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Linux Kernel Adds Real-Time Features

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Embedded developers have long maintained real-time patch sets outside the mainline Linux kernel, but those days may be coming to an end, according to representatives of Linux developer service provider TimeSys Corp. That company announced Thursday (Oct. 12) that basic support for real-time features has been added to the mainline Linux kernel.

The new real-time features are available in the Linux 2.6.18 kernel, and will be further extended in future kernel releases. TimeSys, meanwhile, has expanded its LinuxLink developer service to include real-time Linux extensions.

Real-time performance enhancements available in the 2.6.18 kernel include priority inheritance support to prevent priority inversions, and extensions to the generic interrupt handling layer across all architectures, including embedded architectures such as ARM. Technology contributors include Ingo Molnar of Red Hat and Thomas Gleixner, senior open source developer at TimeSys. Additional real-time features that are currently available as patches will continue to be merged into subsequent kernels.

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