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Proceedings Paper

Real-time operating system timing jitter and its impact on motor control
Author(s): Frederick M. Proctor; William P. Shackleford
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Paper Abstract

General-purpose microprocessors are increasingly being used for control applications due to their widespread availability and software support for non-control functions like networking and operator interfaces. Two classes of real-time operating systems (RTOS) exist for these systems. The traditional RTOS serves as the sole operating system, and provides all OS services. Examples include ETS, LynxOS, QNX, Windows CE and VxWorks. RTOS extensions add real-time scheduling capabilities to non-real-time OSes, and provide minimal services needed for the time-critical portions of an application. Examples include RTAI and RTL for Linux, and HyperKernel, OnTime and RTX for Windows NT. Timing jitter is an issue in these systems, due to hardware effects such as bus locking, caches and pipelines, and software effects from mutual exclusion resource locks, non-preemtible critical sections, disabled interrupts, and multiple code paths in the scheduler. Jitter is typically on the order of a microsecond to a few tens of microseconds for hard real-time operating systems, and ranges from milliseconds to seconds in the worst case for soft real-time operating systems. The question of its significance on the performance of a controller arises. Naturally, the smaller the scheduling period required for a control task, the more significant is the impact of timing jitter. Aside from this intuitive relationship is the greater significance of timing on open-loop control, such as for stepper motors, than for closed-loop control, such as for servo motors. Techniques for measuring timing jitter are discussed, and comparisons between various platforms are presented. Techniques to reduce jitter or mitigate its effects are presented. The impact of jitter on stepper motor control is analyzed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 December 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4563, Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing II, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.452653
Show Author Affiliations
Frederick M. Proctor, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
William P. Shackleford, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4563:
Sensors and Controls for Intelligent Manufacturing II
Peter E. Orban, Editor(s)

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