A real-time scratchpad-centric OS with predictable inter/intra-core communication for multi-core embedded systems

Rohan Tabish, Renato Mancuso, Saud Wasly, Rodolfo Pellizzoni, Marco Caccamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multi-core processors have replaced single-core systems in almost every segment of the industry. Unfortunately, their increased complexity often causes a loss of temporal predictability which represents a key requirement for hard real-time systems. Major sources of unpredictability are shared low level resources, such as the memory hierarchy and the I/O subsystem. In this paper, we approach the problem of shared resource arbitration at an OS-level and propose a novel scratchpad-centric OS design for multi-core platforms. In the proposed OS, the predictable usage of shared resources across multiple cores represents a central design-time goal. Hence, we show (i) how contention-free execution of real-time tasks can be achieved on scratchpad-based architectures, and (ii) how a separation of application logic and I/O operations in time domain can be enforced, and (iii) how predictable asynchronous inter/intra-core communication between tasks can be performed. To validate the proposed design, we implemented the proposed OS using commercial-off-the-shelf (MPC5777M) platform. Experimental results show that novel design delivers predictable temporal behavior to hard real-time tasks, and it provides performance gain of upto 2.1× compared to traditional approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-888
Number of pages39
JournalReal-Time Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • IPC
  • Inter-core and intra-core communication
  • Multi-core
  • Operating system
  • Predictability
  • Scratchpad
  • embedded systems
  • real-time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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