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RTOS (Real-Time Operating System)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

An RTOS (real-time operating system) is an operating system that supports a timely response to external events. Robots that move around in real time require real-time operating systems. RTOSs must respond to events as they occur and will return an error if a response is not made in an appropriate time period. A system may also terminate to avoid problems or because it cannot continue due to a failure to operate in real time.

The Real Time Encyclopedia Web site describes a real-time system as a system that responds in a (timely) predictable way to unpredictable external stimuli arrivals. It operates under extreme conditions to provide timeliness and meet deadlines, provide simultaneous processing to support multiple events, react to events in a predictable way, and provide dependability.

Devices that employ embedded systems often use real-time operating systems. See "Embedded Systems."

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