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Skylake module aces OSADL’s real-time Linux tests

Jun 21, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 282 views

Congatec has joined the Open Source Automation Development Lab, which has certified that the real-time Linux stack for the Skylake Xeon-E3 based Conga-TS170 COM Express module offers “excellent response times.”

The Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) has certified Congatec’s implementation of real-time Linux (RTL), and has accepted Congatec as a member. Congatec will continued to collaborate with OSADL to optimize board support for RTL and showcase it in the OSADL test racks, says the company.

OSADL benchmarked Congatec’s latest real-time Linux implementation based on Linux kernel 4.9.47-rt37 running on the Conga-TS170 COM Express Basic Type 6 module. This “Server-on-Module” features a 2GHz Xeon E3-1578L v5 chip from Intel’s 6th Gen “Skylake” family. The module was tested with Congatec’s Conga-TEVAL carrier board, which we covered in this piece on Congatec’s 7th Gen Kaby Lake based Conga-TS175 Basic Type 6 COM.


Conga-TS170

“The Congatec module with the Intel Xeon E3 processor of the Skylake generation passed all tests and showed excellent response times,” stated Carsten Emde, General Manager of OSADL eG.

OSADL turned over control of the RTL project to the Linux Foundation back in 2015. However, it continues to run a quality assessment and testing center for the RTL-enhanced industrial products of member companies, and also advises its members on open source legal compliance and safety certifications.

Real-time Linux, which is enabled via the PREEMPT_RT patch, is growing closer to being fully integrated into the mainline kernel. The technology supports deterministic timing behavior, preemption, priority inheritance, and priority ceilings for applications such as factory automation where precise timing is required.



Conga-TS170 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The RTL stack offered with the Conga-TS170 is designed for “high-speed test and measurement equipment, back-end systems in medical imaging, high-performance industrial workstations as well vision-based inspection systems and situational awareness platforms.”

Congatec, which like OSADL is based in Germany, had this to say about its RTL implementation: “The challenge when implementing hard real-time Linux behavior lies in mastering all processing layers from BIOS to Linux kernel to user space, since the overall real-time capabilities are only as good as the weakest link in the chain. In addition, modern processors such as Intel’s Skylake family offer a wide range of energy saving features that must be balanced to the requirements of real-time computing.”

 
Further information

More information about the real-time performance of the Conga-TS170 can be found at OSADL QA Farm rack no. 5, slot no.3. More on the Conga-TS170 may be found at Congatec’s Conga-TS170 product page.
 

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