"Barr Group training courses should be required before writing any embedded code."

General Dynamics

Sign Up Now

Receive Michael Barr's Firmware Update ® newsletter for free how-to articles and industry news by e-mail. Sign up now.

Bookmark It

Bookmark this page or share it with a colleague.

RTOS Alternatives Course

Though there are good reasons to use a real-time operating system (RTOS) in some applications, this decision also creates a number of problems for embedded software developers. An RTOS adds excess complexity when the application is not well suited to being coded as a set of tasks that can preempt each other. This course examines RTOS tradeoffs and a set of alternative approaches to multitasking that do not employ a preemptive scheduler.


  • 0.5 days (lecture only)


  • Firmware developers evaluating or using a real-time operating system
  • Firmware developers fed up with real-time operating system headaches
  • Anyone interested in using cyclic executives or state machines more effectively


  • Familiarity with the C programming language

Related Courses


  • Preemption Implications
    • The Negatives
    • System Failures
    • Overhead Costs
    • The Positives
  • Cooperative Multitasking
    • Foreground-Background
    • Cyclic Executive
    • Co-Routines
    • Protothreads
    • Function Queue
  • Event-Driven Programming
    • Events and Reactions
    • Event Queues
    • State Machines
    • Run-to-Completion
  • Related Topics
    • Single Stack Preemption
    • Active Objects

Demonstration Platforms

Learn More

To request pricing or dates, or for more information about this course, contact us.