Timed Multitasking for Real-Time Embedded Software

Jie Liu and Edward A. Lee

Invited paper in IEEE Control System Magazine, special issue on "Advances in Software Enabled Control"

Prepublished version
Published version


For many real-time applications, it is essential to bring the notion of time and concurrent interaction among software components to the programming level and develop compilers and run-time systems that preserve both time and function properties for embedded software. In this article, we describe an actor-oriented software architecture and a timed multitasking programming model that embraces timing properties at design time, so that designers can specify when the computational results are produced to the physical world when the software is programmed. Function and timing determinism can be assured by a run-time system. Thus, as long as there are enough resources, the computation will always produce predictable values at a predictable time.