TRON Forum

What is T-Kernel

The name of the Forum has changed. The new name, TRON Forum, has become effective as of April 1st, 2015. Please bear this in mind when you encounter "TRON Forum" in the documents here.

Real-time OS "T-Kernel" is developed by TRON Forum in pursuit of the performance required for a device that realizes the next-generation ubiquitous computing environment. "T-Engine" is a family of hardware based on standard specifications, as a development environment of "T-Kernel."

"T-Kernel" appeals its own scalability that supports wide-ranging building purposes from small system development to large system development; "μT-Kernel" that supports 8-bit and 16-bit CPU and facilitates porting from μITRON, kernel-based "T-Kernel" for 32-bit CPU, "T-Kernel Standard Extension" that promotes middleware distribution and improves development efficiency by supporting the dynamic loading of program, and “MP T-Kernel” that supports multi-core CPU.


"T-Kernel is a real-time OS"

T-Kernel: A real-time OS for embedded systems with preemptive task sets, which has been designed with an emphasis on compatibility and scalability to meet the requests from increasingly sophisticated embedded systems, based on the achievements with ITRON that has been nurtured in the TRON Project history over twenty years.

"T-Engine is a development environment for T-Kernel"

"Even if it may seem to be a long way, it is eventually a shortcut development method for embedded systems to advance software development in the development environment to increase a perfection level before porting it on the target hardware." Based on the methodology, TRON Forum defines the standard development environments including T-Engine and μT-Engine that support various CPUs for embedded systems.

Of course, customers can design the end-product freely.

"T-Kernel is open"

"T-Kernel" is thoroughly designed as an open source RTOS. As well as T-Kernel specification, a reference implementation version of T-Kernel source code is available to anyone for free if you apply on TRON Forum website. The said T-Kernel source code supports various types of the proven CPUs for embedded systems.

"T-Kernel is a small footprint"

"T-Kernel" is designed so that it can achieve a sufficient real-time performance even in the environment with the minimum resources for the purpose of implementing with small embedded devices, etc. Especially, μT-Kernel enables a streamlined implementation to the bottom.' The minimum configuration of 8KB ROM and 4KB RAM can run T-Kernel-compatible applications.


"T-Kernel is currently released under T-License"

"T-Kernel" is distributed from the TRON Forum website under the license agreement called T-License. The license fee is free if products are developed according to T-License conditions. It is totally up to the user's decision whether or not the developed source code is disclosed. The license suits the situations unique to embedded systems industry field, such as the one that "As for the tuning results with unique technology, we desire not to disclose the source code and keep it only for in-house use as our exclusive know-how."

"T-Kernel promotes middleware distribution"

Features of T-Kernel that promote middleware distribution are especially indicated in the following functions of T-Kernel Standard Extension (TKSE).

  • TKSE functions permit the process-based programming. It enhances T-Kernel functions by supporting the file system, etc.
  • Applications can access the functions provided by the system via TKSE API. TKSE doesn't damage a device driver, etc. that runs on the kernel-level by mistake with memory protection, virtual memory function, etc.
  • Since TKSE API is designed to enhance the affinity with T-Kernel, smooth migration of software assets from T-Kernel to TKSE is assured.
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