Java architecture makes devices ‘Internet-ready.’ – Integrated Systems Inc.’s pSOSystem software for embedded microprocessors

Java architecture makes devices ‘Internet-ready.’ – Integrated Systems Inc.’s pSOSystem software for embedded microprocessors – News of the Week

Chris Bucholtz

A new set of embedded microprocessor operating software that can be modified using Java applets could provide the basis for a new generation of Internet-based sensors, hand-held information tools and monitoring systems.

Integrated Systems Inc., based in Santa Clara, Calif., has announced the addition of a Java-supporting architecture to its pSOSystem software for embedded microprocessors. The architecture will make the devices in which the microprocessors are installed “instantly Internet-ready,” said Steve Houtchens, the company’s director of new technology.

“With the embedded Internet capabilities, we can use these devices to create things like hand-held Web browsers that interface with wired or wireless networks,” said Houtchens.

“They have very low memory requirements, and by connecting to the Internet, they allow people monitoring networks to treat the sensors as a database, providing real-time information about the network,” he said.

The operating system allows users to customize the format of status displays, alarm actions and diagnostic algorithms. Should network problems occur, managers can create Java applets that send instructions to actuators to remotely modify components of the network, Houtchens said.

“What Java provides is a standardized way of getting information from devices to you and from you to the devices,” he said. “We’d shied away from letting customers modify their devices in the past because there was no one standard to how they performed their modifications, and that caused problems. But with Java, users can do those modifications in a very consistent way.”

The devices are ideal for monitoring dispersed telephony and data networks with multiple switches, Houtchens said. “These units can be installed in network nodes and feed the data back to a central management point,” be said.

“The additional Java support means that managers can create applets to change the way they collect data from the nodes from a single remote site, instead of having service people make those changes in the field,” Houtchens said. “That will give them a greater degree of flexibility in how they analyze network data.”

The embedded operating system could also lead to hand-held browsers to allow service personnel who use the Web to quickly access information.

“We could see field equipment being developed that actually plugs into the switch and forms an ‘Intranet’ with the switch over which a Java applet is transferred,” Houtchens said.

The combination of Java-capable embedded software with EMPower, a real-time network management system from UB Networks, will give customers much greater flexibility, said Ronald Morita, UB Networks’ vice president for applications and engineering.

“By basing our network management system on the pSOSystem, we’ve built intelligence right into where it needs to be – in the network devices themselves,” Morita said.

The initial release of the pSOSystem software with Java support will include the Java interpreter, pSOSystem and drivers targeted at prototype development. The company plans to have replaceable software modules in production later this year.

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