PC-based Control with Windows CE 6.0
Two years after the publication of Windows CE 5.0, Microsoft has released version 6 of its real-time operating system. By naming it Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Microsoft is distinguishing this version from the familiar mobile version of the operating system.
Beginning from the Hanover Fair 2007 the new Embedded operating system will be available for the Beckhoff Embedded PCs and Panel PCs. In addition to fundamental technical innovation it also boosts performance by up to 30%.
With the Embedded PC and Panel PC product range Beckhoff fully embraces Microsoft Embedded operating systems. The relationship within the Windows family supports consistent scalability of Beckhoff products.
Thanks to identical code basis, almost all functions of Beckhoff TwinCAT automation systems based on an IPC under Windows XP or Vista are also available on an ARM-based DIN rail PC, although with reduced performance.
The new kernel and driver architecture of Windows CE 6.0 offers up to 30% higher performance compared with Windows CE 5.0. For example, a real-time application created in C++ can access the I/O API of the automation software TwinCAT in a 100 µs cycle under Windows CE and take full advantage of the performance of advanced CPUs using EtherCAT.
The new operating system also enables jitter values to be optimised. The maximum jitter for a 1 GHz Intel Celeron M processor in the CX1020 Embedded PC from Beckhoff is 8 µs.
What is new in Windows CE 6.0?
The main innovation of Windows CE 6.0 is the actual operating system kernel. Compared with version 5.0, Windows CE 6.0 features a fully revised operating system architecture with the result that each process now has up to 2 GB of address space available (previously 32 MB). Furthermore, the possible number of processes increased from 32 to 32,000.
Windows CE 6.0 enables the performance potential of an advanced 32-bit CPU to be fully utilised. At the same time the system requirements for the application of Windows CE have hardly changed. This means excellent scalability, ranging from small 32-bit controllers with low-capacity flash or RAM memory to full-grown high-performance IPCs.
A standardised operating system is thus available for a wide range of applications, from simple PLC controllers to memory-hungry visualisation systems.