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RoweBots Releases Ultra-Tiny Embedded-Linux RTOS for Renesas Technology’s SH-2A Microcontrollers
Unison RTOS option opens Renesas SH-2A to Linux- and POSIX-compatible development.
By Robotics Trends Staff - Filed Feb 19, 2010

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RoweBots’ ultra-tiny, embedded Linux- and POSIX-compatible RTOSs open Renesas Technology Corp.’s SH-2A microcontroller (MCU) family to Linux- and POSIX-compatible development for the first time.

RoweBots Research, Inc., a supplier of tiny embedded POSIX RTOS products, announced the launch and release of Unison Version 5 and the open-source version of Unison Version 4. These two ultra-tiny embedded Linux- and POSIX-compatible RTOSs open Renesas Technology Corp.’s SH-2A microcontroller (MCU) family to Linux and POSIX compatible development for the first time.

Unison, an open-standards-based RTOS, is ideally suited to home automation and networking applications.  Unison increases embedded development productivity and reliability for SH-2A developers by substantially reducing the difficulties of developing complex systems. OEM developers can create improved applications with reusable components supported by the Unison product and Renesas SH-2A MCUs with HEW IDE.  Modular, advanced networking protocols, file systems, a POSIX shell and other components are available.

Unison is ideally suited for Renesas MCU development by engineers who value reduced design complexity and getting to market quickly using inexpensive MCUs.  “Changing market needs for higher speed, higher performance, larger capacity on-chip memory and power-sensitive MCUs has increased complexity and performance demands, ” said Todd DeBoer, director, sales activation, at Renesas Technology America, Inc. “We selected RoweBots as a Platinum Alliance Partner because their product offerings are an excellent complement to Renesas MCUs for simple and quick design development.”

“Unison’s ultra-tiny footprint and open-standards compatibility give it the capability to support Linux-like development where Linux variants cannot run.  This approach substantially reduces the cost of system hardware, substantially reduces risk, slashes time to market, and supports multiple products using the de facto software standards,” said Kim Rowe, president of RoweBots Research, Inc.  “OEMs benefit from simple migration of software between architectures without code changes or GPL concerns. Developers don’t require retraining and may easily reuse tens of thousands of applications for these embedded platforms.”

The ultra-tiny Linux offerings provide seamless support including:

    Integrated MCU RTOSs with POSIX and Linux capabilities
  • An ultra-tiny footprint to minimize processor expense
  • Risk mitigation
  • Free development and Free deployment
  • Free source code
  • Off-the-shelf I/O including advanced networking and file systems
  • An I/O model to add new devices quickly and easily using existing IP
  • Integration with the Renesas HEW IDE
  • 20 DSP features
  • Indemnification
  • Migration between MCU products without code changes
  • Dual licensing with Free open-source versions and very low-cost commercial licenses

Lost time to market, customers disappointed with product quality, and missed product price points are three of the biggest problems OEM developers must overcome.  Unison solves these problems when used with Renesas SH-2A using open-source technology (

Unison V4 and V5 are hosted on Windows XP and Vista for x86 platforms.  Support, training and consulting for the entire Renesas MCU line are available.

Unison V4 and V5 will begin shipping immediately with free development and deployment of the open-source version.  Commercial royalty-free RTOS licenses with serial support and a multimedia file system start at $999 USD per project. 

About RoweBots
RoweBots is developing the next generation of modular ultra tiny embedded Linux software for embedded OEM applications in the areas of consumer goods, clean technology, portable products, communications and robotics electronics using system on chip .  The company is based in Waterloo, Canada.  For more information, visit the RoweBots web site

Unison is a registered trademark of RoweBots Research Inc.  All other product and company names are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Kim Rowe
Founder and President, RRI
P:  519 208 0189

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