Skip to main content


Operating systems on SoCs: A good idea?


Frank Engel, Gernot Heiser, Ihor Kuz, Stefan M. Petters and Sergio Ruocco

National ICT Australia Ltd.
NSW 2052

School of Computer Science and Engineering
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052


System on a chip (SoC) designs are penetrating the embedded systems market at an increasing rate. This affects both the consumer market and industrial markets, such as the automotive and aerospace industries. As the computational power of CPU cores on such SoCs increases, the use of operating systems (OS) as the basis for the application becomes an increasingly important issue. This paper investigates the specific requirements of SoCs and analyses to what degree microkernel-based OSes have an advantage over standard embedded real-time operating systems. It concludes that temporal and functional verification of OSes are of fundamental importance and that so far no embedded OS fulfills these criteria. However, microkernels seem to support this better that other embedded OSes.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {Frank Engel and Gernot Heiser and Ihor Kuz and Stefan M. Petters and Sergio Ruocco},
    month            = dec,
    year             = {2004},
    title            = {Operating Systems on {SoCs}: A Good Idea?},
    booktitle        = {Embedded Real-Time Systems Implementation ({ERTSI} 2004) Workshop},
    address          = {Lisbon, Portugal}